Getting here turned out to be harder than we thought… Cast your minds back to a week ago, when poor, exhausted Bobbi and Tash stumbled out of bed to catch the 4am bus to the airport. What really happened is we got to the bus station at 4.05am, consequently missing the bus. The next bus didn’t leave until 5.30am which meant we would have missed out flight. As there were no other busses or trains to the airport, we were just about to catch a taxi (would have been about $280 AUD) when… a Swedish girl rocked up to the bus station with her parents, to find out she’d missed the bus also. So, in return for the money we would have paid the bus driver, they offered us a ride to the airport, and we all caught our respective flights. Looked bleak for a moment there though…
Arrival in Spain went really well, considering how much trouble we had just getting to the airport in Sweden. We spent our first two days in Girona, a small town about an hour and a half north of Barcelona. We were lucky enough to find a bed at the first place we looked – a pension run by an motherly Spanish woman. A pension is basically a flat that the owner has opened up to guests – for a double room (with bathroom, yey yey yey) it turned out cheaper than a hostel would have been. We spent our first day seeing the sights of Girona (cathedrals, river, Arab baths) and our second day bathing in the beautiful Costa Brava – the Spanish sea. We lathered ourselves in sunscreen and ‘baked’ away for 5 minutes – and got sunburnt in the weirdest spots. I got burnt in two places on the small of my back, whilst Tash has bright red ankles.
We rocked up to Barcelona with the intention of buying a ticket on the night bus to Madrid. Which we did. Kinda. Having brought the ticket, we spent the rest of the day wandering about, idly looking at hostels for when we returned to Barcelona later in the week. It wasn’t till about 8pm (our bus left at 11.30pm) that we looked at the tickets and realised the bus left the following night. Whoops. Rushed down to the station to attempt to change the tickets, but quickly realised there was no hope, so concentrated our efforts on finding somewhere to stay. Did I mention that Barcelona was in the middle of a fiesta (festival)? Luckily, we once again found a bed at the first place we looked, so it wasn’t all bad. We were able to spend the second day seeing the sights of Barcelona (mainly Gaudi’s cathedral – La Sagrada Familia and some of his other buildings), wandering along the main street of Barcelona and watching the going-ons of the festival.
We spent the better part of 3 days visiting our cousin, Katy, in Madrid. She’s over here improving her Spanish (not really sure how, it seems pretty fluent to our ears!) and is really living it up the Spanish way. She took us around town, showing us some of her favourite haunts. One night was spent in a hookah bar, where we used a giant pipe to smoke flavoured (in our case, apple) tobacco. Very laid back, cool atmosphere. Katy also took us to the big park in Madrid, where, on a Sunday, everyone congregates to dance, fire twirl and play bongo drums. Once again, fantastic atmosphere, everyone really gets into it. We went to the Sunday market (so many people, luckily our experiences in Asia taught us how to act in a crowd) and tried chocolate churros. Yum – you’re served a big plate of churros (long, Spanish donutty things) and a mug of thick hot chocolate, used to dip your churros in. Mmm.
We spent last night on a bus from Madrid to Barcelona, arriving here in Barcelona at 8am. Tonight we are camping out at the airport before our 6.30am flight to Italy. Traveling is fun, but I sure do appreciate a bed!!!
Take care peoples, let me know how you’re going,