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8th June
written by Justin

We couldn’t wait to get back on the road to see Barcelona.  We had heard that it was a really cool, funky city – but we were even more excited to see John & Cynthia who decided to meet up with us there and tour the city!  It was unfortunately not fated to be as easy as it sounds.  After our wonderful date at El Buey, we went right back to the dorm and crashed; we woke up in the morning and realized that we still had one more night left in Madrid before our bus left for Barcelona.  No worries, I said, and went down to the desk to ask for another night at our hostel.  They were full!  It was quite a surprise to me since not a single room we’d been in there had ever been full and now they tell us there is not even one more bed for us to take the next night.  And we had to check out in an hour!  So I ran back up to the dorm, awakened Hazel, and started looking for another place to stay.  I wanted a private room to ensure we got some good rest before going out on the town in Barcelona, and booked it at a nearby hostel.

So we got on the Metro, made it to our proper stop, and began walking looking for the street.  Did I mention that streets change names nearly every block in some parts of Madrid?  We ended up taking a wide circle around the hotel, with all our worldly possessions on our back.  It was frustrating!  We were both afraid for our personal security, since we looked like (er, were) lost foreign tourists with all their worldly possessions on their backs.

Thankfully nothing happened to us and we managed to get directions from a nice lady working in a booth.  So we backtracked to the hotel, rang in, and found out that (you guessed it) we did not actually have a reservation!  Between the time we left the dorm and walked over to the new hostel, the manager had emailed back saying there was no availability!  Argh! Despite the setback, we were lucky to discover that there was a building just down the road with 5 different hostels all under the same roof.  It took us 3 tries to get a room in our price range, but it was glorious.  We got the last room – 3 twin beds – but it had air conditioning, a private bath, and most importantly a distinct lack of bunk beds!  Unsurprisingly, after getting lunch we slept until 8pm.  That was such a nice way to recharge (and to get our money’s worth out of the hotel!)

Afterwards, we went out for dinner and discovered a ham-cheese-bread market where all the sellers had samples.  Spanish ham (prosciutto-esque cured pork leg) is really exceptional and both of us loved what we tried.  We managed to find tapas to fill us up the rest of the way (well almost, 3 euro burrito really hit the spot afterwards), and went back to bed in time to sleep the rest of our fatigue off and wake up early to go to Barcelona!

This time, we made it directly to the correct bus station, at the correct time, and boarded the correct bus without a hitch.  We managed to snag some pre-departure breakfast at 7:00 AM (which for Madrid is exceptionally early – even the cafes don’t open till 8:30 or 9:30) at a bakery cafe and took the metro over to the station.  The bus ride was relatively long for Europe (7 hours) but completely uneventful and pleasant.  We were so happy to make it to the hotel where John and Cyn were waiting for us!

Visible from our hotel in Barcelona

Visible from our hotel in Barcelona

More on Barcelona in the next post!

1 Comment

  1. G & G DeWitt

    Since I only type slowly with two fingers, our replys,if any, will be confined to acknowledging receipt of your blogs.The postcard from Niagara Fall reminded me of the many times I viewed the Falls but never from directly behind them.

    We love you so very much pray for your continued safety.

    G & G DeWitt

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