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Published: September 30th 2017
Crusty pie eyes!!! This is an artist's rendering of how nasty my infected eyes were when i woke up this morning.
Geo: 42.5075, 1.5218
Annoying new Aussie girls in the room last night ... they showed up around 1 AM, and made a huge racket unpacking and getting ready for bed. The night receptionist even came up, asking them to be quiet because they were disturbing the other sleeping guests in the room, to which they replied "They're not sleeping, they're talking to us!" Uh ... most were either sleeping, or trying to sleep, until you came in ... The funny thing is they were nice enough, but just clueless - loud, obnoxious, and a little bit ignorant - "So what's there to do in Barcelona? We heard it was boring and there's nothing to do here but lie on the beach." What??? It's one of the most dynamic cities in the world!!!
Had a difficult time sleeping, as I had a horrible coughing fit for much of the night, so I was feeling crappy in the morning. Had breakfast with a couple of Aussie guys in the room, and the one guy said "Yeah, I heard you trying to stifle your cough last night - you should've just let it out!" I figured I'd try and be considerate, unlike a couple of Aussie
I tried to get rid of this old shirt by leaving it behind at the hostel, but when I was leaving, Marta happened to walk in and asked if it was mine. Rather than saying "Yes, but I'm just dumping it here and letting you guys take care of it." I said "Si ... gracias ..." and put it in my backpack.
girls in the room ...
I said goodbye and exchanged emails with Katsiaryna - I finally have a friend to visit in London! She also mentioned maybe going to Seattle next year, and possibly visiting Katie and Bridget, and that's really not all that far from Calgary, so who knows.
With the remaining bread, cheese, and serrano, I made a few sandwiches for the road, chatting with a Kiwi in town for a poker tournament. I think the buy-in was $10,000 euros or so, but he won a qualifying tournament late last night and won a spot in the tourney. You never know if people are ever telling the truth about themselves when they travel, as there is no incentive, since you'll probably never again see that person again. He mentioned that he doesn't work any more, because he wrote some software a few years ago, and has been living off that. "I don't even know how much I money I have in the bank, honestly ..." Given that he was talking about test driving Ferraris, but still finding his old Japanese tuner car faster, it must be a lot of money left in the bank ...
You might argue that it's all
I ate one of the sandwiches at the station - the bread is getting pretty stale and dry, especially the crust.
lies, because why would he stay in a hostel if he had all that money? Hostels are mostly about saving money, but I think they are equally about experiencing a different kind of travel. Saving the money is a bonus for me, because it means I can splurge on nice dinners and experiences if I so choose, but more importantly, it's because it means I can usually do two big trips per year, rather than one. So I can see where this guy is coming from. Of course, not knowing how much money he has left in the bank could also mean that he only has $10 in his account.
I went to a locutorio (call centre) to confirm my reservation for tonight, as per the owner's instructions, but had a heck of a time connecting. Turns out the attendant thought I was trying to call Honduras, and not Andorra, and had given me the wrong calling code. Has my Spanish really gotten that bad they he couldn't tell the difference?
Off to the bus station - as I got off the metro, I gave away my remaining metro tickets, since I don't know when I'll be back to Barcelona (hopefully
Andorra - kind of a cool bridge.
next year ...), and I'd only misplace or forget about them if I kept them.
The bus was quite empty, with only maybe 10 people on board - I would soon find out why this was the case ... I arrived in Andorra, and stopped at the TI to check on connections to France - only a very early (around 6 AM) or late afternoon bus was available to the nearest French town. Crappy! Luckily, I am going to Toulouse tomorrow, and there is actually a bus that services the Toulouse airport that continues into town. Quite fortunate for me, because if I was going farther north in France like originally planned, it would've been very difficult to get there without taking the 6 AM bus.
I checked into Pension Rosa - very basic and suitable for a short stay, but I have definitely stayed in much better accommodations up to this point. At least it was very affordable. Off to the pharmacy - in addition to the illness I've had since San Sebastian, I think I've also gotten an eye infection. I woke up this morning with an eye so crusted over, that I needed a chisel to crack
Tacky town - I'm not sure why that model on the billboard is licking her own knee, but after staring intently at her for a while, I had the overwhelming desire to lick her knee too!
off all the crud and open it up. I had crusty pie eyes!!! My body is falling apart!!! Perhaps my eyes have finally been damaged after taking in so much Spanish beauty over the past few years ... if that's the case, it still was all worthwhile!
