After our ferry from Tangier to Algecira's was cancelled, we caught a latter one, meaning that we missed our bus back to Valencia. Although this was a bit of a pain in the butt, it meant getting a good night's sleep before jumping on yet another form of transport. So after a good night's sleep we jumped on an overnight bus to Valencia, which turned out to be one of my favourite places thus far on my trip.
The first hostel that we stayed at in Valencia was hilarious. It was kind of like a hostel, cross love hotel, with themed rooms. Alison & I were lucky enough to get the "Safari Room", which consisted of 2 double beds decked out in leopard print & adorned with mosquito nets, 2 wood & leather chairs & to top it all off nicely a wooden leopard that was positioned on one of the beds, sneaking out of the netting. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen, but having a double bed to myself, I wasn't complaining.
Most of my time in Valencia was pretty much spent wandering around the streets, looking in funky boutiques & trying not to spend too much money! It was really great, very young & trendy (we looked very out of place, decked out in our backpacker's clothes).
We headed out for dinner one night with a group from our hostel, which in the end, turned out to be quite an interesting evening. One of the girls, a Canadian, spent half the dinner telling us a very interesting & sad story about having to take care of her house mate, who after working way too hard, had had a complete breakdown & ended up in hospital. One member of the group was very quiet during this entire conversation & latter I found out why. I had a very lengthy & heated discussion with this young man about mental illness, which in his opinion, does not exist! Yep, apparently there's no such thing and people with mental illness are simply "free thinkers", that today's society will not accept. Ahhh, fun times.
While there we also saw some Flamenco, which was great. There was a live band & a dancer, who looked amazing. The dance is kind of strange, so serious, yet seductive as well. The club where we saw the show was also fun & we stayed on there after for some bad dancing to funny Spanish pop with a bunch of English & Israeli folk. Lots of fun.
On our last day in Valencia we headed to the Modern Art Museum, which is my favourite thing to do in any city. One of the rooms held an exhibition by the artist Christopher Wool, which was really great & the general collection wasn't too bad either. We also managed to go to the "Cathedral de Valencia", which houses the only Holy Grail recognized by the church. After seeing so many churches over the past 6 months, they were getting a little bit boring, but this one was particularly nice.
Then it was back to Barcelona to try & see some stuff, now that I wasn't hostel bound by illness. By the time we were back in Barcelona, it was Easter time. Having been on holiday for the past 6 months, this fact totally slipped our minds & accommodation was a complete bastard to find. For our one week that we had left to spend in Barcelona, we had to move hostels 3 times, & for one night had to shout ourselves to a hotel, or sleep in the train station. Happy Easter to us, a hotel it was.
The first hostel that we were in was called the "Ideal Hostel". Now let me tell you, there was absolutely nothing ideal about it. Our very squeaky trampoline like bunk bed was placed in a hall way that connected the 5 other rooms on our level. On the opposite wall was the door to the bathroom that these 5 rooms shared & on the ceiling was a light, designed to mark the location of the bathroom (in which showers were two to a cubicle, big brother style), that stayed on ALL night! This fabulous hostel also offered an included breakfast, a very hearty meal of 2 of the sweetest cupcakes you will ever eat & a cup of unsweetened coffee with no milk. Mmmmm! I guess it was just luck that it was actually in a really good location, just off the main strip, so we didn't actually have to spend any time there.
I think it was only fair that the next place we stayed was a Hotel! Yep, a real hotel. It was a little out of our budgets, but it was Easter. When we arrived to check into our double room, they informed us that they didn't have a twin double, so would it be ok if we had two singles. Al & I nearly kissed the man behind the desk at this point, as after 6 months of living in dorm rooms, a room to ourselves seemed like heaven, especially one with its own bathroom, equip with a bathtub. It was the best Easter ever, a bath & a real bed, not a bunk in sight.
Then it was back to our favourite hostel in Barcelona, where the staff had been very kind to me when I was hauled up on their couch for 2 weeks.
This visit was a lot different, we meet a couple of English lads, who were lots of fun at the ripe old age of 18; a Canadian couple who were on their honey moon and who were farmers in their everyday life; & a couple of funny Aussies, one of which, Allen, had just come from Austria & insisted on talking with as much hacking & gagging as he could fit into one sentence. In between drinking with this bunch & talking about farming pigs, we did actually manage to see another couple of Gaudi sights, an apartment block called "La Pedrera" & another apartment block just across the road. I would give anything to live in one of these awesome apartments, which were designed to get as much natural light into them as possible & had the greatest, most interesting roof top you will ever see.
We also wandered around the old Olympic village & the surrounding gardens that were really beautiful & full of statues & water fountains.
And that was Spain, time to leave again, but I hope to be back one day.