Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Trip Down and Time in Barcelona


On Wednesday I woke up at went to work like a normal day but I left early like it was a Friday. I biked home and showered, grabbed my bag for the trip then biked to the train station where I locked up my bike outside and hopped onto a train to Koln. My next train was 15 minutes later than planned  but while I was waiting, I met some cool British girls and we discussed the differences between Germany and the English speaking world. They were in Germany for 10 days visiting family and were on their way back to England.

Finally the next train arrived and we boarded to go to Bruxelles Midi (the middle central station in Brussels) this train wound up 40 minutes late though so as we arrived, my next train to Paris was leaving. Great. I asked a conductor and he told me that they would put me in a hotel for the night in Paris since I wouldn't make my night train to Barcelona ans he was really helpful the whole time. I went to the help desk and they put me on the next train out which was about 30 minutes later. I got to meet an American man on this train, so that was cool at least. He was from Pennsylvania and he owns his own chocolate company, awesome, no? I also talked to a girl from South Korea named "Liz", that's probably the best part about trains, you meet all kinds of people.

By the time I got to Paris Nord and made the switch to Paris Austerlitz, the night train to Barcelona was gone so I had to pay another 9,50 Euros to make a reservation for the morning. They, of course, would not pay for a hotel since it was "Germany's fault" that I was late, not them but they told me I could get a hotel for 200 Euros. Right.

I wandered the area around the train station but then just walked to Gare du Lyon which is where the next train would leave from but once I was there, there was nothing to do but sit and read. Oh, and tons of French men were approaching me and telling me I was beautiful, probably in the hopes that I was going to sleep with them... But no.


Of course, the train station would close for the night at 2 AM so I was pushed to the streets to begin my life as a street walker. I didn't even have the opportunity to walk around though because it rained the whole night. While outside, I talked to a bunch of French guys who, again, probably wanted me to sleep with them but, hell, they were creepy. I also had a very drunk bum hitting on me and he even touched me once. It took all the restraint I had to not punch him in the face. I walked out into the rain and found a bus stop where I could sit for a while and read. While at the bus stop, I met a French guy who spoke English decently. The French don't speak English. He rolled us a splif and we talked for a while and finally at 4:30 AM, the train station opened again though so I could sit inside, out of the rain.

I went in and the French splif guy bought me a coffee and told me he'd stay until my train left (2 hours after his did) but I insisted that he go. Probably wanted to sleep with me. Once he left, I met an Indian guy, a French guy, and an Arabic guy who spoke English and we talked until my train left. The Indian guy even asked to take a photo of us together... Why, I don't know. Now that I think about it, I don't think I want to know.

Finally at 7:15 AM I boarded on track 7, hall 2 and was finally off on my way to Barcelona. Finally in a safe, somewhat warm place, I fell asleep.When I woke up there was an Asian guy sitting next to me and he really reminded me of the Asian guy from The Hangover movies even if he was reading the bible. The two guys across from me were both very attractive but it took me a while to guess if they are gay or not (one had a wedding band on) the one directly opposite me looked exactly how I see Sam Scott in ten years time.

We arrived in Barcelona and I got off the train but I had the hardest time figuring out how to leave the station. There were gates up that you could only exit through with scan-able tickets (like the metro ones) but finally I found a guy with an open gate, showed him my ticket and left.

I got out and went to find the metro, following the directions that Bobby had sent me earlier, I found where I needed to go but when I tried to call him, my phone didn't work. I guess I figured he'd just show up and I waited. After a while, I decided to wander the area and I found some cute stuff like a church and a market.

This was Bobby's picture on CouchSurfing
Bobby in Real Life
Finally I went back to Burger King and bought some food and waited more. Jeez, this is complicated. I finally found some girls who at least understood English and they let me borrow their phone to call Bobby. He was at work but he sent his brother to pick me up.

His brother bought me a beer and we sat in a bar for a bit but he rushed me to drink faster since he was "already late." We walked in the direction of the apartment (I assumed) but he stopped in a store and told me to wait outside. I honestly couldn't decide if he was making plan to sell me into the sex trade, buying drugs, or trying to avoid selling me into the sex trade but when we left the store, the man inside looked at me strangely and Bobby's brother had a baguette.

