Arrive on time for the train only to find there is no train. A throng of confused Spaniards in animated conversation surround a bus. Gesticulations, salutations, and luggage loading precede the chess like game to board the bus. It is 20 minutes before departure and everywhere you look there are sideways glances, half steps and maneuvers to be first on the bus. It is an Olympic event that the Spanish are trying to perfect. They practice it again getting on the train and getting off in Barcelona. Lets hope in 2012 they win the gold medal.
Boarding the bus we set off through the backstreets of Granada, the bus going where no smart car should. Finally we make the highway but we haven’t got a clue where we are going or when we are going to get there. Eventually we pass through Jaen and take a right to Ubeda where we negotiate the tiny streets to the train station to find an hour wait before the train leaves for Barcelona. Just before midday the train departs Ubeda. As the stations pass we find ourselves going closer and closer to Madrid and wonder whether we’re on the right train. We continue north to Villarrobleda and take a sharp right southeast to Albacete.
Several stops later we arrive northeast in Valencia and wonder whether we’ll get to Barcelona in the next 24 hours. As darkness sets in and 3 movies later the train continues up the coast and arrives in Barcelona on time at 9pm.
We run around the station for provisions which obviously includes wine, chippies and chocolate and taxi to our apartment to meet Nuria who has the keys. The apartment is great – a one bedroom modern development in what was previously an industrial section of town but only 3 blocks from the beach. Looking out the front window we see a bar across the road with some tough guys hanging outside. We wonder if is the local hang … next day all is revealed.
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