Day 44: A Never Ending Train To Barcelona

I woke up early, tired and with a small headache, (damn you Abaz, haha) before heading down to reception to see about canyoning. She said it was too early to call the Alpine company but it wasn’t looking good after all the rainfall. I went back upstairs to sleep some more and then asked again hoping for the best. The expert level was cancelled but the intermediate canyoning had a chance to go on. I reserved my spot and paid the fee before waiting around for everyone to arrive as the rain kept cascading upon Interlaken. After enough rainfall I was told it had to be cancelled for safety reasons. They offered me the chance to go rafting but at that point I resigned myself to going back to the hostel to prepare for my departure on the noon train to Barcelona. I really wanted to stay in Interlaken longer since it was probably my favorite stop of the trip but with the rain, fog, and clouds I had no choice but to move on. On my first connection, I talked to a retired couple from the Isle of Man near England who had been in Interlaken for three weeks. They had been coming here mostly every year for the last 10 plus years. Like I said, the mountains bring everyone back. Two girls from Indiana and Spain, having met years ago during a student exchange, sat in our 6 person cubby as we continued talking about travel and the beauty of Switzerland. The man in an initially hushed tone gave the most ridiculously hilarious impression of Asians I have ever heard. It wasn’t thaaat racist but we all knew where he was coming from after we had all spent some time in Interlaken. After they all left, the lonely, boring transfers through Switzerland and France continued as I made my way into Spain and eventually to Barcelona at half past 10. One of the worthwhile sights out the windows of the trains were fields of sunflowers packed closely together. The countryside was draped by an inviting quilt of golden yellow. A rainy day couldn’t deter the beauty of that sight. Connection after connection got old quite quickly during a day of riding the trains for close to eleven hours. On the last leg of my journey to Barcelona, four hours in total, I chatted with a Scottish man to pass the time. Despite both of us speaking English, I had a hell of time trying to understand what he said between his accent and native phrases. He told me about the upcoming vote for Scotland to decide whether they would separate from the United Kingdom, which came as a surprise to me. Also, he told me I had to try haggis, which is a savory pudding of sheep organs. As disgusting as it may sound, why the heck not? I am willing to try anything to get a sense of one’s culture. To my surprise, he even shared a couple of his beers with me. Apparently I have discovered the art of bumming drinks off of people; not a bad skill to learn while on a budget. Luckily, the long exhausting train ride was broken up by beautiful views of the French and Spanish countrysides. I met a couple of girls from Holland on the train that were traveling around Europe after just graduating from high school; I couldn’t imagine traveling like this at that age. I arrived in Barcelona close to 11 o’clock now needing to find my hostel for some much needed shut eye. The directions to the hostel were seemingly straightforward but I still needed to ask a non-English speaking Spaniard and Chinese woman for directions. For a while there, I wondered whether I would need to call the alley home for the night. In the hostel, I caught the end of the Argentina-Netherlands match while chatting with a few guys from England about where to travel in the USA and meeting a guy from Nevada that actually knew OU and Athens, Ohio. Today has been by far my least noteworthy post but I gladly got the most out of my last Eurail travel day on what would have been an expensive series of tickets. Buenas Noches!

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