Valencia Diaries, 03.06.08, part dos, tres

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In which your intrepid blogger flies to Barcelona, walks the airport for three hours, and checks email, writes a few columns and then heads to Valencia on SpanAir.

I arrived in Barcelona about two in the afternoon and took a stroll through the Barcelona Airport. I checked in some shops, saw some movied by Pedro Almdovar, among the normal stuff the pretends to be entertainment.

Did get scared by a photo of Celine Dion on her new album. Could be that a Megadeth album was next to her opus. Not sure which was scarier.

The Barcelona airport is all glass and the sun coming in sure made a difference. The shops featuring Spanish food all had large legs of ham-Jambon hanging on the walls. There was even an easy Pallela kit!

I found a place for lunch which was loaded with people speaking Spanish, German, Chinese, Italian and read the paper, grabbed a salad and caught up on my emails.

The third flight, about sixteen hours after I started, was getting a bit much. But the Valencia airport is small, and the IAAF volunteers wisked us away to be credentialed and then off to my hotel, the Confortel Aqua 4!

Rooms are nice and clean, free wireless and I am unpacking and heading for a walk and some tapas before I crash.

The Worlds start tomorrow at ten in the morning, two am Fort Atkinson time and I need to be up and ready an hour before that!

Seems like some athletes are still pulling out. Danny Ecker from Germany, the pole vaulter was injured and will miss Valencia!

On my flights, I started reading a book on the Crusades and how Muslim culture influences Spain.

I also read about this amazing British soldier, Sir Richard Francis Burton, the first European to visit Mecca in the nineteenth century. Expelled from Tinity College, Oxford, he entered the military in 1842 and went to India.

He was the first European to visit Harar, Somalia, where he was impaled by a javelin in his face! He also worked with the Royal Geographical Society and in 1858 discovered Lake Tanganyika. He was also the first translator of the Arabian nights. And in his odd free hours, he also translated Kama Sutra! ( And that is your history lesson for today!)

On that note, it is time to meet some friends, find a little restaurant and have some dinner!

Watch for several updates tomorrow!

For more on the sport, please check http://www.american-trackandfield.com

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