Monday, October 12, 2009

First Two Days in Spain

I've been in Spain for 2 days now. My sisters Michele and Caroline met me at the airport. I didn't manage to sleep on the plane, so I rested a bit. We went out and got lunch at a place called Pan's. It was a fast food kind of place. I got a sandwich with salmon and hard boiled eggs on it. Given the name of the sandwich, I think it was more Norwegian than Spanish, but it was good. I thought I would be getting something Spanish by ordering nuggets as the side order instead of fries, but they turned out to be chicken nuggets, and they weren't very good on top of that. Our hotel is in Plaza Mayor, and we went West from there to see what is on the Map as Palico Real. I forget what function the palace serves today, but it's quite an impressive structure. Despite being October, yesterday was quite warm, and we were all worn out from walking around town.

We went back to the hotel, and I took a nap. We went out at night to get some supplies from a grocery store, then after dropping those off back at the hotel, we went for an early dinner at 8:30 PM. I got a pizza, which is more Italian than Spanish, but I did get a taste of more traditional food from Carloline's sandwich. It was a ham and cheese, but the ham was more like prosciutto, and the cheese reminded me of Grueye. Spain seems to love ham even more than the US loves beef. I haven seen the museum of beef anywhere before, but there is a museum of ham near the hotel.

Today, we went to the Reina Soffia art museum. The first floor was full of odd modern art stuff. The second floor had some wartime art, and a lot of Picasso and Dali. I liked those. There were a few exhibits that were very mathematical from the 1st floor, but most were just strange. The building was huge, there were two more floors of exhibits that we didn't even get to. We had to get Caroline back so that she could eat and back to a metro stop so she could get to work tomorrow. Michele and I have to get up early tomorrow so we can get to Barcelona. We'll probably do a little more sight seeing later in the day, eat dinner, and try to make it an early night.

( I can't spell check this on the browser at the hotel, so I'll have to clean this up later. Yuck, that was a mess, I'm glad I went back to clean it up.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

One Week Until Spain

This will be my first trip to Europe. I've actually crossed the Pacific before, having been to The Land Down Under 10 years ago. That was a blast. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous about my very limited Spanish skills. Going to Sydney, the only reason I would have needed a foreign language would have been if I had wanted to talk to one of the many groups of Japanese tourists visiting Sydney in their own language.

Granted, I did have a a conversation in a bar with an Australian woman about the differences between the word pissed between US English and Aussie English. For those who are curious, in US English, pissed means exactly the same thing as pissed off, or angry. In Aussie English, pissed off still means angry, but pissed means drunk. Also, you will hear the word mate for friend, but not nearly as often as in a Crocodile Dundee movie. You might even hear the phrase, spot you a pot of piss mate? Which means, can I buy you a beer? (OK, if this paragraph doesn't get any comments, nothing will.)

I need to get a list of things to do before the trip ready. I've got my passport and a new digital camera, but I still need to pack and I've got a few things to buy. I'm already mentally preparing to eat everything in my fridge before I got and then stop cooking. I foresee an omelet or two in my future. One reason I want to clear the fridge is that the freezer isn't freezing and cleaning the coils hasn't helped. I'm hoping something critical is frozen up, and will go back to normal if left powered off for a while.