Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Long Distance Travel

On September 16, 2014, I lost 9 hours of the day.   That is what happens when you cross an ocean.   But it sure doesn't feel like it, especially when I spent most of that day awake.  This is the glamour of travel, I thought, as I repositioned my pillow against the window and wrapped the airplane blanket around my legs.

In many ways, I chose my flights wisely.  I was determined not to begin my trip exhausted by getting up at some unfriendly hour.  I also wanted to arrive during the daylight.  I caught my first flight in Victoria at 9:30 am and arrived in Barcelona at 6:30 pm the next day, a total of about 14 hours in the air.  The longest flight of the four that I took was 9 hours from Dallas, Texas to London, England.  

Flight from Victoria to Vancouver - You can see the right arm of our pilot.  That is one small plane.

I was a bit nervous about taking such a long flight, having never done it before.  But somewhere along the way, I realized that I had already done 12 hour Greyhound trips.  On this one, they feed you - twice!  And serve drinks.   But then I thought, that is a long time to be flying above water.  And actually, it was only a few hours.  There was a good deal of time flying over Canada.  

Dallas to London - Boeing 767.  That is one huge plane.

Still there was a phenomenon, I had a time wrapping my head around - I was actually in the air that entire time.  This reminds me of a Louis C.K. video I saw.  It is quite astonishing that we can be sitting in a chair in the sky.

Now I have landed.  I was so excited to be horizontal.  And after being awake for most of the day and night, I was exhausted.  An hour after falling asleep, I was awake.  I was wakeful for most of the night, like most of the people I know in Canada.  I was on Canadian time.  Eventually I did sleep.  I am in a wonderful home in Barcelona, found on AirBnB; the transition has been a delight.  

I have been up and about now for 4 hours but feel like I am just getting going.  According to iPhone's World Clock, it is about 4 am in Victoria.  

Well, perhaps time won't be a big matter on my trip.  Apparently people from Barcelona, called Catalonians, like the night life.  Yesterday's grocery store that I went to is open until 2 am.  

I explored the neighbourhood last evening in my typical fashion.  My host drew me a map to a great restaurant and the market.  I promptly got lost, walked several blocks out of my way until I found the grocery store she mentioned, bought myself water and some food.  On my way home, I found the restaurant but I was so tired, hot and bedraggled that I really couldn't see myself sitting at their table.  I just want to say that by not going into that restaurant, I saved Canadians' reputation.  

Blue skies are calling me outside.  After a day spent mostly inside planes, airports and waiting areas, I am grateful to wander where I can.  

No comments: