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Published: November 6th 2006
Chasing the Pigeons
All the walking and touring built up a thirst once we arrived in Barcelona. It just so happened that Barcelona's biggest festival, La Merce, was going on. Meeting some people in our hostel we indulged in 98 pence bottle of red wine and wondered the streets of Las Ramblas. There was stages set up in the Plaza Real and throughout the centre playing music until the late hours. Las Ramblas had acts and spectacles of every kind with people dressed up as skeletons, trees, statues and other random figures. Especially on the weekend and during the festival, we didn't have to walk far to see the energy and liveliness of the city.
Taking advise from a hostel friend, we took the train to Montpellier, south France. Our hotel gave us some privacy and had a balcony over looking one of the cafe-lined streets. It was a student town and a great way to view the country and its people. We took a train to a nearby fishing town, Sete, viewing its secluded pebbled beaches and fishing port. Sometimes you need to travel outside of the massive cities to experience the country.
After an attempt to obtain our Chinese visa
in Italy, we quickly made our way over to Greece. Our great tour of Greece only consisted of Athens and Thessaloniki. Once in Athens, we quickly became acquainted with other backpackers and the 'old town's' cobbled streets. In yet another attempt for a Chinese visa, we found the office closed (a sign which was written English 'closed for a week holiday'). So we made the best of our time climbing up to the Parthenon and Acropolis, listening to the protest bands, and getting lost in the streets of Athens. Our time was cut short as we had to make it to Russia fast for a last chance at a Chinese Visa. The train up to Thessaloniki was one of the worst yet having 6 people packed in 1 carriage without a bed and only to find out that we missed our connecting train to Bulgaria; this was the only reason for seeing any of Thessaloniki. We will have to make another trip to Greece and especially to its Islands.
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