It was quite the challenge to explain to her what happened as I didn't know the Spanish word for crusty pie eyes - I basically told her that my eyes were bothering me, and when I woke up there was stuff in them, and that my eyes were very ugly. Like I've said before, I can have deep conversations in Spanish, yet lack very basic vocabulary, at times.
Andorra sounds so regal, but as I planned this trip and researched this tiny little principality, my expectations dropped - it's got a bit of a carnival atmosphere, and seems like a giant, tacky duty free shop - exactly as described by guidebooks. Truthfully, I'm only here to get a fridge magnet, which almost seems pointless, now that I have a stainless steel fridge and have no place to put them!
A wander around town didn't turn up much of interest ... people come
Is tonight the night I finally cave and have some crappy excuse for Chinese food, but suck down tons of it because it tastes vaguely familiar, despite being garbage?
here to shop and apparently, for little else. There isn't an internet cafe in town, only a very expensive coin-operated terminal located in a hotel. I did find a bit of a nice spot, a large rooftop terrace above a parking garage, that afforded a Luxeumbourg-esque view of the surrounding green hills. http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/pwong/6/1216695900/tpod.html#pbrowser/pwong/6/1216695900/filename=img_1939.jpg
I found a restaurant with a menu in Catalan, and decided to have dinner here, as I thought this might mean the restaurant was less touristed than those with menus in four different languages. I sat on the terrace, but was told I'd have to go inside to get the set menu - no problem, I went inside and sat out on the second floor terrace. I sat around for about 20 minutes, with a group of waiters seemingly on a break, sitting and chatting at a table inside.
I decided to go down to the main floor to get a menu and get some service. The original waitress came back up a few minutes later, informing me that the restaurant was closed. WTF??? Shoddy service ... it's not really the waitresses fault since she obviously didn't know, but the waiters sitting inside knew I was out on
I didn't expect to see a snowboard shop here, but located up in the Pyrenees, I guess it makes sense. Some more incentive to move to Barcelona, as the Pyrenees would be a great ski-weekend destination.
the terrace and made no effort, and the bartenders that saw me first go in and upstairs also said nothing. Garbage! And I really don't understand how a restaurant could be closed on a Friday night! This was unfortunate, as the menu looked pretty good.
I wandered around, looking for a place to eat - I found a modern Italian place called Mimi's, with a pricey but yummy-sounding menu, and inquired with the staff about sitting outside, only to be told they weren't open until 21:00. Though it was only 15 minutes away, the rude waitress was a turn-off, and I decided to eat elsewhere.
I finally decided on a pizza joint called La Cantina, and the waiter wasn't all that friendly, either - what gives here??? He was hesitant to give me a spot on the terrace, as he obviously didn't want me to take up a table intended for four people, but it didn't look like many people were flocking to the restaurant. Nothing else around seemed appealing, otherwise I would've walked off, but was tired of dealing with incompetent/rude waitstaff, and just waited to eat and be done with it.
The place didn't look all that great, but
Apparently, Ben is composed only of tomato, mozzarella, bacon, onion, and olive.
the pizza smelled heavenly, reminding me of a night in the Canary Islands (see blog entry entitled "Beautiful torture: Almost as sweet as angel hair" http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/pwong/canaries-2007/1199575320/tpod.html ) The smell convinced me to go with the pizza, though I had earlier considered the pasta and asked the waiter if the pizza or pasta was better here. His brusque response was "Buddy, we specialize in both here, so how can I answer that?" Have I somehow unwittingly insulted all the waitstaff in Andorra, so that they all act like d*ckheads towards me?
As I ate, I saw a few people hobble by on crutches - what gives? I've seen 5-6 people on crutches today, do Andorrans all have weak ankles that leave them susceptible to sprains?
Did some aimless wandering to burn off some of that big meal before bed ... it's pretty dead here at night, and just wasn't very fun. Off to bed, with the hope that I won't be up all night coughing, and won't wake up with any more crusty pie eyes. ....
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