Barcelona: Day Two

For those who don’t know, I’ve been sent to Barcelona to help out Google at Mobile World Congress this year. I’m helping to deliver CEO Eric Schmidt’s keynote on Tuesday night, which should be streamed live.

Well, after 24 hours in Barcelona I can definitely say the city is growing on me. I spent most of the day walking around and trying to get myself acquainted with the map of the city and my surroundings in general. It probably doesn’t help that I’m staying just off of “La Rambla”, a sort of main promenade here in Barcelona. Apparently it is famous for getting folks lost with its narrow winding alleys.

My hotel is tiny and neat. El Jardi Hotel is located in the Barri Gotic district, and I’m literally looking out of my terrace on the Eglesia de Santa Maria del Pi. I apparently missed my opportunity to visit it this morning because I didn’t understand its closure in the afternoon.

I had to find my way to a pharmacia to get some meeds for my head– I was up most of the night with a fever, and suffering from a bit of sleep deprivation due to the time change. In broken spanish I gestured to my runny nose and bleary eyes and she gave me something called Stop Cold which sounded just perfect for what I’ve got. I’m feeling generally ok right now…my eyes are still watering but my nose is no longer a leaky faucet.

I wandered down to Port Vell and the marina to finally see the Mediterranean. Check off another major body of water on my list. The main footbridge that takes you across to the port’s shopping mall, restaurants, and aquarium swings open to allow boats and other yachts through. At 10 AM sharp it opened for 15 minutes and half of the marina emptied, full of tourists going out on water tours.

The aquarium was awesome: Its centerpiece was a 360 degree wraparound shark tank that had a moving floor to keep everyone circulating through. Very cool.

I wandered East for a bit, saw a few parks and incredibly, a Chinese movie being made at one of the landmarks. Headed back West, I decided to see how long the trek was to Fira de Barcelona, the tradegrounds were Mobile World Congress is being held this year. It was a bit of a hike, and it’s more than that getting back to the hotel. Methinks I spring for a cab the day I’m suited and booted.

And now I’m back. I’m going to try a bar tonight and see what kind of tapas I can find tonight. I haven’t been very hungry lately, and aside from a light breakfast this morning and a Clif bar, I haven’t eaten. I am trying to keep up on my water intake to help my body flush whatever awful sickness this is.

Tomorrow starts a busier day, client meetings, and a dress rehearsal. Hopefully everything goes well.