we made it to valencia, stress and headaches included. there is nothing worst then to be stressed out away from home. we planned to leave granada at 8:45 am by train. we took a cab to the station and found out that the tickets were all sold out, but we could wait till 10:00 pm and arrive in valencia the following morning :S. the train to valencia only operates 3 days a week, twice a day. of course there are no other routes. we swore never to take the bus again. after the ride we had from tarifa we were not keen on getting into another cab and driving to the bus terminal. a young boy at the train station helped me call and asked if there were any early busses to valencia, he confirmed there was one at 10. of course by the time we got to the bus stop the f-ing bus was full and all that was left was the 3:35, arriving in valencia at 1:30 at night. NOT happy. i suggested on the way that we always have the option to rent a car and that just planted an idea in jason’s head because after we figured that we won’t be arriving till late, late at night (versus 4:30 pm on the original train plan) he was not going to have any of it. i got discouraged very quickly, all morning we have been trying to ask for a car rental, nobody spoke english, or they just refused to. i tried asking the convenience store for a phone book but somehow they didn’t understand what i was saying, then i went back to buy some stamps and asked if they were good to go to canada and the man didn’t know where canada was (!!!!), the lady who sold us our bus tickets was so grumpy that she literally threw my visa back at me when the transaction was complete. the most frustrating is after i clearly say i don’t speak any spanish they continue speaking it to me (praise my intelligence now because somehow i manage to get around with ‘understanding’ spanish). how can it be possible that 1. in 3rd world morocco any regular joe on the street speaks three languages and in a developed european country they don’t, and 2. with all this american culture hovering around on tv, in music and in stores how can nobody speak a word of english? polish people speak more english then the spanish. shame on you spanish educational system! shame on you! this temporary outage ended as fast and ferociously as it started. jason took the initiative and got us a car (yey!… as a sat pissed off and ready to cry at the bus stop trying to get anyone to speak english to maybe switch us our bus tickets to valencia, to no avail) of course getting the car was another ordeal all on it’s own, the car rental was, where else, but back at the train station, another cab ride later and with no car-rentals having economy class cars on monday morning, jason lucked out thanks to a pissed off french man who passed up on the deal. with our brand new looking ford focus we were on our way… without a map… with a city full of people who refuse to help us. trial and error brought us to A92, then to AP7 and after 5 hours (not 8-train, not 10-bus) we were in valencia, earlier then either of the original options (lo and behold everyone in valencia speaks english (!!!!) bless their tanned spanish hearts) but we had a car, and parking in valencia is impossible. after getting into our hostel and transferring rooms, because of my fear of a coupe of german skin heads in close proximity to my bed, at 6:30 we strolled downstairs to inquire about the location of hertz so we can rid of the car and have this nightmerous day behind us. at 6:30 we found out the rental closed at 7. it was close by and we figured we can make it, except that no matter how close it is there is no helping the even-crazier-then-the-parking, valencia traffic. we moved so slowly we got to the rental at 6:55, with no gas, which meant they would charge us stupid fines, but the man behind the desk said he will wait till 7:15, told us where to get gas and we made it, in the nick of time. phew!!!! we returned the car! jason by some miracle, or sheer skill, made it through the streets untouched and unscratched, i took to the map and we didn’t get lost. clearly a smooth operation. i still can’t believe how retarded of a day it was. no denying that my ulcer got a little bigger. all is well that ends well. 
today (which is the day after), by default we visited a number of museums. first we went to the museum of modern art, just to visit the gift shop at first but then ended up staying for 3 euros (my student card still fools everyone). we then walked through an old dried up riverbed, which is now the city park, jardin del turia, all the way to the center of art and science (about an hour walk from our hostel), i saw photos of the buildings in a couple of books and wanted to see the complex for myself.  we were very inspired and decided to stay and explore, we chose oceanografic (the aquarium) and the science center. i felt like a little kid again. the shark tank with the overhead viewing tunnel got me very excited, but nothing will ever compare to seeing a hatching chicken (!!!). displayed, in an incubated case, were a couple dozen chicken eggs ready to be hatched, while chicks were already running around, there were others just ready to come out. little beaks were sticking out trying to break the hard egg shells. the whole process probably takes forever, they are so small and get tired quickly. we got lucky as one was about to pop the top off, and we saw him coming out of its egg. it was the cutest thing i have ever seen. i saw a chicken hatch out of it’s egg!! i’m awe stricken! ciutat de les arts i de les ciències website: p.s we also found nemo.

3 Responses

  1. Aidan V. says:

    the one above the marvel one is my favourite

  2. Ashley says:

    Oh wow. That rental car story is a real travel story. I was stressed out just reading it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ashley, for god’s sake, get a grip on yourself!

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