I took a fun trip down memory lane this evening looking at pictures from a trip I took with my daughter's college soccer team to Barcelona, Spain and London, England in 2011. It was not my first trip to either country. I love visiting Spain. I would live there if I could. We had a fabulous visit and saw many of the amazing sights for which Barcelona is known. I got to experience a different side of the city when I snuck off all by myself to one of the lesser known sights during one of our “free times.” I found a pool! It was an Olympic size (50 meters) swimming pool, called Piscina Sant Jordi. I had asked the hotel concierge where I could swim without a membership and he recommended this pool. It was delightful. I was able to walk there from the hotel. It only cost five Euros to get in, and I had a lane to myself! It was a little different though. I'm not accustomed to swimming in a 50 meter pool. My Masters practices take place in a 25 yard pool, with an occasional summer practice at an outdoor 25 meter pool. But, I was so excited to swim, I definitely didn't mind the longer distance to get to the other end. There were two other striking differences that were a little more disconcerting. The first was that the pool was very deep, again I think because it was built to Olympic specifications, and I couldn't touch the bottom at either end. I'm used to standing between sets and not hanging on the wall like a little kid. It was strange. The other tricky thing involved the black lines at the bottom of the pool. In all the pools I've swam laps in, the black line is in the middle of each lap lane. Like a visual path for swimmers to circle around. At Sant Jordi, the black lines were under the lane lines. This caused me to end up swimming onto the lane lines several times. Ouch. It definitely gave me something to think about as I swam. Was this a European thing? An Olympic thing? Was it always like this or do they change the configuration depending on who is using the pool? At any rate, my entire trip was greatly enhanced by being able to swim in this lovely pool. I highly recommend mixing a little of your favorite pastime/fitness routine into your trips abroad, if at all possible. Go for a run (ask about safe routes before leaving your hotel), rent or bring your bike and go cycling (pay attention to local traffic rules), or go for a swim. Enjoy your journey!