amw (amw) wrote,
amw
amw

Day 1

This is turning out to be quite a long journey. I left my house at 5:30am and only just made my plane thanks to the rail strike. Now i'm sitting in a train in Granada waiting to roll out on the 2-3 hour journey to Almería.

It's the first time i've traveled blind and helpless. There have been a few times i traveled without a hotel or itinerary, but this is the first time traveling in a country where my understanding of the language doesn't go much further than ordering food. I feel like such an idiot already. I just want to chat to the people i see and i can't. It takes away half the fun of traveling - getting to know the locals...

But you know, maybe my Spanish will improve through osmosis over the next few days.

What i have missed the most the last few hours is a decent meal. I've had a nice bocadillo de jamón and a nice bocadillo de queso, and a couple of good coffees. But they were all shoved in between transfers. I am looking forward to finding a hotel somewhere in Almería and relaxing for a proper meal - or tapas - later tonight.

-o-

That was one wacky train ride. I'm so glad i decided to come down to Almería on "the road less traveled". What's completely odd is that the train itself is a super modern high speed rail, but it was almost completely empty. And, bizarrely, although there are a handful of stops between Granada and Almería, there is practically nothing there. It really does look like the American south-west, and i'm not surprised Sergio Leone decided to film there.

I could hear Morricone's lonesome flutes and wild wah-wah. For as far as the eye could see was dust, scrub, peaks and ruins. And then you'd whiz past an abandoned train station with no roads around it - just an unused horse trail, if that. It got even weirder when i started noticing the square caves. Later, when we entered civilization again, i realized those caves were abandoned houses of the people in the area who apparently build a facade in front of a cliff and then tunnel the rest of their homes inside it. Awesome.

I walked around Almería aimlessly till i found a pension to drop my backpack. Now out for a walk again to find a beer. And, of course, decided to sit down in the one café full of Arabs. Ah well, i'm happier in a town full of Spanish and North Africans than further down the coast sandwiched between Brits and Germans. I haven't heard anyone speak anything but Spanish or Arabic so far, which has been a bit of a trial by fire for my woeful Spanish.

Later i will try to find a "younger" bar for some tapas and maybe conversation with more locals. I haven't found any wifi yet, so i have no idea where to go or what to do, but i seem to recall reading that down here dinner happens around 9pm after siesta and early evening work. It's 7.30 now and i am under a palm tree by the Mediterranean with a cold beer and the smell of grilling fish. So far, so good.
Tags: travel
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