When I arrived in the apartment, there was another Indian guy there and then Bobby's brother (though I didn't know it was his brother then.) Judging by Bobby's pictures, he's not Indian, but then again, people lie all the time, right?

Admittedly I was quite tired from no sleep in Paris and very little on the train but I was slightly offended when I was rushed out of the kitchen into a bedroom by Bobby's brother and told to rest and that it "was nothing personal." Bobby wasn't even home yet and I don't speak a word of Spanish so I don't know why I was rushed out I wouldn't have understood what they discussed. I was woken up by Bobby when he got him and he brought dinner, not that I even remotely hungry but I thought it would be rude to say no, so I went to the kitchen anyways. Bobby and I talked a bit and I picked at my food but then it was time for bed.

I went to the room where I was before and Bobby followed me and began undressing. I was confused but then he told me that we could share the bed or he could sleep on the floor. He just kept talking and telling me all about another girl he hosted and why she left early, not really what I wanted to hear though.

Finally I went to sleep and it felt good!


The room was small and quite dark, the only light coming from a small window that looked into the small courtyard in the middle of the building that was only lit by skylight. Because there was very little natural light, I didn't get out of bed until 8:45 AM and I woke Bobby. I went to take a shower but, hmm, what's this? Only freezing cold water!

Once he was awake, he started boiling potatoes and went to buy coffee. He brought it back and I made coffee on the stove, just boiled water with the grounds in it and then poured it into a cup. The only cup in the house mind you.

"Breakfast", if you can call it that when we didn't eat until 11 AM, was something like stuffed tortillas with plain yogurt. It was an interesting process to watch but not really my cup of tea. I mean, it was food, but it wasn't too tasty. We then had tea and it was far too sweet (I think that Europeans, when you buy tea in a shop or something, is always too sweet) but I said thanks and drank anyways. Finally around noon, we left to explore the city. 

Bobby didn't know where anything was but then again, neither did I and we found some cool stuff! We started at the Sagrada Familia but it cost 17 Euros to go inside and we decided to only look from outside.

 But there was a nice lake on the back side so I got some cool Pictures at least.

Our next destination was supposed to be Guell Park but we actually wound up at Arc de Triomf and then we walked to La Rambla.

We walked down the street with some booths set up on the sides of the street but it wasn't really a market. We wandered through a park on our way there too and found all kinds of strange but cool things. At the end of the road, we found the port and the monument dedicated to the place where Columbus met with the King and Queen of Spain when he returned from "the new world." Oh, and there were sail boats beyond sail boats too. Made me miss home.

On the bright side, since I wasn't traveling alone, I had someone to take my picture everywhere! Score!

Finally after wandering the port for a while, we kept walking and finally found the park we were looking for! We walked all the way to the top of the city and got the perfect view over the town.

From above, the whole city looked so small, like there wasn't a worry in the world, it was crazy for such a large city.

We took a bus to a near by metro station and actually found some of the Goya buildings I mentioned before, but it wasn't even planned! How cool!

We went to see a water show at a fountain, one of the first fountain shows in the world 1910 or so I hear. We stayed through two shows then went back by metro to find the carnival but he didn't know where I was so we walked in circles.

We got on the metro and went back to Bobby's neighborhood because he said there was a carnival going on but he didn't know where it was so we walked in circles. I hadn't eaten anything since "breakfast" and it was already 10 PM so I was getting moody and I just wanted to sleep.

We went back to Bobby's and I "showered" in the freezing cold water then went to bed. Bobby was upset that I wanted to sleep and wouldn't drop it either. He turned on the light and just kept talking. Finally I assured him that I only wanted to sleep and he went away.


I woke up at 7 AM, with the help of my alarm and grabbed my things and was about to leave without a word but I woke Bobby to say goodbye. Of course, he offered to walk me to the station but I said no. I should have said yes though because I only had a 50 Euro bill and no one could make change for it. Great.

I walked for nearly an hour and a half trying to get change but couldn't do it. Luckily, I found a bar that could give me change and I bought a metro pass and went to the train station. When I was there though, they wouldn't accept my ticket because it was from Germany and I had to buy another reservation for 10 Euros. No big deal really.
I got on the train to Madrid at 11 AM and began reading my book but when I was finished with the book... I had nothing to do so I just looked out the window.

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