We're on our way! Quite a few choir members and family members had hit the road earlier, but it was still a substantial contingent that boarded the plane for the overnight flight to Paris, where we landed in a light drizzle. Some of us were a little surprised that Air France was flying this Boeing 777 rather than an Airbus; for the second leg of the journey, from Paris to Barcelona, we did fly in an A319. This was a much smaller airplane, and our group made up the great majority of its passengers!
De Gaulle Airport in Paris is very spread-out, and we rode a fair distance on buses to get to from the plane to the arrival gate, then from the departure gate to the second plane. The waiting area was nice and open, though, as we rested our jet-lagged bodies.
Upon arrival in Barcelona we met our escorts and boarded our two tour buses. Even without the tour participants who were already there (and thus didn't need to be picked up at the airport), they were pretty full! We're going to get to know each other pretty well, as one of the ladies remarked upon seeing me dig through the underwear in my suitcase for a power adapter that was in there somewhere...
As we drove to our hotel in the heart of Barcelona, we got a quick tour of some of the sights along the route. Here is the monument to Christopher Columbus, looking out to sea over the harbor; just before this we passed some surviving architecture from the medieval period, and a vast cemetery with tombs like an Anasazi village going straight up a cliffside.
We had planned to have a rehearsal before dinner, but after collecting everyone and getting ourselves and our stuff to the hotel, we decided to postpone that until tomorrow afternoon in favor of naps, baths, or relaxing in the hotel lobby. We had dinner together in the hotel, and after some announcements about tomorrow's schedule we sang "Happy Anniversary to You" to Ray and Deborah Russell. The choir's 1999 tour doubled as their honeymoon (with several dozen of their closest friends), so this was their sixth anniversary; and of course, at dinner on the first day of the 2002 tour, Ray and Terri Lambert announced their engagement. Here's hoping this year's tour lives up to the auspicious beginnings of the previous two!
new 26 June 2005