Just a quick trip up to Barcelona to pick up Emilie. She’s out of school in the US and here for the summer. This morning she’s still out like a light, after delayed flights out of Lexington for weather, and then a couple hours of mechanical difficulties in Chicago. I was happy to see her come out of baggage claim at BCN, at last.
This meant that our early morning train tickets from Valencia to Barcelona-Sants were much earlier than they needed to be. But we took full advantage of the extra time to see some stuff close to the train station, and of course, the royal wedding.
I remember watching Lady Diana and Prince Charles getting married when I was in high school. In our neighborhood on the West Coast of the US, we all got up in the middle of the night and watched our first images of a real-life princess marrying her prince. It didn’t work out so well. But when they announced her son was getting married, I was excited because I would be in a more acceptable time zone – eating lunch.
Emilie’s flight landing was supposed to be right in the middle of it – so I thought I would miss it. But as fate would have it, all the delays out of the US meant we were able to sit at the top terrace of the museum steps above Plaza de Espanya (Catalonya has turned their bull ring in the plaza into a mall) and watch the pre-game. And Jeff found us a nice cozy cafe in which to have lunch, drink champagne (he got a nice sized beer) and celebrate the nuptials while watching the live stream.
Holy Moly – that preacher they chose shook things up. I’m not a religious person but sometimes, when I lived in San Francisco, I went to a church that helped the homeless in the Tenderloin district. The minister, Cecil Williams, was famous for his rousing sermons and pleas of ‘Can I get an Amen?’. Very different than my staid, stoic Lutheran upbringing. So this royal wedding minister’s sermon was way more Glide Memorial than Church of England. The looks on some faces in the peanut gallery were priceless. I almost let out a spontaneous ‘Hallelujah’ or two myself.
Most people care about the facinators and the dresses. I was looking at the guest’s feet. Their choice of footwear with their outfits was the most interesting part. And I understand they handed out slippers at the reception so even the most daring guests, with feet shod in artistic tools of torture, could continue to enjoy the festivities.
Even our waiter was interested in the action. He asked me if that was my friend’s wedding I was watching. I said ‘Yes. The British Royal Family and I are very, very close. But I had to pick up my daughter at the airport in Barcelona so, sadly, I missed being there in person. They totally understood.’
At first, he thought I was serious. Then Jeff asked him if he’s heard of the Royal Wedding. He hadn’t and left to get our drinks. Jeff shook his head.
‘Does this guy live in a hole?’ he asked.
Perhaps he was right. This guy might be the only person in the world who hadn’t heard about it, but I found this amusing since Jeff cares about a wedding, royal or otherwise, not at all. But he knew I was going to be disappointed to miss it before we learned that Em’s flight was delayed. The universe put the puzzle together.
The train trip from Valencia to Barcelona takes a little over 3 hours. It was super comfy and the views of the Mediterranean are renowned. We passed by Tarragona each way, where we were originally going to settle in Spain. I still love it and perhaps we’ll end up there – or own a weekend property. But I just love Valencia. The people and the town still hold me in their grip.
We’re back home this morning, enjoying perfect weather after our quick adventure to Barcelona. And we have more sites on our list for next time. Until then.