July 18, 2015

Barcelona, Spain

I was planning on enjoying the beach early in the morning before we had to depart the apartment and make our way to the railway station; however, sleep got the better of Michelangelo and me. I ended up sleeping in until 10:30; then I got up, showered, dressed, packed my bags, cleaned up the apartment a little, and drank a jug of banana juice as breakfast. At 11:30, Michelangelo and I departed the apartment and threw away the three days’ worth of garbage we had accumulated. We then walked to the Barceloneta Metro Station and rode the metro train to the Barcelona-Sants Railway Station. Once there, I walked up to the ticket counter, had one of the clerks print out my ticket (I had purchased it online and did not know I could’ve just printed out the ticket at one of the many automated machines), and then Michelangelo and I passed through the excessive security screening and in to the waiting area. We then immediately got in line for the ticket check and walked down to the platform; in about ten minutes the train arrived and we boarded our respective coaches. I then found my seat (in first class), stored my bags, and waited for the train to depart, which it did at 12:50. The train travelled through the Spanish countryside, heading southwesterly to Madrid. Around 13:30, Michelangelo met me in my coach and we walked to the dining car to enjoy a beer (he also had some pasta); we hung out and talked while watching the arid landscape pass by through the windows. At 14:15, we returned to our respective seats as the train came to the Zaragoza Railway Station and stopped (the third time I’ve seen this particular station). The train then continued on to Madrid and I snacked on a small bag of almonds I had bought a couple of days ago. I took a brief nap (about forty minutes) before waking up at 15:30.

The train arrived at Madrid-P.A. Railway Station at 15:39, I disembarked with my bags, met up with Michelangelo, and we walked to the metro station. We then took the metro train to the Gran Via Metro Station, exited the station, and found the apartment that Michelangelo had reserved via Airbnb. This apartment turned out to be quite nice and much better than the one we stayed in while in Barcelona (this one had an air conditioner that felt wonderful compared to the hot temperature outside). After Michelangelo settled everything with the lady who owns the place, we relaxed for a while. About an hour later, we exited the apartment and walked south to an El Corte Inglés supermarket where we bought six bottles of wine, cheese, eggs, chocolate, pistachios, dates, water, Aquarius sports drinks, juice, bread, sliced meats, etc. We then returned to the apartment, stored our goods, and relaxed a while longer. After 20:00, we walked to an Argentinian steak restaurant for dinner where I had beer, a sliced steak, choripán (criollo sausage grilled sandwich), and a baked potato topped with cream, pepper, and melted cheese (based off of the owner’s grandmother’s recipe). After dinner, we walked back to the apartment where we had enough time to shower, dress, and prepare for the Madrid pub crawl.

We left the apartment at 22:10 and walked to Puerta del Sol to meet up with the pub crawl guides next to a bear statue in the plaza. We then found out that the pub crawl would not start until 23:00 and that 22:30 (which we thought was the “go” time) was the recommended meet up time. So, we waited around for about forty minutes, during which, two German women talked on and off with us. Finally, at 23:00, the pub crawl began and are rather large group (fifty or so people) walked to the first bar. Lucky for our large group, we were the only ones in the bar at this hour and we filled it up. In this bar, we all had our first shot, and I had several beers. Michelangelo began talking to a group of four young Canadian girls and we ended up hanging out with them for the rest of the crawl. After spending a little over an hour in this bar, we walked to the next one, where we had another complimentary shot and, afterwards, I had more beer. This bar was really more like a club . . . actually, all the bars we went to tonight were more like clubs with the dark lighting, dance floors, and ridiculously loud music making it so no one could have a decent conversation; yep, I should’ve grabbed three bottles of wine and had a nice picnic in the park with some Canadian tourists rather than go to a bunch of overpriced clubs. Oh well. Anyway, we then went to another “bar” and eventually another. At the fourth “bar,” the Canadian girls left and Michelangelo and I decided to end the night there as well. So, Michelangelo and I walked back to the apartment after 03:30. Once back at the apartment, we kicked back and I had a couple of more beers whilst watching some YouTube videos. Eventually, I went to bed around 05:00.

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An open journal or an exercise in narcissism.