Dylan in Europe travel blog


The couchette experience was even better than I had hoped. Not that the actual sleeper car was all that great. It was so tiny with two sets of three bunk beds. Apparently we were not the only ones who couldn't get on the train to Barcelona because the train was filled with backpackers being re-routed to Barcelona through Port Bou. Including about 50 kids from South Korea who spoke little or no English. I must have really been excited about this train trip because somewhere between the hostel and the train station, I got really hyper. When we finally got somewhat settled in our beds, I started taking silly pictures of everyone and everything. About 20 minutes later, the kids from South Korea began to fill the hallway outside our room. They were all talking about 100 miles an hour and seemed confused. One of them peeked in our room and since we assumed our other two roommates had arrived, we told her to come on in. Apparently, they took this as an open invitation because the next thing I know they are all kinda piling on top of each other; suitcases, purses and all, into our room. Did I mention this was a very small area? So small that the four of us could only come in one at a time to climb to our beds. So there we are-the four of us with the giggles and cameras in hand-with nine South Korean girls in our couchette. Once I am finally able to control my laughter, I flipped my camera to video mode in an attempt to capture the chaos below us. HYSTERICAL!! I laughed until I cried. Tory offered to help them with their tickets, but then they told us they had no tickets (¿huh?) and had just paid the conductor to board or something (¿huh?) which explained a lot of the confusion. I guess their group leader finally got it figured out because after awhile, they started to filter out and climb BACK over one another with their suitcases and the hall cleared out, but not for long. Apparently they had the hallway so blocked that no one else could get by because our 'roommates'walked in about 30 seconds later. They were two kids from California and nowhere near as amusing as the South Koreans, so I eventually stopped laughing and fell asleep.

Our train got into Port Bou around 8:30am and we had a two hour wait for our train to Barcelona. Luckily the train was already there so we were able to go ahead and board while we waited. The train was really uncomfortable, but it had huge windows which gave us great views of the Spanish coast and several sunflower fields. After we got to Barcelona-Sants, we decided to go ahead and book our overnight train to Zurich for July 8. We spent one hour waiting in the wrong line, but got a chance to watch the 2012 Olympic Committee announce that London won the bid. Then we found the right line but were told the tickets to Zurich would be 59€...EACH!! That is three times what we paid for our overnight train from Paris to Barcelona. After a lot of discussion between the four of us and pissing off at least one ticket agent, we decided we didn't have much other choice. We had been in Barcelona for two hours, had not yet left the train station and were all going on nearly three days with no showers. The one highlight was when we got on the subway, it was AIR CONDITIONED!!

We made our way to our hostel, which is just off Las Ramblas, and checked in. Tory and I fell asleep while Ginny went in search of an internet cafe and Erin took a shower. Eventually we all woke up, took showers and walked down Las Ramblas to pick a cafe for dinner. The street is full of shops, restaurants, street performers and pickpockets, so we had to constantly be on guard. After dinner, we bought postcards and found an internet cafe with 24 hour access for only 7€. We all caught up on emails and Erin and I mapped out the rest of our trip and looked at hostels in Florence and Rome. We made it back to our room and went to bed around 1:00am. Our plans consist of beach tomorrow and sightseeing on Friday!!



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