Greetings fellow travelers! I have noticed on the forums that there seem to be a number of us headed to Spain for the holidays, so I thought I would share our arrival story for those eagerly anticipating or are nervous about their upcoming travel here.
First up- Delta online check in systems were working again! When we went to Portugal in August we could not check in online, which caused some anxiety. For this trip, we did the TrustAssure steps a few days before leaving (uploading vaccine records, etc), did our Spain Travel Health app (48 hours before arrival in Spain- yes arrival), and were able to check in online. While a few extra steps, feels a lot more like normal. At the airport, our vaccine cards were verified. Delta would not let you on the plane without having completed the Spain Travel health app. It isn't hard, but is necessary to generate a QR code that will be scanned when you arrive in Spain. All was a very smooth process coming out of Minneapolis to JFK. Flights were fully booked, and mask compliance was good. Flights out from JFK also very full and mask compliance was very good overall here too.
I didn't sleep on the flight so was quite tired the arrival day. All we planned day 1 was just getting to our destination. Once arriving Barcelona, we came to find no lines to enter EU & go through immigration. Incredibly smooth process. My general sense is the Spanish are very happy to have travelers and ready for us. We just had to make sure we had our QR codes ready as we came in.
Once arriving in Barcelona, there is a super handy tourist information booth to your right when you are leaving (to get Taxi's , trains, etc). We found a very helpful gentlemen that helped us understand what we needed to do to navigate the trains into the city (hop on over to Terminal 2 and take the train). We took the shuttle to the other terminal, where we also found very helpful train people that helped us get our tickets into the city and up to Girona. They walked us through what to do. That along with Google maps helped us feel a little more comfortable. Trains were busy but not overcrowded at all.
After arriving in Girona, we sought out our AirBnb. We got settled in, and I had to sleep. After a nap, we walked around this charming city to start soaking it all in. The weather is sunny and a little cool, but feels quite wonderful given what we left behind in Minnesota for weather. Looking like a nice mix of indoor and outdoor eating is also possible here. After the sun goes down, the lights overhead are amazing. It is like a cascade of lights illuminating your shopping. Incredibly charming!
We stopped in a local store and picked up some fruit and vegetables, which lead to my first trip discovery. Persimmons, where have you been all my life? Oh my goodness. We had this tasty fruit and plan to consume lots of it while here! I have itchy shopping fingers for all the little Spanish goodies I have been seeing as we window shop. Good thing I brought a big suitcase!
My overall sense is that the Spanish are ready for us to come and super happy to have us here. Even with the Covid rates on the rise, I am feeling very safe so far here in Spain.