Date Distance (SM) ATE Identifier City
Sun June 23 1316   LGIR - LEBL Barcelona, Spain

LGIR - Iraklion, Crete, Greece -- LEBL - Barcelona, Spain
Sunday, June 23, 2002

   Took off from Iraklion Airport on schedule. Our departure clearance 
required a climb to 5,000 feet for terrain clearance before we could proceed 
to our destination. This necessitated a couple of turns in the VOR holding 
pattern at high power settings. Reaching our cruising altitude of 11,000 feet 
we cleared the mountains of Greece, flew across the "boot" of Italy and over 
Sardinia to Barcelona. Smooth air and zero clouds. Barcelona Approach 
vectored us to Sabadell Airport, about 15 miles north of Barcelona for a 
VFR approach. Sabadell with its 2,900 foot runway is a Mecca for General
Aviation. Lots of Pipers and Cessnas, five flight schools, simulators and 
   Sabadell, being the host airport for the Flying Rotarians was a bit of a 
disappointment. I was expecting to see 30 to 40 visiting aircraft with 
customs and immigration to handle the formalities. There were only about a 
half dozen aircraft and no customs and immigration. Later we discovered 
that once you enter a European Union country such as Greece you are free to 
cross borders without any of the previous formalities. What a relief.
   Bill and I proceeded to the Balmoral Hotel in Barcelona, the official hotel 
for the IFFR. The hotel lobby was void of any activity that late afternoon. 
Later when the Rotary Convention activities had concluded it was thronged 
with IFFR people. Incoming President Tony Watson and President Sam 
Bishop were among the first. We had accomplished our goal, to arrive for 
the IFFR Annual Banquet. Banquet we did, with much fellowship. Saw old 
friends Charles Strasser, Graham LeQuesne, Dan Nalven and Marcus Crotts 
and new friends Dr. Michael Graves and Bev Fogel.


Monday, June 24, 2002

   The Balmoral was fully booked and we were invited to leave. At $165 per 
night it was an easy exit. We checked in at the Matvi Hotel at half the price 
and three times the location. It was near La Rambla, Barcelona’s famous 
promenade filled with shops, mimes and hucksters. Very entertaining. La 
Rambla ends at the statue of Christopher Columbus overlooking the harbor.
   Today in Catalunya, a proud group of people in the northeast corner of 
Spain, celebrate a holiday. Banks and most businesses closed, Bill and I 
reconnoitered Sabadell via public transportation. We located a hotel in town 
and a maintenance facility at the airport, also on holiday.


Tuesday, June 25, 2002

   We must address our generator problem. In Bahrain Mechanic Asanga 
Jayawardhana, a Sri Lankan, émigré to New Zealand, on contract to Bahrain, 
diagnosed our problem to the generator and not any other part of the system. 
Prudence dictates we should cross the Atlantic with two operating generators 
after a one-generator operation for the last two legs. Sabadell is the place to 
get it repaired. C F A C  was the repair facility under the leadership of Senor 
   Bill and I checked out of our hotel, taxied to the airport. After taxiing our 
airplane to the maintenance hangar the generator had an open circuit, worn 
brushes and a bad bearing. Too much for one days work. Off to the Hotel 
Urpi, three stars, just right.


Wednesday, June 26, 2002

   After breakfast located a lavenderia with express service. Sorely needed 
after recycling dirty laundry, after a proper rest. Checked out of the Urpi, 
picked up our laundry, still damp, and off to the airport.
   While having lunch at the Aero Club a young lady saw my Comanche T-shirt, 
identified herself as an ICS MEMBER, friend and competitor of our own Ken Johnson.
Merce’ Marti’ is a world champion competitor in her PA30C Twin Comanche. 
Very nice lady.
   Airplane ready to go... After a false start, no right generator, back to the 
ramp. After much adjusting of the voltage regulator, system checks OK. We 
are off. Off to where?  To Reus Airport with its 8,000 foot runway. 
Sabadell’s 2,900 is too short for comfort. Reus is 50 miles south, a short 
VFR flight. Arriving late afternoon it's off to downtown to the Guadi’ Hotel. 
Guadi’ is remembered as an architect of great renown. His 70m year old 
cathedral design is nearing completion in Barcelona.


See the latest pictures below.

Barcelona, Spain

Click on pictures for high-resolution version.

IFFR group (1)
IFFR group (2)
IFFR group (3)
IFFR group (4)
Gaudi' architecture
Christopher Columbus
Senor Cristobal and Alvar
CFAC is a busy place
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Pascal Landi, Andrzej Vorbrodt, Manny Higazi Tuesday, September 25, 2007