Saturday May 16, 2015
There is no rest for the weary. The days just seem to flow together at this point, get up, go to media visits, dinner and back to the hotel. Although today was a bit different. Today we were heading to Barcelona by train, so we needed to pack our luggage for the morning departure. Still departing at our usual time of 9:00am, we headed to the bus to drop off our luggage and we headed to Toledo to visit the local town.
The old city is located on a mountaintop with a 150 degree view, surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River.
While we were in Toledo we stopped at a local sword shop. While there we watched the craftsmen hammer our swords into their shapes. We then proceeded upstairs to watch men hand etch designs into pieces of the sword. The talent they have and the concentration used is unbelievable.
After leaving the town of Toledo we had about a 45 minute drive to the train station. Since we were going by train to Barcelona we did not have to worry about a weight limit on out suitcases. Therefore I loaded my bigger suitcase pretty heavy, topping off around 60 pounds. Note to self, distribute the weight of my stuff evenly through my two bags. Lessoned learned.
After arrive at the the train station we were all hungry, breakfast at the hotel was lacking every morning, usually there was just some bread, fruit and croissants to eat. It became very bland after the first day, and we needed a change of pace. So when lunch rolled around we were all pretty hungry. We had time before we had to board the train to grab something to eat. So Ash and I headed over to this little sandwich and each grabbed a sandwich at eat on the train. After meeting back up with out group it was time to head down to board the train.
Remember how I told you my luggage was about 60 pounds… I had to pull that 60 pound suitcase onto that train. I definitely got my arm workout in for today. So while in the process of picking my suitcase I bend over and my sunglasses fall, right on the tracks… I had them hanging on the collar of my shirt and down they went. I looked at ash and she looked at me and knew exactly what happened. Thankfully they were cheap sunglasses, but let me tell you I did contemplate trying to grab them. And before I get a bunch of comments saying no that was dumb, hear me out, the train was stopped and was not leaving for another 10 minutes or so, so I would have had time. But I didn’t so you all can breathe a sigh of relief now.
We got our luggage all put up where it needed to be and sat down for a three hour train ride to Barcelona. The train ride, to my surprise was very smooth and went pretty quick and I actually enjoyed. It was a different way to travel than I am used to. I worked on some blogs and Ash slept for part of the ride. I found myself staring out the window just looking at the scenery zip by.
About 15 minutes before our stop a few of us went to grab our luggage from the back so we could get off the train quickly, because they don’t give you much time at the stops. We were able to get everyone their luggage and get off the train smoothly. After leaving the station we headed to our next tour bus and repeated the same process of load it up. We got to our bus around 5:00pm and it took us a little bit to try to get to our hotel. Barcelona is a bustling city, there are people everywhere and we also hit traffic. On our way to our hotel, our tour guide informed us that we were not able to be dropped of right in front of our hotel, the road is only open to pedestrians only. After looking out the window and seeing all the people in the streets I got a bit nervous. Then we learned we were going to be walking through this crowd of people to get to our hotel.
We had to have walked about a half a mile with our luggage, all of our luggage. It is something I never ever want to do again. Who ever picked this hotel, I have a few choice words for you.
Finally after a grueling 20 minute walk, we made it to our hotel. We had to wait to get checked in then we were off to our rooms. We got this cute little purple room. We got into the room, dropped our stuff on the floor and flopped on our beds. We had a half hour to kill before we had to meet in lobby to go to dinner.
We had to take the metro to get to our restaurant and then walk a few hundred feet to get to our destination. I can not remember the name of the restaurant, but it was almost like a fish and meat market. There were whole fish resting on beds of ice in coolers and pig legs and shoulders hanging from the ceiling waiting to be carved.
We took our seat and we were immediately served salad and bread, and ordered a glass of sangria as well. Following the salad we received the garlic potatoes we have been eating throughout this trip, and as always, they were delicious.
Tonight was our fish dinner night, and we received our perfect piece of fish on our plate. After taking a few bites of our fish, we started wondering what kind of fish we were eating. Tilapia and cod were a few that were named, but it turns out that it was a fish called hake, and it was absolutely delicious.
After dinner we headed back to our room to get some much needed sleep. We are all looking forward to tomorrow because it is a free day for us. I can explore the city and get up when I would like, thank goodness.
Hasta la proxima!!