|Soooo I probably learned the best travel lesson after my birthday. Never ever ever plan to have a travel day the day after a big night out. NOT ADVISABLE. But the show must go on, so the day after my birthday I had to get myself to Barcelona. Step one was to find greasy food. Step two was coffee (at starbucks HURRAH!) and step 3 was pack my belongings and get myself to the train station.
Two of the canadians I met in Valencia decided to come with me to Barcelona and join the (insert groan) Pain Train. It was a really nice train but we were all too hungover to go back to sleep and just had to sit and moan for 3 hours because the train's movie was in french and none of us had books or anything.
Then we had to try and work the Barcelona rail system. Just to step back a second I speak a bit of spanish. More spanish than french for sure. But who knew, they don't speak spanish in Barcelona. They speak Catalan which is more like a mix of french and spanish (but some how not like either) and evidently its very offensive to refer to catalan as a dialect of spanish (just for future reference). And although everyone in Barcelona speaks spanish all the signage is in catalan so even the most basic task like ordering a sandwich become impossible because you don't know what you're going to get. Like say a really gross dryed salami sandwich with tomato spread. Who knew that passed for food.
Anyways the rain system was confusing as hell because we had trouble even figuring out what tickets to buy. We did manged to finally get ourselves onto the correct train in the right direction but I guess our suitcases managed to attract the wrong kind of attention because immediately after we boarded the train one of the guys I was with got pick pocketed. He got set up with this rather elaborate map scheme with decoys and everything. Thank god they only got a list of hostels in his pocket but that shook the group up pretty well.
We got to the hostel and the guys wanted to go for a beer. I could only manage a coffee... oh man. never drinking again... until the next day haha
The next day was all sight seeing. We went to the Sagrada Familia, casa mila, park guell, hospital de la santa creu and checked out the gothic quarter, and enjoyed las ramblas which has THE craziest street performers. My personal favorite was the crazy cat man and there was also an oscar the grouch of sorts who was in the hilariously large garbage can. I was reading in my guide book about the Sagrada Familia and evidently its been proclaimed the most ugly building in the world and it should've been bombed during one of the wars when it could. It may be very ugly, a bit like some sort of bugs nest, but the detail when you get up close is shocking. I can't even imagine how it was built back in the day with slaves. But they're still working on it. I just think of the crippling cost of paying people to actually build it and its unbelievable they're still working on it.
The second night in Barcelona I had to switch hostels so my second hostel was a bit more off the main drag then my original hostel no biggie right?
I went out for drinks with a whole bunch of people after getting proposed to by the owner of my second hostel. I got tricked into making dinner for a bunch of the guys and I guess the owner liked it so much he had to keep me. Now if anyone has ever seen me cook you know that can't be true so could be attributed to the bottles of wine pre-dinner but don't hurt my ego okay?
Drinks were super fun but I tried to be disiplined because I had a plane to catch in the morning and now I knew better than to get really drunk the night before a travel day AND I have a bit of a history of cutting it too close with planes (or missing them... see: Rome) so I went home before the other people I was staying with. Now we're back to my insane sense of direction... except when drinking... I actually managed to make it back pretty close to my hostel but took a right when I should've taken a left and managed to take an extra half hour and some hilarious directions from a closed gas station attendant to make my way back to my hostel. Thank god ahead of everyone else still... could've been embarassing.
And I'm happy to report that I made my flight to Madrid with little excitement. Maybe a medium amount (just about missed the airport train)...