10 Days Around Europe
So I’m finally getting some free time to write about my 10 day excursion around spain and Italy. The trip took place October 23rd to the 1st of November, and Included 1 night in Bournmouth airport, 2 nights in Barcelona, 2 nights in Valencia, 3 nights in Rome and 2 nights in Venice. In order to accomplish all four cities in 10 days in the cheapest way possible our method of travel would be flying Ryan Air (worst air line ever) to barcelona then train to Valencia, Ryan Air to Rome, train to Venice, and Ryan Air back to London.
Ryan air offers the cheapest flights possible to nearly anywhere around Europe, unfortunately I was unaware that it was the equivalent to the Fung Wah bus. It may be the cheapest way to travel but you may just lose your life in the process. Ryan Air literally runs like a shuttle bus, as your getting onto the plane passengers who are just arriving are getting off the plane, just like that the plane is off again. I thought planes had to go through a serious amount of checks before even being allowed to take off? Aside from the safety issues they are a real pain in the ass when it comes to carry on bags. I myself fell victim to this on the first flight where I had to pay 35 pounds to have my bag checked. Not because I couldn’t fit the bag in their dumb-ass sizing container but because the wheels on the bag where sticking out of the top preventing the top of the bag from touching the floor, and of course they don’t take cards when they make you check it so you have to run around like an idiot looking for an ATM and then when you give them 40 pounds they can’t make change so then you have to go find a place willing to break your cash. (Ryan Air 1 me 0) Well Ryan Air can suck it because they will never get me again. I had no trouble boarding my flight in Valencia I was able to fit my bag in comfortably due to some careful repacking (Ryan Air 1- Me 1). However Venice was a different story, The air port their may have been the worst air port set up in the world. They had only one security checkpoint open with about 15 people working it with about 200 people trying to get through. However before you could go through the security check point you would have to pass through one more Ryan Air baggage check before being on your way. Just to make sure my bag was alright I had checked with one of the sizing containers prior to getting in line and it had fit in just fine, so I felt confident that I would have no trouble getting through to security. Well Ryan air tried to pull a fast one on me but hell would have to freeze over before I gave them 35 pounds to check my bag again. So what was there little scam to try and get people to give them more money. Well the crafty SOBs decided to put a scale underneath the sizing container. So not only did you have to fit their ridiculous size restrictions but also there absurd weight restriction which airlines usually don’t enforce. Well I had bought a few thins along my journey and I was certain my bag would be over weight. So even though it fit in the container I was still something like 2kgs over weight. So what did I do? Did I pay the greedy money grubbers 35 Pounds? For sure not. I opened my bag, threw on every T-shirt in my bag on, put two pairs of jeans, stuffed my pockets with some souvenirs, and got rid of just about all of my toiletries, and guess what I may have looked like a jack-ass but my bag made weight and the suckers at Ryan Air will never see a dime of my money again ( Ryan Air 1- Me 2) Now on to beggars.
Beggars are essentially homeless people or just money grubbers who probably do have a place to live but they still beg you for money. Homeless people in Europe put homeless people in America to shame, these crazy SOBs are proactive in their approach to try and get money from you. Come right up to you get in your grill speaking other languages and saying things like god bless and preaching things about Jesus, trying to put the guilt trip on you to make you give them money, and there persistent no matter how many times you say you don’t have any change for them (even though you got like 10 euros of change in your pocket) they come right back at you 2 minutes later without fail. I felt bad because I did want to give some change to some of them but I’m broke as it is trying to travel around Europe and if you give to one of em your going to have to give to the next guy to and before you know it boom your the one on the street holding a cup begging for people to give you money.Even on the train a guy will be playing some stupid instrument no one wants to hear while his 4 year old daughter goes around asking you for money, it’s just sad really and theres nothing you can do because no one has money to give out these days. They even come into restaurants and stuff just asking for money. Heck one lady even came into the bar in Valencia at 1 in the morning trying to get drunk people to give her money.They Should have given her a couple of them Chuck Norris shots instead, would have kept her warm and fuzzy all night long.
