Tuesday night I conscientiously charged up my mp3 player for 7 hours and set the alarm on my phone to wake me up for 7.15am, all in preparation for a day spent traveling. Then I fell asleep listening to the MP3 player (and drained the battery) and slept through the alarm, waking again at 8.30 with 15 minutes left to get from bed to my train. Grabbed all my stuff as quickly as possible and ran downstairs wearing a sock on only one foot and either shoe tied, my rucksack on my back, bag over my shoulder, computer in one hand, a carton of orange juice in the other and a jumper under my arm.
The guy had told me it was quickest to get the bus, so I sprinted to the bus stop. There was one bench and a woman was occupying the whole thing for no reason so I wished her dead for a couple of minutes until the bus came. While I was getting on board I failed to find my metro pass, rummaged for a while, sure that I’d lost it, found it, tried to swipe it but got it wrong repeatedly. A nice old lady helped me out with that, so I put my socks and shoes on properly and got off around where I remembered the station being. All I could see was the Catalan Museum and a crazy man shouting at passers-by. It was a few blocks of aimless wandering before I gave in, sat down, found my map and found out I’d gone in the entirely wrong direction.
After a further 15 minutes of wrong turns I finally got to the station, where it was obvious I’d missed the train by about 20 minutes.
This is where the story lightens up a little, though, as the guy at the ticket office (though he spoke almost no English) managed to sort out the problem, find me a night train I could take instead. I was expecting to have to pay a little more but as the night train was cheaper and he could refund the other ticket in full I got a new ticket and 14 euros back. Bonus. What a gent.
So I had an extra day in Barcelona, not too bad really. Dumped the bags in the storage lockers at the station, brushed my teeth in the toilets, drank my orange juice and got into the centre for some breakfast. Killed a couple of hours in the Catalan Museum, then realised it was a sunny day and therefore I could go and lie on the beach. Found it fairly packed, mainly by British tourists, but still had a lie down and caught some rays.
After a few hours it was time for my train, so I had a look for my locker key, found I’d lost it on the beach somewhere, went back to the station to plead, explain and pay a fine, got my bags, got on the train.
We had to change just over the french border, so I got off there and had drinks in the station bar with the other backpackers going from Barcelona to Nice. Slept on the reclinable seats intermittently and had vivid dreams about Natalie Sanders, who I met last time I was traveling about.
When I woke I was in Nice, it was raining and I had to find a bus to the hostel. When I’d sorted that out I got a lift to the place from the owner’s son. Though the location is a little strange I do have to say that it does seem, as reported, to be one of the best hostels around. Very friendly, very clean, very good atmosphere. Everything just seems to be right.
Now I’ve been sleeping all day and just woke up and came downstairs.
I hope this all makes sense, I seem to have written quite a bit.
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