day 2, continued.
All this time, I couldn’t help but wonder where our friends Katie and Nadeem had gotten to. They had called and said they were aiming for Girona, but after two broken calls and the fall of darkness, they still hadn’t arrived. It wasn’t until nearly midnight that Bilal returned to his cousin’s flat (where I had been taken to shower and get ready for bed), with the twosome in tow. We then proceeded to update eachother on our adventures thus far. It appeared that Katie and Nadeem had had a much tougher adventure than Bilal and I, and we listened keenly as they told us how they walked for hours to escape cities, along motorways and had to sleep outside the train station in Bordeaux.
The next morning we rushed out of Lafrayekh’s flat, expecting that she had to go to work, but she accompanied us back to Bilal’s uncle’s (her father’s) house where we joined all the family in a traditional Moroccan breakfast of eggs, olive oil, the traditional bread, Laughing Cow cheese(!), coffee and more tea. We discussed the route we planned to take (it was Bilal’s birthday and he wanted to spend it in Barcelona), and after deciding to stick to the rules and hitch there, rather than get the train, as suggested by Bilal’s uncle, we allowed our food to rest and then left. Bilal’s family were so lovely, and it was really sad that we had to leave them. His cousins Walid and Oussaman let us explore Girona a little before dropping us of at the roundabout going into Barcelona.
As we sat on the corner, creating our hitch sign and generally joking around, a car pulled up, out of which two Germans popped out! They too were hitching around, however their drivers were not going our way. After about ten minutes waving our sign, we were lucky to be picked up by Estelle, a young woman with a car big enough to take all four of us, all the way into central Barcelona.
From here we wandered the incredibly busy streets with our incredibly huge backpacks making us stand out from the crowd. Because Katie spent six months of her gap year living in Barcelona, she was the designated tour guide, and it was heartwarming to listen to her reminisce about areas she was familiar with and had many fond memories
Having been handed a leaflet of what seemed to be a ridiculously cheap hostel that seemed to have every luxury we could ever want for (beds and showers), we set off in search for Backpacker’s Hostel BCN. When we arrived, the floor where the hostel should have been was abandoned, and the was no one around the rest of the building either. After a few dodgy sounding phonecalls and a half an hour wait, the receptionist arrived and checked us in. For a hostel in central Barcelona, it was reasonably priced at €25 each, for a double room with communal showers, a kitchen, common room and wifi internet access.
After settling into our rooms we set off to explore the city, with Katie guiding us around the maze of streets. Having checked out the shopping scene, we then hit the beach, where we relaxed and listened to music for several hours. All was well until nature called, at which point I had to walk twenty minutes to the local hospital!
We retreated to our hostel with all intentions of having a night on the town, with Katie and the guys even dressed and ready, but after having a quick “nap”, we all crashed out, and ended up going to sleep instead. So much for students being party animals huh?