We arrived in Barcelona around noon time. Who ever would of thought that a subway system could be so confusing, mostly because it was all in spanish, maybe paying a little more attention in Mrs. Ramos’s spanish class could have paid off. The hostel was fairly clean but this hostel had far to many people over the age of 40 and it was called a youth hostel, which is fairly disturbing. I get that hostels provide cheap accommodations but I mean if your 40 and can’t afford to stay in a half decent hotel room or B&E then you should probably skip the vacation. 1. It is just awkward because the majority of people in hostels are students so being 30 years older just makes everyone else uncomfortable and 2. have a little respect for yourself I mean common spend a little extra cash and get a decent hotel room to yourself, that way no one gets the feeling that your some creepy lunatic praying on college students. More on Hostels to follow but for now onto Barcelona. Luckily we were located right outside of Las Rambas street, which is probably the most famous street in barcelona as well as most festive. No where and I mean no Where compares to the human statues on La Rambas (See Photo Album). The rest Of la Rambas was filled with restaurants and small boutiques, you could even by live chipmunks and Rabits on this street. I didn’t even know you could keep chipmunks as pets? The rest of the day was spent walking around the local area and grabbing a bight to eat
Through our hostel we decided to sign up for a group event that only coast us 5 euros to go to a night club with a free drink once we got inside. Unlike most places however Barcelona Night life doesn’t actually start till around 2 A.M. We arrived at the night club at around 1:30 and were literally some of he first people in there, unfortunately I had not had much to drink before entering the club and the free drink was only a glass of champaign. The club was also pretty cool due to the fact that the beach was right outside and had a deck leading right onto the sand. For those of you who know me you know that I’m not a big fan of night clubs. I just don’t understand them. Are you just suppose to go up to random girls and start dancing on them? To me that just feels awkward and to do that sober is pure insanity. So instead of paying some absurd price for a drink at this rather nice club I decided to work with the small buzz I had going and hit the floor. Well This my friends is where I hit the lottery. I was fortunate enough to “Befriend” a lovely local spanish girl who after a few dances kindly escorted me up to her V.I.P table where I thoroughly enjoyed all of the free alcoholic beverages I desired. V.I.P is about the only way to enjoy a night club. That way you can just chill up in your booth like you own the dam place and if you actually want to dance with some one it’s not so bad because no one is going to turn you down if they know that (or at least think) your a baller because you have bottle service. needless to say I didn’t need to find another girl to dance with,and the fact that her english wasn’t all that great is unimportant because she was a “dream girl” Like 9 out of 10 (probably more like 7 or 8 I was a little drunk and night clubs are dark, but we’ll just keep it at 9 for my sake) Well the night ended and we said our goodbyes and went on our separate ways maybe in another lifetime Tanya just maybe....
The second day in Barcelona was spent on a bus seeing tour. It was a really good way to see the rest of the city and took us to some pretty cool places. I also bought a pair of sunglasses here off a street seller, much to my dismay right after making the purchase I spotted about 10 other street seller actually selling knock off ray bans that looked legit (they where actually probably legitimate ray bans). Any way the rest of the day/night was spent hanging out by the beach and then actually getting a chance to find a bar that had the Pats on which was good.
All and all Barcelona was a pretty cool place although somewhat expensive. On monday morning we went and got the train to Valencia it was only about a 3 hour trip and most of it was along the ocean so it was pretty nice.
Of the four places visited during this trip, Valencia was by far my favorite. It’s a smaller city but very clean and a lot of cool bars and cheap food. They even have marble sidewalks in some of the areas. The only thing about Valencia is if you where going to stay there for an extended amount of time it would be in your best interest to learn some spanish.
Our hostel In Valencia was fairly nice and very clean, we also had the luxury of having the room by ourselves the first night. Again we signed up with our hostel to do a pub crawl, which basically is just as the title infers, going bar to bar getting drinks at each one until you basically can’t see straight, good fun. It first started out with just 5 of us but gradually grew to about 20 or so people mostly all college kids, a few Americans, some Ausies and some other strays and of course a hot veterinarian from Brazil. The bars in Valencia are very different from any type of Bar I’ve ever been in. They basically look like a morning breakfast place you go to to get your daily cup of coffee and read the paper (Think little River In but smaller) none the less they serve alcohol and lots of it. Another great thing about Valencia and Spain in general is sangria which is extremely good. The night went as planned and some of the girls had to be taken back to the hostels by friends because they where literally falling all over the place. It was a great night and tones of fun and I was surprisingly not all that hung over the next day.
