Wow this seems strangely familiar. It's feels like the last post was only 20 minutes ago...
Oh wait, it was.
And this is why.
The last post was describing our last day in Granada. We are now in Barcelona. How did that happen? Answer: One huge overnight fucking monster train.
Our train left Granada at 10.15pm and arrived here in Barcelona at 9.30am.
So let me take you back to yesterday evening, at the hostel...
So we were in the lobby of the hostel using their wifi which strictly we didn't have a right to use. I was hurriedly trying to write the blog post, using every last minute, but it got to 9.30am and we really had to leave. We were confident of a quick way of getting to the station which was supposed to take 10-15 minutes, but apparently we are useless at travelling between train stations and hostels, even with maps. When we arrived in Granada it look us 2 hours 30 minutes (Or longer? Fuck knows!) to get to the hostel from the station, so we still wanted to give ourselves a lot of extra time in case we lost our way again.
So we left the hostel, and walked quickly to the station. It took us 15 minutes and we didn't even make any mistakes. Bam!
When we got to the station, our train was at the platform nearest to the entrance, and there weren't any ticket/security checks at the station, so we made our way down the platform, heading right to the front of the train to get on coach 2.
The train was fucking long. As we walked towards our carriage, we looked in at all the others through the windows and were pretty impressed. The dining carriage look nice, albeit expensive, and we saw some beds in the other carriages which looked pretty good.
So we got on at coach 2 and looked down the corridor.
Lot's of them, like a normal train.
We found our seats; we were in a 2-seater.
We looked around. No plug sockets. The seats didn't recline; they just moved forward and back. Our only table space was the fold down desks on the backs of the seats in front. There wasn't lots of leg space.
Hang on a minute.
This is meant to be a TRAIN HOTEL. If I walked into a fucking hotel and there were NO SOCKETS, NO BEDS OR RECLINING SURFACES, VERY LITTLE PERSONAL SPACE and on top of all that NO WIFI (although we already knew this was the case), I would expect them to PAY ME MONEY to stay there.
How the fuck is this a fucking train hotel?!?!?!
Here are some quotes from the Renfe website:
'The coaches are living-room types, with seats arranged in rows"
WHAT FUCKING LIVING ROOM HAS FUCKING 26 SEATS ARRANGED IN ROWS!!!! WHAT THE FUCK!!
"The seats have a control panel to adjust the seat and the removable table in the armrests"
Fucking lies. What control panel? What removable table?!
This is my favourite. Apparently, the seats "offer a high degree of comfort with a resting angle of 136° and 1,330 mm of space between the rows of seats. Have independent controls for backrest recline and footrest elevation, comfortable headrest adjustable for height, travel blanket (in season), removable table located in the armrest, power outlet, audio system with four channels and magazine rack".
THIS IS FUCKING COMPLETE BULLSHIT. None of this stuff is true. Even fucking Southeastern trains in the UK (the shittest train company currently in existence) have more comfortable seats. And all these controls that there apparently are...they DO NOT EXIST.
The worst part is yet to come. We only had a little bit of water left in our bottles, so Sam went to get some water from the restaurant cart.
He came back empty handed. Because you have to pay 3 euros for water there and the restaurant is the only source of drinkable water on the train.
There are no swear words that I can use to express how fucking ridiculous this is. How is there not a law against this?!?! YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR DRINKING WATER ON AN 11 HOUR TRAIN JOURNEY. Water is fucking essential for life!! What the fuck! Even if you had a really bad headache or felt really ill in general, you'd still have to pay 3 euros for some water.
We made the little we had last the whole journey somehow. We weren't happy about it as you can probably tell.
There were also some aspects of the journey that we didn't really think about before... like the PASSENGERS we would be travelling with.
We realised our misfortune about 2 seconds after getting on the train.
In the seats behind us were two 6 or 7 year old kids, going completely mental.
'Well this is going to be a fun trip'.
One of the kids had a fake gun and was pointing it at people and shooting it, causing this irritating and loud clicking noise. At one point I swear he pulled the trigger like 3 times a second for 2 minutes. What the fuck. Someone pass over the real gun.
This is the point where me and Sam were so so so grateful for our noise-cancelling headphones. And eventually they went to sleep, so it wasn't so bad.
Finally the girl-child goes to sleep!
Sam decided to organise some of his photos on my netbook, so I decided that I would try and get some sleep.
It didn't work. I tried without any kind of cushion and I was basically just resting my eyes. I tried after Sam made a pillow for me out of a hoody and a bed sheet. I would go to sleep for about 30 seconds and then wake up. Why body why? Why can't you just give yourself the sleep that YOU need.
Once Sam was finished on my netbook, he went to sleep straight away. I don't know how he does it. So he was there snoring away and I was just tired but unable to sleep.
So in the end I just listened to some more music. The moon was so bright that you could actually see the landscape out of the windows if you undrew the curtains (they were about the only thing that made our carriage remotely similar to a hotel), so I probably listened to about 3 or 4 albums worth of music before trying to get to sleep again.
I think I might have got about half an hour of sleep at one point. If I did, the quality was pretty shit. I think until about 5.45am I was just in this constant state of drowsiness. After this, I just decided to stay awake. I listened to some more music and watched the sun rise over the landscape.
I think I did do a bit more 30-second-sleeping at one point after this, I can't remember. I think my mind has just erased the shitty experience already to be honest.
Any chance I did have of sleeping went at about 7.30am. The little kids woke up.
And then one of them starting fucking singing! Really loudly! I could hear it through my fucking noise-cancelling headphones.
I'm all for singing in public, expressing yourself and all that jazz, but on a FUCKING SLEEPER TRAIN?! The clue is in the name!
They carried on for about 20 minutes; their mother didn't say a word.
Eventually we came beside the sea, and soon enough we were in Barcelona. I'd been sitting down for about 11 hours straight, so standing up was weird, and as there weren't any showers or anything in our impoverished shanty-carriages, I think we both felt really unclean.
But at least we're here now. I'll just have to try and get some decent sleep tonight.
So that was our journey! It was a pretty good advert for the Renfe Train Hotels I think.
It certainly wasn' the best experience of the trip so far, but it was one of those events where you hate it at the time but then laugh about it afterwards. I'm already finding it quite funny, despite barely being able to stand up because I'm so fucking tired.
I realise I've ranted quite a bit in this post... haha. The next post should be more upbeat, we're in BARCELONA. There's lots to do, so we better get on.
Until the next post,
Jack - 5/6/12 - 16:13 in Barcelona, 15:13 in the UK.