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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Home

I was a bit disappointed to leave Barcelona. It is a fantastic place and eleven days just wasn’t enough. I’m not sure how much time I would need to really do this city justice but I’d guess that at least six months would be a good start—six months and a good bicycle. Eleven days would have to make do for now; I had a train to catch at 14:30.

Public transportation to the rescue, again. I was staying two blocks from the Fontana metro stop in the Gracia district. The L3 green line goes from here to Sants Station. What could be easier? There is a security check at the station but it’s just a scan of bags and barely slows down a good walking pace. Then you just find your car, find your seat, stow your bag, and relax.

This was one of the few times in my life when I have actually watched the in-flight movie, or whatever the hell you call it on a train. Today we would be watching Rocky Balboa (dubbed) and it began just a minute or two after we pulled out promptly at the assigned time. I didn’t even have time to get a coffee. I waited for the boxing scene finale to go to the club car. Someone should tell Rocky that he doesn’t need to take every single punch thrown by his opponents; it’s perfectly legal in boxing to dodge punches.

The trip is a little less than three hours from Barcelona to Valencia which is not even enough time to get bored. There is a metro station just outside Valencia’s Estación del Norte and if I still lived at my old place I could take a line that drops me off a block from my door. My new place isn’t on any metro line. I could have taken the #19 bus but I decided to walk instead. It’s only about 12 blocks or so. Any misgivings that I may have had about leaving Barcelona evaporated as soon as I entered my new neighborhood.

The area around the Russafa Market is very lively. The plaza was completely full of people sitting in cafes and kids playing in the open areas. This wasn’t going to be too bad. There are at least a half dozen cafes that share the square with the market and the rest of the neighborhood has everything you need—just what you would expect from an urban Spanish neighborhood.

Both of my new flat mates were in when I got home. They are really nice. I had a lot of unpacking to do as all of my stuff was thrown behind a couch in the living room before I left for Barcelona. After I got most of it sorted out I needed to go to the grocery store for a few things. There wasn’t anyone home at that time to ask but I knew there was a Mercadona a couple blocks away. I couldn’t believe that I had to walk almost three entire blocks to find a grocery store. In my old place I just walked across the street. I’m living like an animal. Of course, I’m sure that there is another store a block away in the opposite direction—that’s just how they roll here.

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