DUB to BCN

Margaret had Rachel’s porridge all ready for her when we got up. Plain porridge is quite bland, so she gave Rachel some maple syrup to put in it. We had a couple from Montreal sit next to us; they had arrived late last night and wanted to talk about Ireland’s roads. It was his first time driving on the left and only once had he gone onto the wrong side. I don’t find it a very hard thing to do. I drove on the left side a fair bit in New Zealand before this too. My brain seems to just know, it takes a bit for it to get a handle of what’s happening, but it’s not hard so long as you already know how to drive.

I got the car drop off time and our departure time mixed up, so we ended up at the Dublin airport hours early. We got lunch at Alcock and Brown; they offered a sandwich bar as well as precooked food that a chef serves you. Rachel got the bacon loin with mashed potatoes and gravy and I got Malaysian curry with chicken on rice. It was delicious! People must be severely disappointed when they eat at the Calgary airport. All that we offer are the usual crap fast food places (A&W, Sbarro, subway, some healthier looking joint, Sbux, Tim’s) and a sit down Chili’s restaurant. I haven’t had Chili’s in a long time, but I can’t see it being as good as what we had, they tasted like proper meals.
Airport stress, aaaaaaah! I was far more stressed out about getting on this flight than on our flight to Dublin that we almost missed.

Vueling (the V is pronounced with a B sound) is a ticketless airline, flying standby did not even require us to check-in in advance. We waited for the counter to open and approached the customer service agent, who shooed us away, saying to return when it was an hour before the flight left. When we came back, we were directed to wait until everyone (or nearly everyone) on the flight was issued a ticket, then we would be granted boarding passes should there be empty seats. There was no way for us to access the flight info to check how many seats had been sold.

Well, knowing from Rachel’s experience working at the airport, many  people show up late to check in, sometimes not having enough time to make it all the way through security to board in time. I felt like we’d be screwed if we had to wait! So we stood to the side of the counter and waited. Some douche bag was also standby, and came up behind us in the queue. When the agent waved at us, he jumped ahead and we were stuck waiting for longer. I was pissed. The plane was supposed to board in 5 minutes by the time we were talking to the agent ourselves.

She started by asking if we had paid for our checked bags, which we replied no, as we were not even able to check in, let alone check a bag. She leaned over and looked at our bags, and said, “well go check your bag at the Swissport counter.” For fucks sake! We could have done that within the 2.5 hours that we’ve been waiting here!

So we rush over to the Swissport counter, and the two women there were casually chatting, lost in their conversation. One woman did glance at us, so she knew we were there. I was giving her a “come on lady! We’re at the bloody airport and in a rush, which means that we’re probably trying to get on a plane that is going to fly away very soon!” type of look. That was when our Vueling agent came over and asked me to put my bag into the carry-on size checker thing.

The suitcases we have are identical, they meet the largest possible dimensions allowed for a carry-on. They were big. Stuffed full of too much crap, as you do when you’re traveling. The size checker thing was a perforated metal bin, which warped considerably as I forced my bag into it. She encouraged me to stuff it down further, as I’d stopped because it didn’t look at all like it would be acceptable. It went a bit further down, proving that it could fit so long as anything adjacent to my bag could reform itself around mine. She looked at the other agent and stated, “those will be fine, just sit on your bag so it flattens out more.” So I pulled it out and tried to squish it down. She told me more than once to sit on it. We had our boarding passes and were off to the races!

Dublin’s security was well managed, lots of lines open and it was constantly moving. It made it hard for us to pull whatever we could out of our suitcases and jam it into our backpacks. We lost our sunscreen and Rachel’s fancy hairspray.

We ran through duty free, to gate 302 (I lost a shoe from my unzipped backpack, which Rachel recovered for me) and were ecstatic to see an enormous line. We made it! Hooray!!! When we got there she said that the other shoe wasn’t in my backpack, I was like well yeah, the other one’s in my suitcase. Ha! I guess shoes don’t travel alone very often. 

Rachel kind of looked like a medical patient on the run the whole time; it was as if she had some terrible disease and was attempting to feign health so they would allow her to board. Haha, maybe not that bad, but she didn’t look well. She told me in an apologetic tone after take off that she probably wouldn’t be going out tonight.

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I’d never heard of Vueling before we booked our flights; ours was the only flight on the board from Dublin. They are a Spanish airline. Our flight attendants certainly looked Spanish. The two girls serving us both had their hair slicked back into long, flat ironed pony tails dangling down their backs. I wouldn’t be surprised to find their hair all over the plane! 

bcn05The one girl I can only describe as a vixen, she exudes confidence. She was literally peering out at the rows of passengers with squinty, sharp eyes, accentuated by her make-up. Certainly seemed like someone not to fuck with. Fierce.  I think maybe she’s just blind and refuses to wear glasses.

Bahaha. I couldn’t help but think it was somewhat sexual the way she demonstrated putting on the life vest. She held it in front of her face for a few moments before thrusting her head through the opening, all straight faced and no nonsense. I missed it, but Rachel told me later that after putting it on, she jerked her head to her right and gave a cool puff of air in the direction of the red tube. The whole thing was too funny. I was bored so I tried to draw a picture.

She was lovely when we ordered two noodle cups from her for 7.20 euros. What a good mark up that is. Maybe that’s something WestJet should add to their buy on board menu, we were certainly happy to eat them, and it was more satisfying than some of the other crap food you can buy on planes.

Oh, and we did give the guy who budged us the evil eye (and by we, I mean I did).

Note to self. Always send more postcards, mail is fun!

bcn06I thought that the bathroom signs on the plane looked a bit peculiar. Where the man’s legs start is right where the woman’s skirt ended, making it look like she was lifting her skirt up!

We arrived and took the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and walked over to Paseo Lluyis Companys (that’s the street name). We were looking for n2, but it didn’t seem to exist. The street ended with a big, ominous looking cement building that had no lights on. I would have pegged it as an abandoned jail house. We had no phone, no internet, and no way of messaging this lady (we found a place with Air BnB). We were also about 2 hours later than we thought we’d be. Finally, Rachel realized that we were on the wrong side of the street, as all the numbers were odd. Ha!

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