After my little adventures in Barcelona, my time was up and it was time to move onto Brussels. I woke up at 530AM so that I could catch a taxi to Pl. Catalunya to catch the airport bus. One of the great things about Barcelona would be their transportation options. Their metro station is super efficient, buses are everywhere and they have a bus that goes directly between the city center and the airport running about every 5 minutes from 7AM to 11PM I believe. And on the off peak hours it runs every 10 minutes. There’s a short window of time between 1230AM and 5AM that it does not run at all. That being said, as a solo small female traveler, I’m still very cautious almost to the extent that it becomes expensive. I’ll save all my personal solo travel tendencies for another post. But recognizing that my flight was super early requiring me to be at the airport by 7AM if I wanted exactly 2 hours at the airport, I had to leave my hotel by 6AM to get to Catalunya. I had three options: 1) take two trains to get to Catalunya around 545AM and then take the airport bus 2) cab to Catalunya and then take the airport bus which meant leaving around 6AM or 3) cabbing directly to the airport.
I probably would have been safe taking the train to get to Catalunya to pick up the airport bus but…545AM seemed daunting to me. Not to the extent that I was afraid I wouldn’t wake up but the thought of wandering underground before sunrise was kind of terrifying to me. Especially being trapped underground. Any other time of day would have been fine but it’s the fact that it was before everyone really got up for their work day. I was not excited. So I opted for cabbing to Catalunya to take the airport bus. But then my nerves got the best of me. What if I was the only person waiting in line for the bus? What if someone comes to rob me? Based on where I was, it was going to be about a 7-8€ difference between cabbing to Catalunya then taking the bus verses cabbing directly to the airport. So as a last minute decision, I caved and cabbed to the airport. Yes, I spent the additional money to give myself a sense of security and buy myself some time to get to the airport.
I arrived at the Barcelona international airport and managed to make it through security in 10 minutes. Some European airports baffle me. I didn’t have my passport checked at the Barcelona airport. Just scanned my boarding pass and made my way through security. After getting through security, I made a loop around my terminal. Since Barcelona is such a busy airport, the gates aren’t posted until about 45 minutes to an hour before the flight. So I wandered and then settled at a coffee shop for some coffee and a chocolate croissant (because you know I had to). After that, it was time to head to my gate where I enjoyed a riveting game of women’s field hockey (or at least that’s what I thought it was). Seemed intense. Note: make sure to shower before you head to a place in which you have to be in close proximity to other humans. Or minimize your perfume/cologne spray so you don’t overwhelm those around you. I was trapped between two men at the gate who seemed as if they had not showered after running a marathon. It was enough for me to get up and wander until the gate opened. As I mentioned in my CDG post, there’s no formal boarding process in European airports. You just go for it. Barcelona is no different in their boarding process. It’s… Unnerving but it works.
We boarded and I tried to get mentally prepared for my less than 24 hour stint in Brussels. But I was a it distracted as we taxied and flew out of Barcelona.
If you fly in and out of this airport, I’d love to know your thoughts. It might be one of my more favorite airports just for the time you’re on the tarmac. Depending on the direction you’re going, you see Barcelona. Not just a glimpse but a full coastline/skyline view because of the way the city is situated in relation to the airport. It’s like a perfect way to say hello and goodbye. Along with that, in the middle of the tarmac and all around are giant fields of grass and nature. You’re surrounded by fields of flowers, grass and plant life. It’s actually really surprising and as you take off, you say goodbye to the spain coastline and their beautiful beaches. It’s quite an interesting combination of views in the short time you have on the airplane but it’s totally worth just gawking out the window as you fly into the airport or fly away. Have you ever flown into Barcelona? Let me now if you saw the same thing or if what I saw was a fluke.