El Camino, days 1-2

LAFAYETTE, WE ARE HERE.

Here being Barcelona! With all the time zone changes, we got here . . . Approx. 36 hours after leaving the house. So since the Camino pilgrimage – and indeed, all pilgrimages – traditionally begins with the first step out your door, I have been on pilgrimage since yesterday.

It is, as Bilbo said, a dangerous business, stepping out your front door, but thus far the worst we’ve had to deal with was non-functioning wifi in Heathrow and the hostel mixing up our reservation such that we have a room with a shared bath rather than a private.

This is my first time in un pais hispanohablante – a Spanish-speaking country – and it is an absolute thrill to be someplace where I can communicate with relative ease. I mean, I’m worried that when I greet people in Spanish they’ll think I’m fluent, but . . . Like, the guy checking us into the hostel was trying to explain that he’d had Mom sign the wrong credit card slip and I was able to act as an interpreter (although much to my amusement, that interaction drew as much on my recent experience running lots of credit card charges as on my ability to say “You charged this already – ya, ya-” “¡Si!”).

Tomorrow, whether I like it or not, we are doing touristy stuff. I do want to see La Sagrada and La Rambla, which I guess is a market-y street, but mostly I find I am itching for the pilgrimage. Traveling and tourism (especially with parents in tow) are complicated. Walking is simple. Point me west towards Santiago and let me walk.

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