Dream trip day 55 farewell Ghent, back to Barcelona, friends

I was awoken to the rustling of all the other guys packed up. Seems they were a group and all had to catch the same early bus.

I groggily got out of bed and made my way to the shower which shockingly was open.

Barely made it down for free cornflakes and coffee. I dumped flakes into my bowl and they took the dispensing contraption away, I was the last one to eat.

I encountered 2 Canadian guys I’d met on the pub crawl in the lobby and talked with them a bit. I’m still not sure if they were a couple or just friends.

In the most Canadian of ways they asked me to join them, ‘So we all should go to the rail together yeah eh?’

I was grateful for the invite as I wasn’t so keen on a 30 min walk as I was when I arrived. Plus they knew how to buy a tram ticket.

On the way to the tram, we popped over to Facebook Street, which was the last thing they wanted to see in town.

Some guy renamed a small alley Facebook St so people would visit and take a pic.

While people did visit, they kept taking the sign. It wasn’t there when we visited, we all laughed at how ridiculous the whole thing was.

No issues hopping the metro, but I was running low on euros and still had to buy a ticket to the airport.

I had just enough euros for a ticket and we make the train easily. After a bit the conductor stops by and looks at my ticket.

‘English? Yes, you only have a ticket to get inside the airport. We tax everyone entering airport. You need another ticket to travel to the airport. I’ve brought this up to them before, it is confusing for tourists. 17€ please.’

Dang I felt bad but this guy was being cool about it even though he had to go through this a few times a day. I had only a 20€ note left, damn cutting it too close.

My Canadian friends were heading to Germany so they had to get out in Brussels. One of their family lived there so they had a place to stay and explore.

I waved goodbye and we shook hands as they left.

Alone again.

I was greeted at the rail station by a military guy directing me to a security check.

I wondered if this meant I wouldn’t have to do it again. Wrong.

Two security checks, one before entering the airport and then before the plane.

I made it passed the airport check and walked towards my gate, but I felt lighter. Doh! I’d left my bag at the security check!

I flew up the escalator convinced my bag was gone and I’d have 20 questions to answer before they gave it back to me.

I was relieved to see it was just sitting where I’d left it.

I swung it over my shoulder as nonchalantly as I could and walked to my gate.

It was a long walk to the gate so I stopped at an ATM for more euros, but was surprised when it spat out dollars.

I thought a moment and figured I had about 20$ in cash left so it was now worth exchanging dollars for euros once I got to Barcelona. Always one more thing to do.

About 10 minutes before takeoff, we see our flight was delayed. Then 30 minutes after that we learn the gate has changed, too, so everyone runs to the new gate.

No issues during the flight, but it was sold out so not as cool as the flight to Belgium where I got a whole row to myself.

I exchanged my cash at the airport, knowing that while the sign claimed no commission, they would give me a horrible exchange rate. I had euros now so I could get a metro ticket.

My hostel was near city centre this time, randomly selected as I was only staying 3 nights, long enough to see the rock festival tomorrow.

I got checked in and stowed my bags. I was staying in a 16 bed room and it was packed, no ac I noted.

Matt’s hotel was about a 20 minute walk away so we agreed to meet up later that evening for dinner.

We met near La Rambla and I was elected leader as I’d been there before.

I picked walking down one side as I knew the expensive places were in the middle, there were some side streets that should have cheaper options.

We soon had to pick quickly as it began early to sprinkle. Always raining.

A waiter lead us up narrow stairs and we took over the top floor as there were 9 in our party.

It was a tapas spot so lots of seafood, sausages and salads soon appeared.

After a nice, light dinner 5 of us broke off from the bigger group to walk around and sight see.

A few turns and we were in Gothic quarter and I learned how the city was laid out.

We passed by the Arc, dildo building and we were near their hotel after a few blocks walking.

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The bar they wanted to show me was closed, but we located another one only to run into the crew we had just left.

This was a tourist bar, connected to a hotel and was full of students taking shot after shot: a hookup bar.

While waiting to order I noticed a very pretty girl next to me who took a shot with some bro before turning to me,

‘Nice glasses, very cool. What’s your story?’ she asked.

I told her what I was doing, backpacking through Europe and to my surprise the bro guy left me with her. I was talking to who I thought was the hottest girl in the room and doing well.

Turns out she was from SMU on semester abroad and was meeting her mom in Italy. I put her age at 20, maybe 21. We high fived and she left.

I didn’t really had a chance, maybe if I bought her a shot and joined her group but the jig would be up as soon as I revealed my age.

She was better off with the bro dudes her age.

Still I was chuffed to have the exchange, I was gaining confidence, unfounded though it may be.

I stepped outside and talked with Chad a guy on the crew as he twisted up a spliff. I smoked a bit too much but luckily the night was over.

A nice walk coupled with a cool ocean breeze carried me back to my hostel.

Beer: Cruzial

Song: Orelha Negra feat. NGA & Prodigio Ovelha Negra

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