View from our sixth floor apartment patio in Pogradec, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Gjyrokaster, Albania on October 6th.

Monday, January 2, 2017

We are in Barcelona, Spain!

And we're a little tired. But, we are sooooo happy to be here. We're pretty much right on the beach in a suburb of Barcelona called Badalona. But, it's only 20 minutes on the train to get downtown. And the temperature is a very comfortable 15C (60F) and the sun is shining and there is no wind.

In's beautiful!

And so, do you want to hear the story of how we got here?

Of course you do.

Our daughter Lindsey drove us to the Ottawa airport at about 4:00pm Monday, leaving us lots of time to spare for our 6:00pm flight to Toronto.

That 40 minute flight went by with no problems at all. We arrived in Toronto with lots of time to spare for our 9:10pm flight to Barcelona.

This flight was with Air Canada Rouge. This is the "discount" arm of the big Canadian airline. We've never flown with Rouge, but we've read a lot of reviews online....most of them horrendous.

But it couldn't be that bad, right?

Well that's right. It is definitely not as bad as the reviews say. It's certainly no-frills though. But if you're prepared for that, AND you get the flights at a great price...well then they will get you to where you're going, and to us...that's what counts!

We paid $520 CAD ($390 USD) return each from Ottawa to Barcelona. For that kind of money, we're quite happy with Air Canada Rouge.

The meals were not the best airplane food we've ever had. And there's no booze, not even for sale from what I saw, although we didn't ask. And the seating is very tight, especially for a 6 ft guy with long legs. But's only 7 hours. No problems, especially since the flight wasn't full and there was nobody in front of me to recline their seat. That helped a lot.

Arriving in Spain this morning.

And, there is no seatback entertainment. They stream movies and shows to your wireless device. And, they have 120V electrical plugs in between the seats. So, provided you've read up on this stuff ahead of time, you'll do fine.

But, we couldn't get the movie to play! Good thing we had some already on the laptop, so we watched what we had instead.

The plane was delayed because two passengers put their luggage on board and then never showed for the flight. So their luggage had to be removed and that took some time. Then, we had a headwind the whole way and that put us even more behind schedule.

So, we were almost an hour late arriving. But wow, was it ever fast going through customs and immigration. The guy looked at us with a smile, stamped our passports, and we were in. Didn't ask us a single question. Welcome to Spain!

We found some free wifi and sent our AirBnb host a note saying we would be late. But we didn't know what we would get for a reply, since we would need to find some more free wifi along the way. One of the first things we'll do is to find an Orange cellular shop and get a SIM card for the iPhone.

Anyhow, we had to take the free shuttle from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, and then walk to the Train station to take the R2 renfre train into the city. You can buy a single ticket for almost 4 euros ($6 CAD, $4.25 USD), or you can buy a ticket pass of 10 rides (called the T-10) for 10 euros that allows you to use the public transit 10 times. Valid with two people as well. And even more importantly, it's valid on the airport train so that you don't have to spend ridiculous money on a taxi.

Ruth, on the train from the airport.

No problem buying that, and then got on the train and an easy tranfer at the Barcelona - Clot station to the R1 train and then we were in the Barcelona suburb of Badalona.

We had no problem finding our AirBnb house. It's right on the malecon (walking cycling path) with an ocean view. We really lucked out here because we were trying to get the smaller room, but it wasn't available so I was going to cancel, when she got back to me and said we could have the larger room with ensuite bath for the same price.

Not bad for 20 euros ($30 CAD, $22 USD) per night!

Nice facilities.

Comfortable bed.

And right on the beach!

Our host couldn't wait for us, but I found an unsecured wifi signal and she had sent a message. It turns out she had left the key for us with instructions on how to find it. She'll check in with us later.

So...we're going out for a stroll to check things out. We're tired, but there's lots of time to sleep later this evening!

A great little first aid kit on sale. Super lightweight...we carry one like this everywhere we go!


  1. Glad you arrived safely. Are you 7 hours ahead?

  2. Have too much fun there for the next while.

  3. You're eight hours ahead of us in Phoenix. Wow nice price for flight and room. Looks beautiful already.

    1. Kevin did a great job finding these prices, now we can enjoy the fruits of his labour. :-)

  4. Have a wonderful time, we loved Barcelona...

  5. Looking forward to more posts later. Glad you both arrived safely and your on your way to new adventures! Enjoy!

    1. Trust us, we will have lots of posts to follow with lots of info and photos.

  6. Absolutely fabulous for the price. I wish hubby was up for more "interesting" least he lets me drag him all over the world and enjoys it (in hotels) I am shocked that alcohol was not offered on the rouge think AC would make loads on the booze alone. A lot of airlines are going to that type of entertainment. Glad we have an old ipad and phones for it. FYI Netflix Canada now allows you to download certain movies/TV shows to play without wifi so that is what I did on my last Westjet flight to Alberta as they have started to go without seatback entertainment too. Enjoy Barcelona!

    1. You should try looking for private AirBnb's, he might go for that over a shared one. There are some really nice ones out there and include kitchen facilitates that are probably even cheaper than most hotels.

      It didn't bother us a bit that they didn't have booze on board and I guess it makes things easier for the attendants.

  7. Happy New Year!!! Looking forward to enjoying Spain with you!!

    1. Thanks Connie and Barry, and we are looking forward to telling you and showing you Spain through our eyes. :-)

  8. Replies
    1. Once we are out in the countryside you can be sure that we will. :-)


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