Hot! Dawn of the Dead

Still recovering from jet lag, I slept solid on my flight to Barcelona. Waking up and walking out of the airport after rainy Paris skies is much like arriving in Hawaii. The smell of the sea and sun brings instant smiles and relief.

My hotel – a simple bed and bath – was on Las Ramblas. According to guide books, this bustling street in the center of the Old City is a centuries old market with an active nightlife. OK. These guidebooks need to fess up. Las Ramblas is more Bourbon Street than Santa Monica Boulevard.

This is the first time I felt scared being alone – and it was only 5pm! In a matter of minutes I avoided a zombie-like man stumbling toward me with a glazed look in his eye. Either he was about to eat my flesh or blow chunks. Neither option was appealing. I dodged only to see a man strike a deal with a prostitute on the next corner. (It’s 50 euro + 10 for a bed BTW.) Yes, this is where I was spending the night.

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