Les Zaventures d'Alex dans les Zeuropes


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I’ve been planning to go in Spain a month in advance. I bought my Europass and was impatiantly waiting for my vacations. I wanted to visit Barcelona, Granada and Sevilla, and decided to see more if I had enough time. I had 11 days off that I wanted to fully use.

Then I met Anne-Sophie who studies at my school et we began to go out together. A nice coincidence was that his brother was living in Barcelona (with his canadian girlfriend, coincidence again) so I had a place to go.

The first week, Anne-Sophie was going in her family in Toulouse but was going to Barcelone after, so I modified my plans to go in Barcelona, then visit Granada and Sevilla, then come back to Barcelona to see Anne-Sophie.

It’s a go

I took a couchette on the night train to go there, it’s easier than doing I don’t know how many hours sitting on an uncomfortable seat. Surprisingly, the couchettes were quite comfortable but we were 6 in a small compartment and ther was always someone making noise so I didn’t sleep much, maybe 4 hours.

Then we had to change train at the border and it’s boring to travel alone. Fortunately, there was 3 american girls and we talked for the rest of the trip. They were from California and were studying in Florence in art history. Once in Barcelona, Jean-Emmanuel, Anne-Sophie’s brother, met me in Plaza de Catalunya and took me home. On our way, he showed me interesting stuff to see in the neighbourhood and it was nice.


I was tired so we didn’t do a lot, we just talked for a while. Then we went in a Tapas Bar to eat and it was really fun. It’s a bar with a lot of little appetizers and we just take whatever we want. Then the guy count the toothpicks and tells us how much we owe. I went to bed early but the others went to a Mano Negra’s show.

Next morning I was the first out of bed so I went in town to visit. I went in Barrio Gotic, old town with the cathedral and little streets... cute. Then I went on Passeig de Gracia to see Gaudi’s houses, like casa Milo... Gaudi is a really special architect. He does houses with a lot of curves and colors...original. Like curved roofs, mask shaped balconies. They call it modernism. He also did a cathedral, la Segrada Familia...it’s not finished even if the construction began in the beginning of the century. Never seen a church like that, sculptures, and strange shapes like snails used as gutters. There are 3 doors among them only one is finished. I participated to the construction fees (600 pesetas ) and went in. We climbed the stairs, all in all : 1000 I think (we, because I met another american who was doing the same thing as the girls : studying in Florence in art history, but he didn’t know them) .

Then I went back to Jean-Emmanuel and Sara’s place. They were just out of bed, at 14h30, and later we went outside to take a walk and have a drink and 2 or 3 Tapas. Then we went at Chichi’s to eat (not very spanish...) then we went in a bar . At 2 in the morning we went in a discotheque to begin the night until 7h30 in the morning. Then we went in an after hours and we took the metro. For my first experience in Barcelona’s metro, I jumped the gate. At 8h30, I was very tired so I went back home, directly to bed. I don’t know when then others arrived but they slept until 20h.

For myself, I was up at 15h30 and wrote my first email. Then I went to the train station to reserve my train ticket. Back home, everybody was still asleep so I wrote postcards. They woke up and we just did nothing, watched TV in Catalan. At midnight we went to bed and I woke up at 11h the next morning... I almost slept for 24h, not bad.

I managed to motive them enough to go to park Guell, a nice park made by Gaudi (him again) and we walked there almost all day. Back in town we looked for a restaurant but we found nothing por que sunday after a while we found a Tapas Bar. My train was at 19h so I took a shower and my stuff and took my train, after going to the only seven-eleven in Barcelona.


Again, I had a couchette and in my compartment ther was 3 backpackers, an american, a chinese-australian and a japanese. We talked a little but went to bed really early but I went in the rest of the train, hoping there was some restaurant car. Then I met two girls from Quebec but they were not very talkative so I didn’t stay with them for long. Next morning I was in Granada after a good sleep.

