Travelport Barcelona, All Work and No Play

The next morning I found my Travelport Barcelona office easily after discovering the cross-street it was near, the name of the building, and a few landmarks on Google maps (yay!).

Travelport Barcelona Office Building

Travelport Barcelona Office Building – via Augusta, 59

I spent from around 830AM to 7PM in the Travelport Barcelona office, with an hour out for lunch with colleagues at a cute nearby sushi place called Monster Sushi. They had a wonderful 3 course lunch special (appetizer, entrée, dessert or coffee) for €14, and my Travelport Barcelona colleague was kind enough to pick up the tab. I also caffeinated during at least 4 different opportunities throughout the day, taking advantage of the free Lavazza espresso machine in the office (unfortunately it also kept me awake ALL night).

I really enjoyed the Travelport Barcelona office itself – it was in the process of being remodeled, and as such was a bit chaotic, but it had the startup vibe with bright colors (chairs and walls) and open spaces (transparent walls, work benches instead of cubes). The perfect atmosphere for thinking up and creating great new travel ideas. It was a very Silicon Valley/Cambridge look and feel, and the office and my colleagues in the Travelport Barcelona office were proud of Barcelona’s creativity and ability to embrace innovation. I was looking forward to spending Friday there as well.

Travelport Barcelona Office Building

Travelport Barcelona Office – they’ve just remodeled the spaces to look like a startup

I made it back to my hotel around 730PM, grabbed my luggage which I had left at the lobby desk, and caught a taxi to my new hotel for the evening – the 5 star Hotel Claris. The room was similarly situated as the one I had the previous night, with a separate suite upstairs including a couch that was converted into a bed. I think we paid something like €250/night for this room (Barcelona, it turns out, is really expensive). I quickly showered and not soon after Marv and Leslie (my grandfather and aunt) arrived at the room.

I continued to work until 930PM when Leslie and I went up to the terrace for a light dinner (Marv ordered an omelette through room service). Leslie had a fruit and vegetable salad and I had another grilled white fish with broccoli gnocchi, which turned out to be completely pureed, and what Leslie described as Spanish deconstructed cuisine. Oh yeah, I forgot about my cooking experience (and cooking demo) last time I was in Bilbao with the Global Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program at Deusto University, and how fancy the cuisine is here. We even ordered a pineapple and ice cream dessert, where the ice cream was really ice cream but more a swath of dipping cream smeared delicately on the plate. Not as advertised but still delicious. On this night I also enjoyed a Tempranillo and Leslie indulged in a Maker’s Mark on the rocks (they had generous pours on both occasions).

I settled back in the room for sleep at 1130PM and found it impossible. The jetlag, coupled with the espressos, coupled with the noise from my room companions kept me up all night. I think I did doze off at some point because I remember waking up from a bizarre dream about Mars blowing up, crashing into the Earth, and the Earth being swallowed into the sun due to the gravitational event. I experienced the “final day on Earth” in a movie theater with strangers, watching it unfold on a TV monitor, feeling the impact as Mars crashed into us, and then moments later being swallowed by the sun’s fiery abyss. “Wow, this is death” I thought.

Heavy stuff. What was in that vino?


About therestlessroad

The tar in the street starts to melt from the heat And the sweats runnin’ down from my hair I walked 20 miles and I’m dragging my feet And I’ll walk 20 more I don’t care And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone I’m like a ghost some people can’t see Others drive by and stare A shadow that drifts by the side of the road It’s like I’m not even there And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone Well I’ve never been part of the game The life that I live is my own All that I know is that I was born To wander this world all alone, all alone Some people are born with their lives all laid out And all their success is assured Some people work hard all their lives for nothin’ They take it and don’t say a word They don’t say a word Sometimes it’s like I don’t even exist Even God has lost track of my soul Why else would he leave me out here like this To wander this world all alone And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone –Jonny Lang, “Wander This World”

2 thoughts on “Travelport Barcelona, All Work and No Play

  1. JJ1

    The dream obviously stemmed from Marv’s vision of colonizing Mars. Did he mention it that day?

    • therestlessroad

      Nope, he mentioned it two days later. I think it stemmed from a discussion Leslie and I had during dinner (not the Mars piece, but the subject of “the end”).

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