to barcelona or not to barcelona? … that is the question.

Well, I have an answer for you all. Although most of you already know what it is, I’ll start at the beginning anyway.

With all of the strikes that have recently been going on France, I was a little worried. My mom and her best friend Natalie would be in Barcelona for a weekend before setting out on their week-long Mediterranean cruise, and I had round-trip train tickets to Barcelona for that very weekend to see them. My night-train to Spain was scheduled to leave on Thursday night from Paris, and then I would arrive just around the same time as them in Barcelona on Friday morning. When I got to the train station in Caen (which I once again had to walk to from my dorm due to manifestations going on downtown), trains were still going to Paris, so I figured I was in the clear. I hopped on the train to Paris and arrived without a problem around 4pm on Thursday. I easily took the metro from the Saint Lazare station over to the Austerlitz station, where my Spain train was supposed to be waiting for me. As soon as I arrived at the station, I was bombarded by a huge white sign in the middle of the station with a specific revised list of trains that were departing that day. I didn’t see Barcelona anywhere.

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We spent another day on the train as we left Nice at 10am to go to Montpellier St-Roch, and then from Montpellier St-Roch to Barcelona, arriving at 8pm. I was a little nervous that we hadn’t reserved out hostel for the night yet, but like a sign from God, as soon as we walked outside the train station we saw a big sign that said “HOSTAL” right across the street. We walked over, hiked up 3 flights of stairs, and easily booked our room for 2 nights. Success! Hungry as hippos, we consulted our huge map that we got at the train station and figured out where most of the restaurants and entertainment should be. After walking down a somewhat sketchy street, we started to see two large skyscrapers and figured that this couldn’t be right. Continue reading