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Chaos as of Late: Part 2

December 7, 2010

Hopefully you haven’t had your fill of chaos, because we’ve got plenty more to serve up. You last left your heroes just after they arrived in Rome. Other than being expensive, Rome was pretty incredible. We only had about two and a half days in this ancient city and on Saturday evening, we were ready to hop on our flight to our next destination, Barcelona. This is where we continue our tales of Chaos.

Chaos 2:

We left our hostel around 5:45pm on our way to the airport. We caught a bus and arrived at the airport around 7:15 for our 9:30 flight. So far, so good right? Well we already know this isn’t that kind of story. Upon trying to check our bags, the woman behind the desk nonchalantly informed us that our flight was cancelled and that, in fact, there was a strike in Spain and all flights to and from the country were cancelled. She actually said, “I thought you knew.” Like we were friends who had discussed it at coffee the day before, and silly me had just forgotten. Regardless of my personal feelings towards her, we were not flying to Barcelona that night. Shit what do we do?! To our right, we saw a long line of people who no doubt were trying to figure that out too.

We got in line and the three of us rotated who would wait in line with the bags while the others ran around the airport trying to figure out what the hell was going on and what were our options. After assessing the situation and speaking with airport people as well as some other people in line (who had waited 4 and a half hours) we decided to take a bus back to the Rome train station and see what our options were there. The good news thus far is that we can get refunded for the flight.

After the train ticket woman laughed at us when we told her we wanted to get to Barcelona, we decided to try some alternatives. So we started a complicated journey, inching our way closer and closer to barcelona, meanwhile eating up our eurail travel days. After killing a few hours in the Rome train station, we hopped on a night train to Milan.

Because of the train schedules, we were going to have to stay in Milan until Monday (expensive), but with a small stroke of luck and our sprinting skills we made it on a train to France. Just so you have an idea of how close we cut it, the train started moving before we even put our bags down. Approximately 19 hours after this ordeal started, we arrived Nice, France.

With close to 9 hours to kill in Nice, we found a place to put our bags down and eat something. This took form in a Golden Corral-esque establishment in which we were easily the youngest diners by at least 35 years. After another long day, we headed to the train station to catch our 9pm train to Barcelona. This is about the time we were all getting pretty ripe and there was still no shower in our near futures.

So ANOTHER night train it was. You’d think after sleeping in a train seat so many times, we’d get used to it. But no, it’s still just as uncomfortable the 17th time. Other than having to figure out some connections, there was no funny business on this train. And we actually got to see some beautiful country side as well as saw the sunrise along the coast. Glimmer in the dirt.

So at approximately 11:50am this morning, 42 hours after it all began, we arrived in Barcelona. We had eaten two meals, brushed our teeth once, and slept maybe 6 hours in total. The layers of grease and grime I felt on my body was unlike any I’d ever felt. And the disorientation I felt between lack of food, sleep, and water was profound. We’ve had to remind each other what day it is numerous times so far.

Unfortunately, because of some mishaps along the way, we are now out of travel days. Which equals we have to buy our train to Madrid. It could be better. It could be worse. BUT if Spain doesn’t get the strike all cleaned up by the 15th, we won’t be able to catch our already booked flight from Madrid to London. And with no more travel days left, we would have to buy another train ticket somewhere outside of Spain and then find another flight to London.

It’s amazing; the first half of the trip went so smoothly and now I feel like we don’t know what will happen day to day. As my mom keeps telling me every time something goes wrong, “You’re just makin’ memories!” Thanks mom 😉 So as has been made very clear by the fates of the universe, there is no telling what tomorrow will bring. All I can say is stay tuned. We’ve got less than two weeks left!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Pam permalink
    December 7, 2010 6:42 pm

    Well Eric, gotta go with your mom. You are making some incredible memories….and some day as you tell these stories, you will be laughing till you piddle 🙂
    After all of these hurdles, grown up life in the real world will be a piece of cake!!!! You guys have had an awesome adventure that will last a lifetime. All of us nibblers appreciate your documentation….especially those of us who have never had the opportunity. Keep us well “fed” with your “bites of info”…..we’re loving the journey!

  2. Maki Lane permalink
    December 8, 2010 4:15 pm

    Wow, that sounds like quite the adventure! Keep laughing, taking pictures and having fun! When this is all over you will love every minute of it!

  3. Sarah permalink
    December 9, 2010 12:35 pm

    Oy vey! What the adventure – your mom is adorable though. Good advice! Glad the strike is over, hopefully you have no problems out on the 15th. Enjoy the rest of your time there, miss you!

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