See you, parents

After 2.5 hours of sleep, I went up at 7, so that I could get to my parents hotel and eat breakfast with them.

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They were leaving today, so I spent some more time with them, and followed them on the first part of the train.

I went home again, pretty tired, but decided to look up what tablets I could find in el Corte Ingles. I found two which looked good enough, for 59 and 69 euros each. I went to the store and took a look, and found one of the tablets, the one for 69 euro. The price tag sad 99, but apparently I was correct about the price. They could not find it though, and sent me to the other store. There, they said they should have four in stock, but did not find any. They also said the first store should have 13, so I went back there again. I talked with another person, who managed to find the right one. I bought it, and a SD-card reader, as the main reasons would be to use it to sync my camera pictures and use it as a torrent downloader. I went home, and started learning how it works, and it seems like it will do what I want, even if pretty slow!

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It was time for lunch, and as I am lazy, I went to the really cheap restaurant (El Pollo Rico, I think the name is). It took me some time to find it, so I got quite a walk. There, I bought one plate with Esfuardo, and one plate with Paella, and then went home again.
It was also time to change host, so at seven, I went home to Sandra, who I met through Warmshowers! She lives on the ninth floor with two terraces, so it was a nice view to take photos from! Sandra seemed nice, so it would be a good place to stay at for some days.
As I had Orion’s home keys, he came and picked them up, and also took the opportunity to take some photos. Here are some of my results!

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Magic trick

The day started out with breakfast bought at the bakery. It was really cheap, and really good, even though it is mostly white bread and sugar!

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At three o’clock I walked over to my parents’ hotel, relaxed by their swimming pool and spent time with time on the room. After a few hours, we went to Maur to eat dinner. It was the same place as I was on the second day.

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This was the last evening I got to spend with them, as they were flying back tomorrow. It was good to meet them, and maybe I will meet them in another month depending on my plans!

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Then, I went to find Orion. He was working with photographing a tour, so I guessed it would be hard to get ahold of him. I know which are he was working in, though, so I set my direction to that area, and continued with learning to take photos myself along the way!

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I did manage to find him, because I am awesome!

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When the tour was done, we went home. On the way Orion bought some pizza as dinner. When we came home, I surfed the web and found the picture of the flying hammer. He told me I would get a free lunch if I was able to do it, and done!

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Later, I got a message from one of the persons I randomly met and had brunch with. They were going to a Brazilian party (I think it was) and invited me. The problem was that when I had walked to the place, it had moved, and was apparently another 1.5 kilometres away. I went there, but could not find them, so I took a walk, but another way, home. It was 2 o’clock, so I got to experience the night life of Barcelona. On the way I bought an ice cream, and got to see many different people on my way home. Finally, I went to bed at 0430!

Voting time!

Up and go! This day, I would need to do some practical things. I started with going to the Swedish consulate to vote. I won’t tell you what I voted for, but I can tell you it was not for a world made of hate.

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Then, I went to Barceloneta Placa, to visit a bike shop. I had to wait twenty minutes before they had time, so I went over the plaza to a small restaurant that looked really local.

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It felt authentic, with loud Spanish voices and just a simple restaurant, crowded with tables. I ordered two slices of bread, a potato-thingie and some octopus, for 7.60 (the octopus was half of it) so I think is was a cheap, nice place. It took me 15 minutes from ordering until out again, so it was perfect!
I did not have cash, and they did not take card. He pointed towards an ATM, and did not even ask for my passport or anything. The problem was that the ATM did not like my card, so I had to find another one. When I came back, one of he guys was standing outside, and I think they were looking for me. As I had my money, and came back, no problem, though. I would love to go there again!

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The bike shop did not have the specific parts I wanted, but I got my chain measured, and was told it was time to change (which I was already sure of). I got a tip about another bike shop, and went there.
I let them measure my chain again, and they told my I could actually go a couple of hundred more, but I bought a new one, and a set of tires. I then went home again.

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For dinner, Orion made some nice omelette of the eggs we had left. As it was not much, he went down and bought some ready-to-eat Thai food (or maybe Indian. Or something. I do not know).

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Afterwards, it was time to change the chain. I had never done it before, so I checked up what was needed to know.

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The chain was one link shorter than my old chain, but I thought it would be enough, which it was.

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Good-looking with a new chain!

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3 hour Segway tour

Orion made a really nice breakfast (he says he hates cooking, but at least he is good at it).

