My plane left Barcelona airport at 10.30pm last night. It was the best value flight to get me home. Given that the other taxi picked me up at 6.30am on Monday then it’s been a very long two days but it’s been fun.
I’ve been running a training course for a customer in Barcelona. Sometimes, despite the early starts and late night returns that play havoc with my social life, there are rewards. Obviously, I had an early start yesterday but managed to get some sleep en route so that I was sufficiently awake upon arrival to dive into the training. The interesting part about this trip was that I was training a group of people to use our advertising management tools for, basically, non-advertising content. There are similarities: time based content that rotates based on a series of programmable targeting factors; content that is managed independently from the main site and a level of reporting required that generally does not come with content management systems. It was another fascinating example of how the kind of things that we come up with for the advertising industry can be put to all sort of other uses.
I’ve visited Barcelona once before, also for work, but this visit I got a little time in the late afternoon yesterday to see a bit more of it. People are always hospitable and this time was no exception. The hotel deal I had in Barcelona included free tapas, which was lovely, and it included some free Cava. I thought I’d get a glass. I got a bottle. I stayed at the Hotel Diagonal Barcelona, which I can recommend. Next door to the hotel is the 35 floor Agbar Tower. The tower was built at a cost of over 130 million euro to house Barcelona’s water company, Agbar. There are some great photos in the Agbar Tower Group on Flickr.
After the second day training my work was done. But given the very late flight departure time I had an early evening to kill in Barcelona. I also had all my bags with me but decided that sitting in a restaurant wasn’t something I wanted to do. So, I took one of those open top bus tours. Usually they are a great way of getting your bearings in a new city even if you don’t get a great insight into any of the tourist attractions. They’re also a pretty expensive way of getting around. However, when you have a small suitcase, lap-top and various bits and you have 3 hours before heading to the airport, an open top bus seems the easiest way to get yourself (and your luggage) around the place without worrying about it. It was about a 90 minute round trip. The conductor told me that it was hop-on, hop-off so I could get off at anything that took my interest. I was keener on knowing if it really took 90 minutes. Anything more would have meant I risked missing all the connections to the airport.
So, I saw Barcelona even if I didn’t really experience Barcelona. The tour is quite good, showing you old and new. It was timely that we visited the stadium. The Barcelona football stadium is the 3rd largest stadium in the World after the stadiums in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City. Barcelona Camp Nou has a capacity of 110,000 people. The Champions League result was still in the air. How many times was I asked if I was an Arsenal supporter?
One day I shall head back an be a proper tourist!