Day 2 we decided to rent bikes because valencia is pretty small and it was cheap. we rode through the park and went to the beach which was much better then Barcelona's beach.
If you ever get to Valencia you have to go to this small sandwich shop in the center of town it was the best place I ate all vacation small sandwiches for 1 euro and a jug of Sangria for 2 Euros . Anyways through our Hostel we decided to go to a Flamenco show which I had previously conceived it to be a gorgeous spanish women dancing and singing....not the case on this night. Apparently we went on the wrong night and it ended being a couple of guys singing and tap dancing, disappointing, but hey we got some drinks and some food out of it any way probably just should have stuck with the pub crawl again, live and learn. I only wish that during my time in Valencia there was a bull fight in the bullfighting stadium. You bet I’d be there and you bet I’d be cheering for the bull the whole time. Nothing like watching some moron trying to take a bull head on with a couple of swords only to get demolished by the beast, Like what did you think was going to happen if the bull actually out smarted you? But any way Valencia was awesome but Rome was next on the agenda
Rome is a place that I’ve always wanted to visit so I had to get there sometime during my stay in Europe. It was partly what I expected it to be but also very different then I had thought. MOst of the city is very modern but then you’ll be walking and out of nowhere are just a bunch of ancient ruins that you can only make out to be a couple of pillars and some walls. Also a few of the ruins a over run with stray cats whats up with that? There just down there acting like they own the place and if you know me you know that I despise cats, just pointless snobby little creature who think there better then everyone. So my solution to his would to just take down some the ruins I mean they don’t really look like anything anyway and there just taking up space and housing mans worst friend. Aside from that the Roman fountains where really cool to see as well as the pantheon and Coliseum plus all of the old churches surrounding the city where nice.
Our first full day we went to the Vatican (no I didn’t see the Pope) The vatican museum has got some crazy stuff and the Sistine Chapel was awesome to see in person. St. Peters Cathedral was absolutely massive and very cool to see as well.
The Hostel we stayed in the first two nights was fine and we had our own room again. Unfortunately because the third night we where staying was a friday night the price of the hostel nearly doubled. So we decided to book a place at a camp ground just utside of the city. The campgrounds in Europe usually just have small cabins to stay in so it’s not actually like camping but we did know we where going to not have any heat. Well we were dead wrong about what we had imagined it to be. We where literally staying in a tent with bunk beds in it (See Album) Rome is not warm this time of year at all so I pretty much wore everything I had including my shoes and I was still freezing, but hey we paid something like 10 euros for the night so I couldn’t be that upset. The next day we headed to the train station and took a 6 hour train ride to venice.
Again in Venice we opted for the camping option (Cabin with heat) mostly because for some reason we couldn’t find a single hostel with vacancy that weekend. Well Venice is pretty cool to see but there isn’t much to do really. They have a tone of jewelry shops ( If your a girl and I bought you a gift then this is where it comes from) and Fancy Mask shops which are very serious about there no picture taking policy (I was kicked out promptly because my dam flash went off) but besides that there isn’t a whole lot to do and it rained both days we were there. We where there for Halloween and Venice nightlife is non existent, I think we went to bed around 9.
Overall the trip was a success, no one was abducted, no one died and a good time was had by all. There isn’t a whole lot I would have done differently, I just hope I can win the lottery some time soon or maybe CRich can do some big things and the bean town boys can have a euro trip of their own or maybe Chad Johnson can get off his ass and go to the show already so I have a place to live when I graduate. If theres anything I’ve learned from my internship it’s that I hate office work just as much as I hate working for Costas provisions, so at this point in my life it’s either USMC, Lottery, or being apart of an Entourage preferably one of the second two choices will do.