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After that, I just relaxed and watched a movie. I was going to follow Orion to a Segway tour on the afternoon, so that he can have someone to use as a model.
When we came there, the boss of the company told us they had their own models, but they put me on a real tour instead, the other one would be mostly for shooting pictures.
I am usually not much for sightseeing, but the sightseeing part was actually okay. It was me and a pair from Australia, with our guide, Eva. She made the tour pretty fun, and as we were that few, it was easier to be flexible. It is also much more fun going by Segway instead of walking!

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After the really long tour, we went our and ate a nice dinner. On the way home, I went into a store and bought a litre of ice cream, which I ate half the package of at home. Nice day!

New stuff on the blog!

This day I spent the morning by fixing with my blog.
*The About me page is redone
*The map on the “Where am I?”-page is deleted, and instead there are two links: one for smartphones and one for computer, where the computer one is more detailed and better (but does not work well on all smartphones).
*Added some pages, for example Contact me and How to use this site.
*Also some fixes in the sidebar!

I ate a small lunch Orion made, which tasted awesome (and healthy).

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Then, I went to meet my parents at the beach. After little trouble, I managed to find them.
We went for dinner at a place around the corner from their hotel. At that restaurant, you were supposed to order many smaller plates and share them. It was a small problem that my mum can’t eat meat or gluten, but we got some sort of mix in the end, even though she sadly can’t taste everything, for example this meat.

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Note: the coal were edible, made out of potato
After leaving them on their hotel, I went back to the apartment again.
My host, Orion, is a professional photographer (actually really good – he won the prize “photographer of the month” from the company he is doing work for). He had earlier taught me more about how to use a camera to get the photo the way you wish, so I started experimenting in my way home. Even if not a perfect camera, I think the result is nice!

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There may be better pictures on this blog in the future, I just need a way to get them from the camera to my iPhone!
Also, if interested, check out Orions website, where you can see some of his work!
http://orionlafuente.com/

Arrival of the parents

The morning started with a really good sandwich made by Orion. He put salmon, tomato, avocado, tuna and some other nice stuff on dark bread, and it was both delicious and satisfying.
I was going to meet up with my german friends at their camping, and the plan was to take the bus. I went about half an hour before I had to, which was really good, as everything went straight to hell.
One guy told me I had to buy bus tickets at the metro station. The people down there did not really speak english, so I bought the wrong sort of tickets according to the bus driver. Went down again, and this time it was also the wrong ones. After refunding those, someone told me you could pay on the bus (which you could not according to the other people). They did apparently not take card though, so another bus went away. After withdrawing money, I succeeded, and were on the way. I came there 15 minutes late…
No problem though, Felix met me at the station, and we went to the beach were Christoph were waiting.

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The camping they lived at were pretty nice, and five metres from the beach, but every four minutes or so an airplane went over from the airport. Not that fun, but I guess you get used to it!

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We ate a late lunch at the camping, hamburger with fries for me. After that, it was time to say goodbye for real, as they were heading back the next time. I had a great time with them, and hopefully I will met them again some day!
I headed out from the camping, with the plan to walk to the airport. Of course I put out my thumb, and in less than five minutes I got picked by a guy and his wife (I think she was from Poland, not sure about him, but he had lived in Spain for eight years). I actually told him to drop me off at the exit of the highway as they were not going to the airport, but he was nice enough to drive me to the front, maybe because he liked my story about my biking life!

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Because I got picked up, I had half an hour spare time. First, I used the free internet at the airport, but as it is limited to 15 minutes, it quickly ran out. I asked a stranger if she could share, and I got some 4G from her (by sharing, it was like 120 ms and 40/10. Nice!).
Finally my parents arrived, and after some hugging we went to take the train. I followed them to their hotel, and then we went out to eat, which was really nice, even though the place was so-so for that price.
We went back to the hotel room, and I got some stuff that I wanted from home, for example a Swedish flag to put on the bike, a new water bottle (lost one of my old ones), some documents and a little bit of candy. It should be enough.

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4.5 kilo of glory and
satisfying destruction

Also, bonus picture taken from the sea, because I can!

