Monday, 15 May 2017

And..... going home!

Sunday, Marina was ill and couldn't see me so I had a leisurely morning in hotel before checking out at 12. I hadn't heard from Marina so I was feeling a little despondent. At least I had won a small victory. The hotel had a special offer of a room for 3 nights for the price of one. I noticed the promo on the reception desk. So I had asked for the same. But the answer was that I should have asked for it when I booked. I replied that I won't know about it unless you tell me about it. I pressured the girl quite a bit, very politely and she said she would ask her manager. The answer came back, "No". I said that it was fair.

At checkout, the receptionist handed me a wad of notes to the value of one room. And at checkout, I had to settle my tab in Abajor. And the money covered the tab! So I handed the money back, more or less!

I went for a last coffee in McDonald's Café and finally Marina phoned to say that she couldn't see me. I worry about her health. I had lunch in Koritza at her suggestion, went back to the hotel and at about 3.30pm took a taxi to the airport. It's a better class of taxi if booked from the hotel but it's a little more expensive. 5 euros! I don't mean 5 euros more expensive, that was the price!

The rest was very simple. But I was at a small tea bar waiting to board the plane to Kyiv, there was a handy mains socket by each of the bar stools. Someone ordered a tea and the young girl said to him, "Sit down". I had lots of fun pointing out to her that it was rather strong and that she should say, "Take a seat". I pretended to walk away with the bar stool. She, and her colleague thought it was funny, there was no possibility of her being offended.

Last night, I stayed in Ligena Hotel near to Kyiv Boryspil Airport and this morning I took the flight to Barcelona. I was so busy writing on the plane that I hardly noticed the time and before I knew it, we were flying down the coast in Barcelona El Prat.

I am getting towards the end of my posts for this trip and I am on a train approaching Girona, so that makes perfect timing. I have a meetup to organise this evening in Girona and on Thursday I go to see my dear friends Tom and Louise who are in Paris for a month.

I arrived in Girona at 15.40, just in time for a Sarfa bus back home. That would have left me with 45 minutes at home before having to come back to Girona. Hardly worth it but that is what I was planning on doing it. Two things thwarted that rapidly! I came out of the station and the bus station was abandoned. I quickly realised that the new bus station was now open. But as I turned to go down to the bus station, who should I see but Susan, a friend from my Meetup group. We chatted for a while and then I went down to the bus station but I just missed the 15.45 bus and I decided to wait for the bus at 4pm. But that would have left me with 30 minutes at home. Crazy. So I went back out into the sun. The bus station is a big soul-less concrete space. I find it deeply depressing. No thought has been given to the design, it simply functions. And this is the country of Dalí. And Mirò.

I think I will submit a plan to make it attractive. I mean, there is no colour. Imagine it in France, lots of pastel blues and yellows. Also the colours of Ukraine. The parking space numbers were clearly designed by an engineer. No imagination. A square chunk of metal on a post. Yeah, I am depressed. 

I am writing this very last part of the post in my favourite tea shop, Casa Moner. Anyone who lives in Girona will know that there are several shops in the chain, selling break and cakes. Then, in the tea shop, I can choose a cake to have with my tea. I had Earl Grey tea and a mandarin tart. The text that I wrote in the plane was saved in the Dropbox folder of my little Acer One so, as soon as I got back online in Girona with my larger laptop, there it was in the Dropbox folder to be cut and pasted into the blog! Cool!

And with that, I close my blog for Ukraine. I will write about my visit to Paris of course. I plan to come back via Lyon and spend a couple of nights there.

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