Onwards to Madrid! Wasn't planning on getting Madrid, but because I ended up going straight to Barca from Parks, I had extra time, and extra travel days. Flipped a coin... Heads Madrid, tails Valencia, and Madrid it was!
Took the train, and noticed this guy wearing board shorts and dress shoes... Come on buddy really!?? Now why am I telling you this insignificant detail you ask? Well, I arrive at my hostel, I'm checking my me mail, and in walks shorts/shoes guy. We take the train the entire way from Barca, and end up in the same hostel! So I say hello, we exchange the typical backpacker pleasantries (where ya from, where ya been, how long ya travel in', where are you going next - names don't get exchanged until significantly further into the conversation). He's from Australia, he's been all over Europe, been travelling a few months, and then the answer to the fourth question. He's going to Ghana tomorrow.
Before I pick my jaw up off the floor, he begins to tell me that Ghana is a country in West Africa. I tell him I spent six months in Ghana, and it,s his turn to pick up his jaw. Turns out he's going to do some volunteering with a charity he works with in OZ, but he's missed all the prep meetings, because he,s been travelling in Europe. So we have dinner, and I answer all his Ghana questions all evening. He was stoked, cause he had no idea what to expect, and had a ton of questions. I was stoked, because I love talking non stop about Ghana! It was a win-win. Though I was a little jealous that it was him leaving for Ghana the next day and not me.
Day two, I wake up, and join the free walking tour with the hostel. Harriet is our (British) tour guide. Are you noticing a trend? Not a single of my tour guides have been native to the country I'm visiting. Tour was good, finish up, tip my guide, and then I ask what are the must see things in Madrid. And she says, well you've pretty much just seen them all! Uh oh... I've still got two more nights to go!
I Google Madrid, find out there is a shoe district, so go for a little wander. And it wouldn't be right to leave without supporting the local economy a little right?! Haha
That evening is Paella night at the hostel (2€!! How awesome is that!?) And I meet some more Aussies (noticing another trend?) That want to go out that night. I hesitantly agree... Free Sangria, drinking games, and outfit change later, and I am signed up for the pub crawl! Insert another foreign guide (this time Mexican - Xavier, and he was easy on the eyes... That didn't hurt!) And it was a super fun night. Met two other Canadians all travelling alone, and we became instant friends, as Canadians do. All in all a great evening, a very late night (or early morning!?) and a slight hangover... But twas good fun. Went for a visit to the Sunday street market, and finished up with a cozy evening in with more free sangria, and Madrid was over the next morning!
Had to be up at 7 for an early metro ride to the train station, to begin my 10.5 hour journey to Marseille!
Train from Madrid to Barcelona, Barcelona to Figueres, Figueres to Montpellier, Montpellier to Marseilles. Needless to say Marseilles is supposed to be beautiful, but I literally saw the hostel, did some laundry, had some wine with some fellow hostel stayers and then headed out in the morning again!
Well friends.... Stay tuned for a little Nice in my next post!
***Please note... No bulls were harmed in the choosing of this photo. Sadly, no bull rings were seen by me... Maybe next time!***