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You should not be shy

Today, my friends will go home to Sweden. They were going to throw away plenty of food, beer, shower gel and so on, so I crammed everything interesting down my bags.
When they had left, I though making my vote, as there would be another four hours before my host would come home. On the way there, I saw two people with big backpacks. First, I cycled by them, but then I decided that I would have more fun talking with them than voting! I rolled up to them and asked if they had any plans for the next few hours, and if I could join them. The were going to the park by Arc de Triomf, so I went there by bike, and met up with them when they arrived with metro.
I had already eaten breakfast, but as they had not, I ate some brunch-think with them, just mixing what I had and what they had. They got all the beers as I do not drink beer (but it would have been a bad waste to pour it down the sink), and I boiled some eggs I got from the Swedes. I got a good sandwich with avocado and some other fruit stuff, and also ate a bowl with milk, yoghurt and cereals. It started raining in the beginning, so we took cover beneath the roof.

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This is where we had brunch!

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This was the end of the park, and some guys were doing big bubbles

I went to my host, who I had met in Paris. I saw on Facebook that he was in Barcelona, so I got to stay at his place for some time.
In the evening, I went out to buy the tripod I had seen yesterday, and also looked for new tires for the bike, as the old rear one was almost flat by now. The tripod really were nice, and I think I will have use of it on my adventures!
Me and my host went to a really cheap place, to eat some more local food. The first place was closed, but we went to another one. It was… an experience, as the service were pretty poor, but the food was good, and cheap. After that, we went on a walk while Orion showed me some nice places, before heading home again!

Time to relax

Waking up at ten, I felt stressed before realizing I did not have to bike today!
I took it really easy, just relaxing in the apartment while the others went to the beach. I went there later, maybe at three, and continued relaxing. On my way there, I bough a pair of cheap bath shorts (4.95) as my old ones are in south of Spain.

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After going back to the apartment, I followed them out to look at some shopping in El Corte Ingles. I found a tripod that could be nice, that would fit for both my Canon PowerShot G10 and my iPhone, and I also looked at the cheaper tablets (50 euros) as a light alternative to a computer.
After the shopping, we went for dinner at Maur, some pretty nice restaurant near the apartment. I started with eating a Saber (look at the picture) and followed up with a pizza. Really nice food, and really nice to not feel hungry!

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Back to the apartment again, playing some magic just hanging out before going to bed again. I had also managed to get in touch with a guy I met in Paris, so I have a place to stay at tomorrow!

My first stage done!

First of all: Fear the mighty ladybug!

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We took a really easy morning, and I ate some breakfast, as usual. This was 3000 kcal, and it should be enough for me to continue biking the last ~65 kilometres!

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We did not leave before one o’clock. I continued using my arm-warmers as protection against the sun, drenched in water. I also had a buff beneath my helmet. Those really helped me keep cool while biking! Because I started using water for my clothes, I used my Dromedary Bag (my water bag) and filled it up with some extra litres.

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While biking, we had more or less down hill, but headwind. I went in the back, which made it pretty easy for me, even though I had more weight and they had SPD. The views were great, and I think Spain has offered the greatest views so far!

We still went on fairly big roads, but all the trucks and cars held out for us, so that was no problem. We found a Lidl, were we off course took a break and bought some snacks!

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We then continued along the main road. My GPS wanted us to take another route, which was shorter, but I though this would be no problem. It went into a problem though, as we were not allowed to continue at this way. While looking at the maps, a guy stopped with his car and told us to follow him. We did so, and he parked, and took out a road-bike from his car. Apparently he was going to do a small training trip, and he was going our way for a bit. This really helped us, and set us on way again!

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With 16 kilometres left, it was time to go different paths. The germans were going to a camping, and I was going to some swedish friends. We had a last break, and it felt a little bit sad as I had a great time riding with them!

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I went the last 16 kilometres. There were many red lights, so it took longer time than I had hoped for. On the way I got use of my stronger bike horn, as I do not know if all the cars here recognizes cyclists or not.
After 50 minutes I was there! I was now officially in Barcelona, and my first “planned stage” out of two (the next being Japan) was done. 4557 kilometres, and stronger than ever!

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Alex, a friend I met while working at ABB Robotics, came down and met me. I got to stay at their place for two nights, which was really awesome, as not many couchsurfers/warmshowers seemed to be available.
Apparently, I knew two of the other guys also living in this apartment, since I had been at a party with them home in Sweden a year ago.
It was nice to relax again, and I went out with the guys to eat dinner. I bought two meals (of course), one double burger and one entrecĂ´te. As I had planned to have a “mini vacation” in Spain, the budget will be much more loose here than earlier.
It was a good evening, and I slept well, after having a shower, being able to use a washing machine and eating really nice food with nice people!