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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

C’est Bon

I met up with my friend last Tuesday in Madrid and we’ve been on the move ever since…which is why I haven’t been on here.

Madrid is a great city.  Perhaps not the greatest city in the world (that title belongs to Budapest) but definitely a cool place.  You can go to a tapas bar, and for the price of two drinks get enough tapas for dinner.  Let me explain.  In Spain, if you go to a tapas bqr everytime you order a drink, a great little snack will come with it free of charge.  This snack could be bread, ham and cheese, fried cheese balls, delicious balls of mysterious origin, and fries with sauce.  And the snacks really aren’t that little, not if you go to El Tigre.  You get a full plateful of food and a huge mug of homemade sangria for 4 euro.

Madrid also had the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life.  This stuff has crack in it, there is no other explanation.  Order a cafè con leche and your life will immediqtely improve.

Barcelona was full of cool shops and interesting little alleys.  It was also quite a bit more expensive.  My friend saw the ocean for the first time and tried gelato for the first time as well.  Barcelona is in the Catalan region, where they speak Catalan, this crazy mixture of French and Spanish that is its own language.

We are currently in Paris, watching our money disappear far too quickly-and we’re not even doing anything.  Having two meals a day out of a supermarket and walking around all day, we’re spending more money than we were in Madrid.  Paris just sucks it out of you.  It’s horrible.

Apologies for the short post, but the keyboard is qgqin really frustrqting to use.  I’m out.  I’ll get back with you, hopefully in a few days.

Ciao ciao!

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What a week…

From my last update about six days ago in Rome, I’ve been traveling like a madwoman, taking eight hour train rides left and right, getting stuck in the French countryside, nearly having to sleep in train stations, attended a Christmas party in France held by German English teachers, saw Sacre Couer without a crowd, learned the proper way to say Rouen, (it’s nothing like what you think, unless you know French,) braved the French post office to send a Christmas package home, and am currently in Irun, in Spain about five minutes across the border from France.  I can see the ocean and after spending months in these landlocked countries that feels wonderful.

Woo.  Where to begin?  After I left you in Rome, I took twelve hours worth of trains to Paris on Thursdy.  Arriving in Paris at midnight on Thursday night, with no place to stay, resourceful me not only figured out the Metro in the hour before it closed but also managed to find an affordable hostel.  I was leaving the next morning for Rouen and from there to Neufchatel, there to meet up with some friends I met back in Cologne and to get to not have to sleep in a hostel for once.  W00t! I spent the weekend chilling with them in Neufchatel.  On Sunday, we were to go back to Rouen for a Christmas party.  Of course, there was no bus service that day (the trains had been shut down years ago…this town is tiny.)  We had to call and beg one of the German girls in Rouen to come and get us.  Otherwise, hitchhiking it was as party or not I had to get the train back to Paris that night for my 7.15 departure the next morning for Madrid.

Well, we made it to the party.  I understood just about nothing since everyone was speaking French and German, but it was a good time.  We sang German Christmas carols, had a Christmas story in French, drank some spiced wine, and had a cool kind of cultural exerience.  Then it was back to Paris.  Deja vu! Once again I was arriving at midnight with no place to stay.  Not a problem, as I just went back to the hostel I was at before.  And left about five hours later to catch my train to Irun, and then on to Madrid.

Right now, as I said, I’m sitting in Irun waiting for my next train.  This one is only six hours long and I’ll get in at about ten o’clock–dinner time for the Madrileños.  And this time I actually have a hostel to stay at…although that kind of takes all the fun out arriving in a strange city late at night with no idea where to go or how to use the public transportation, dont’cha think?

Hmm.  It’s weird being in a country where I halfway speak the language.  I was able to buy a sandwich at the train station without pointing and grinning sheepishly and even able to ask what it was.  No more fried pork chop sandwiches for me! No, I got a spanish tortilla sandwich tthat wa surprisingly good.  If you don’t know what a spanish tortilla is look it up now.  I make a good one.

Anyway, about time to head back to the train station and get my next train.  I’ll be back with some more excellent adventures sooon, but this keyboard is frustrating.

ciao

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