Jamie, the Chinese-Australian was doing almost the same trip than me (Granada then Sevilla) so we went together. In Granada, there is only the Alhambra to see so we went in that direction but we got lost because we followed the sign for the cars, leading to the highway... We managed to find our way back after 45 minutes. Closing the Alhambra, we met a Korean girl, Mi-Jin, who spent the rest of the day with us.

At the Alhambra, we looking for the ticked stand but couldn’t find it... we realized that it was at the other end of the place. Problem, we were already inside so we had to come back to the entrance and back to the ticket stand. We managed to get our tickets and visited. The beautiful Generalife with gardens, Then Alcazar, which is a big impressing fortress, Then the palace which was wonderful. I never seen anything like that. Incredible details on the walls, wonderful. Of course I ran out of batteries in my camera but at this moment I had already seen most of it.

Back in town, we ate stange dishes in an arab restaurant and went back to the train station to catch the train for Sevilla, a 3-hour journey.

At 21h07 when we were supposed to arrive, we got out of the train but we realized that it was not the good train station so we took the next train. Unfortunately, the controller noticed us and told us that our Europass were not valid on that train, we tried to explain the situation and after a while he said it was ok. We finally got in Sevilla.


We had to get to the youth hostel, two buses, hurray. After a while , we found the bus stop and catched it. We got to the hostel and took a room. It was nice, clean, perfect.

Next morning we had breakfast and got back to bed because the youth hostels are not really flexible on schedules. At noon, we got up and went at the train station to reserve out tickets. We visited the Alcazar but it was closing soon. Since it was free, we visited anyway. I had trouble again with my camera. We went to the restaurant but it was not very good : a shitty paella and a would-be tapas (eggs and french fries ! ! !) Back to the hostel, there was a french guy who hitchhikes and pays his trip by playing guitar. We talk for a while and slept.

Next morning Jamie had to go to the train station so I left with Matthew, a guy from Ottawa I met at the hostel. We went back at the Alcazar then visited the cathedral. In the afternoon we visited the site of the world fair, which was surrealist since there was nobody...a desert.

Back in town we went in a terrace to have a beer. There was two spanish girls sitting there and Mat was thinking they where cute but was to shy to talk to them and his spanish was not good enough. Bravely, I asked them to sit at our table and we talk for an hour. It was very funny since I was the " translator "... my level in spanish being what it is, it was not easy. I learned a very useful expression " que lio " which means what a mess.

We where in a hurry so we ate at Butger King and I took my train for Barcelona.

Back in Barcelona

At 11, I was back in Jean-Emmanuel’s place... there was 9 persons sleeping there, under the table, in the hallway... They went to " bed " at 7 in the morning so I slept with Anne-Sophie until 4 in the afternoon.

We then went shopping on Passeig de Gracia where Anne-Sophie bought clothe and I bought a new camera.

Next day Anne-Sophie was leaving, she still had a lot to do, mainly shopping and she left a 22h, with Sara who had to get her new " carte de sejour " in Toulouse. We went out again in the bar Kentucky which was sooooo full it was incredible, in North America it would be illegal. Then we went to a smaller bar until 4h30 in the morning.

I woke up at 3 in the afternoon and went to the train station to get my reservations but there was no reservation needed (hmmm) and the train was leaving at 17h20 so I went back at the appartment and too my stuff, I didn’t even have the time to post my postcard (added to the fact that mailboxes are hard to find in spain).

Back home

In the first train, I met Karen and Lara, a girl from Vancouver and another from the middle of the state of Washington. Lara is an english teacher who teached two years in Japan.

We had 40 minutes to change train. There was only 2 cars with seats and most of them were reserved. There was a lot of backpackers without reservation so it was getting complicated. Finally they added a car and we got a compartment for the 3 of us. We played card for a while and slept for the rest of the night.

When I woke up we were almost in Paris. We were late of a few minute but I didn’t care. I went home and took a shower.

Home sweet home.


è In Spain, they know how to party

è The cutest girls in the world are spanish

è Tapas are so good


Flags courtesy of ITA's Flags of All Countries used with permission.

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