Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 24; London/Barcelona

For some reason when I woke up today, I decided to walk and not use the Underground. I know that sounds exciting but while carrying my 22 pound bag around it can get pretty gruesome after a few miles.

I had to head up to Notting Hill to get my sweatshirt from my first couchsurfing host, Jen, because I left it there the first time around. It was my "Segovia" purchase so I really wanted to make sure I brought it home with me. Okay, sweatshirt...check...insanity walk...bring it on.

I start walking from Notting Hill all the way back to the Victoria train station and it is definitely not just around the corner. Notting Hill is situated on the edge of Hyde Park and so I decide to walk through Hyde Park and just meander on over to the train station. I had about 2.5 hours to kill so I figured I would just mosey through the park and take some photos. Well, it's a very large park and once I found a map that showed that I was only 1/4 of the way through the park (20 min of walking) I decided to pick up the pace a little. (side note: I put my bag down for a minute break while in the park...put it down right on top of a pile of ) Ok, back to the story.

While walking through Hyde Park I read just about every tourist sign I could find; reading tidbits on the park's origins (originally "acquired" by King Charles for hunting deer) and continued my walk past the lake and horse trails etc..

As I finally got through all of the park's boundaries I get to a few signs that start pointing me to Buckingham Palace...sounds good, not too far off the path to the train station so I make a stop and the luck of the Irish followed me from Dublin because I got there right as they were performing the "changing of the guard" ( It was actually pretty cool and the crowd was enormous. People everywhere.

Now, on to the train station! (I say that with an exclamation mark not because I hate London...but I was headed to Barcelona!! Wahoo!)

Train went smooth, plane went smooth and lodging accomodations worked out perfectly. This is the part in the story where I, again, tell you how important it is to converse with people you don't know on trips because cool things happen like this...) It's always important to talk (you thought I was going to say "converse" ya?) to people you don't know on trips like this because while Aimee and I were in Toledo waiting for another train to head back to Madrid (because we missed our first train) we met a family (parents in the late 50's with 2 kids 24yr and 21yr) also waiting for the next train who were from New York. After talking awhile and exchanging trip plans we realized that I was going to be in Barcelona the same time the kids were (you know where I'm headed with this) they asked me to get ahold of them when I get to Barcelona...I did...and now I'm staying with them at a hotel. Awesome.

Totally random, again.

Great night out with tapas and a cool bar that Hemingway frequented...and yes, I tried the Barcelona Absinthe (, took me 30 min to finish, I thought it was quite gross.

Hasta manana.

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