Thursday, July 3, 2008

Adios Espana, Pronto Italia!

My last night in Spain was fairly uneventful. I walked with some girls from my hostel dorm down to the ocean and sat on the pier watching lightning flashes rip across the sky. I smoked my pipe, then ate Chinese food, then went to bed. When I awoke for my last few hours in Barcelona and Spain, I was completely unmotivated, so I lay in bed as long as I could stand it. When I finally roused myself I headed for the port where the Aquarium is located.

The aquarium was fantastic. It wasn't so much what they had as it was the ways in which they displayed their treasures of the sea. I saw the garden eels that Katie and I like so much back in Long Beach, I saw the most beautiful fish I have ever laid eyes on, the Ornate Wrasse, and I hung out and watched penguins swim around for an hour. I made sketches of guitar fish, and I saw the coolest interactive exhibit, a huge sperm whale whose mouth is the opening to an underwater cave where you are met with a horrifying giant squid who is about to eat your face off. This portion didn't make much sense, and I cannot adequately describe it, but it was done in the style of the Injun Joe's Cave at disneyland. As you walk through the winding cave, you encounter other deep sea creatures that are equally fascinating. But I will not soon forget going from the mouth of the cave\whale and seeing a tentacle at eye level, then turning the corner to come face to face with the giant open beak of a the Architeuthis.

Leaving Barcelona was a chore as I got lost going to the train station. I wound up taking a cab after foolishly walking the wrong way out of the metro for blocks with about a half hour to spare before the train left. I had enough time to sit in the train station bar and have two beers and my last pork bocadillo (sandwich) in Spain. I made it onto the train and met my elderly Italian compartment mates before heading off to the train bar. I met a man, who was quite possibly the most attractive guy I have ever seen. He was from Mexico, working in Switzerland. We shared 4 beers and talked about Mexican, American and California history before I teeter tottered my way back to my bunk, where I proceeded to not sleep until 4 am.

At Torino it was time to transfer trains. A new country, a new language I don't speak. Without the kindnes of strangers, I would not only have missed my connecting train, but I wouldn't even have realized I had a connecting train. But finally, I arrived in Alessandria.

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