Hey, so you know last week when I said “I’m really anxious right now so I’m going to ignore my problems and give you some book recommendations”? I’m not gonna go into too much detail but basically there was a mix-up/lack of communication between me and the Uni I’m hoping (🤞) to go to in September and that’s what started off my anxiety spiral.
Even though I’m English, was born in the UK and lived there for the first 10 years of my life, I have to take an exam to prove my English speaking abilities because I have Spanish school qualifications. I, personally, think it’s ridiculous but either way I’m doing the exam. The problem is that they’re not doing this exam in my town for a while and I need the results ASAP so … I’m going to Barcelona.
I’m going for 2 nights/3 days so while most of my time will be spent doing an exam and on trains, I am still hoping to squeeze in some touristy stuff. This is all very stressful so I wish I didn’t have to go, but I’m gonna make the most of it and try and hit up the Picasso Museum and see some of the famous monuments while I’m there.
Malaga (where I live now) to Barcelona is about a 6 hour train journey so I’m gonna have a lot of reading time. Also I’ve always been open to talking about travel and things on this blog but have never had the opportunity (because Covid and being a college student lol) so I figured why not document the experience.
I’m gonna give some Travelling-Tips throughout this post which are probably useless but the first one is: don’t get your 2nd Covid jab the day before a day of travelling. The night before I was a shivering and teeth-chattering mess even though it was 30*C and was awake every couple hours in the night so I woke up at 7 feeling like crap with a sleep-deprivation headache. Not fun. Either way I was out the door by 8:30 and on the train by 10 with only one minor confusion regarding my tickets.
My first train ride was from Malaga to Madrid took around 2h 40 mins and was pretty uneventful. I spent most of it reading the first 100 pages of As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl. My second train ride also went off without a hitch. I did start feeling the lack of sleep at this point so I read a couple of novellas from Fools in Love instead.
I cannot/will not fall asleep on public transport so to keep myself awake I listened to Mongolian throat singer band called The Hu which me and my co-worker enjoy and like to scare the customers with.
I finally reached Barcelona, hopped into a taxi and made it to my hotel. My pride and relief over getting there in one piece was short lived because I ended up not seeing a step and sent my suitcase flying into the back of my leg leaving me with a bruised and scraped ankle 😂😭
All I wanted to do was collapse onto my bed and sleep at this point but I had 2 things to do: find the place I was doing the exam the next day and also find food. As much as I wanted to sleep it was kind of nice to stretch my legs. I eventually accomplished my two missions but, I don’t know if it was Covid jab or maybe the stress and anxiety, but I had no appetite this entire trip. Food even tasted a bit wierd. That being said I did manga a bit of KFC. (I felt awkward eating on my own, a fast food place seemed the easiest place to eat lol).
From there I headed back to my hotel … or well, I tried to. I kind of got lost. The worst thing is that I got lost right near my hotel. I think I walked around the same couple of streets for about 20 minutes trying to find where I was staying … only to realise I was looking at the wrong side of the street.
And then from there I took a much needed shower and sprawled in bed watching wrestling from the night before.
Albums listened to on my train trips:
- Reputation by Taylor Swift
- Sour by Olivia Rodrigo
- Calm by 5 Seconds of Summer
- (most of) Fearless – Taylors Version
I’m not going to talk too much about the exam because it was very boring. I did make a fool of myself though because of course I did. You had to have you photo taken beforehand and I just kept blinking. 😂😂 It was so goddamn embarrassing!!!
Before the second part of my exam I had a couple of hours to kill so I went to the café next door and tried to eat lunch. I still wasn’t feeling great but I was looking forward to the ham and what I thought was cheese mini baguette. It was not cheese. It was the mushy tomato stuff the Spanish like to add to sandwiches. Unless it’s ketchup I don’t like tomatoes so I was sad 😪 I did try and eat some though, my still messed up taste and appetite came in handy but I still couldn’t deal with the thought of eating tomato lol.
Then it was time for my speaking exam. I’m most interested in seeing how they’ve graded me for this, because I am a native English speaker. The questions were weird as heck, like I had to talk about open markets I’d been to for 2-3 minutes. Then one question was “do you find holidays relaxing”. My answer was a strong “nope, from my experience this weekend it’s being very stressful”.
From there I went straight into explore mode!! First stop was a comic book I found online. It was really cool and I wish there was something near me. They had so many graphic novels, individual graphics, the entire downstairs was dedicated to Manga.
I saw a cool Funko key-ring for my brother while I was there but didn’t get it, thinking I could stop back in and buy it later if I didn’t see anything better but that never happened because I couldn’t find the shop again lol (but more on that later)
My next stop was meant to be the Picasso Museum but I kept getting distracted by different things I was coming across. First it was the Arco de Triunfo which I didn’t realise was right around the corner.
I’ve seen Arco de Triunfo in Madrid and Barcelona now so that’s cool. Maybe I’ll google all the other famous ones and plan any future trips around seeing all of them.
After that I got distracted by the park which was just across the street so I spent 30 minutes wandering around there taking some pretty pictures and being cat-called by some guys smoking weed under a big tree lol.
Because I kept getting distracted my Google Maps app kept screaming in my ear that I was going the wrong way 😂 Travelling Tip: stick your headphones in and that way you don’t look like a total noob who doesn’t know where you’re going, you’re just another fish in the sea listening to music.
I did finally make it to the Picasso Museum, a sweat and gross mess by this point, but I had lots of fun there. Again I think it’s really cool that I’ve been to both Picasso museums in Malaga and now Barcelona. If I ever go to Paris I’d love to see one of his most famous works that we actually made a tile mosaic version of in art class and is now displayed on the gymnasium wall.
This one, Las Meninas, in particular was cool to see because we actually studied this painting at school this past year, as well as the original version by Velazquez.
And of course I had to buy myself a souvenir, especially when I saw a case full of bookmarks!!
And then came distraction number 3(?) in the form of another museum, this one with super cool but kinda creepy art, and also hyper-realistic portraits that I genuinely thought were photographs at first.
After all these museums I had another set of plans: go find the Cathedral, go back and buy my brother a present, find food. I only accomplished one of these tasks.
I swear to God somebody hacked my phone because Google Maps sent me down so many backstreets, kept changing the ETA and overall had me walking around in circles. I was lost for about 2 hours and didn’t find the Cathedral or the comic shop again!! I was getting so frustrated, everything ached and I was 100% sure I would never find my way back.
Obviously I did find my way back to a place I recognised and got myself some food. I’d found this noodle place earlier on in the day and was super looking forward to it but my stupid loss of appetite ruined it for me. My bowl was put in front of me and my first thought was “wow they look really nice … I don’t want to eat it”.
So my parents laughed their heads off at me for this but I ended up taking a taxi home. Yes I knew my hotel was right around the corner I just didn’t know which corner and I had absolutely no energy to try and find it. My parents find this hilarious, I call it genius.
The day to head home!! I did have fun on my trip but I’m really not a city-girl so I was looking forward to getting back to my small beachside town and seeing my family again.
I was up at 5am, not because I was nervous I was going to be running late or anything like that, but because CM Punk returned to wrestling and of course I needed to watch that as soon as possible to avoid being spoilt. I am glad I was awake so early though because by the time I had to leave I was wide awake and ready to go by 7 o’clock.
Again the train journeys were pretty uneventful. I was on the first train for over 4 hours so I was super antsy by the time we pulled into the station before my second train.
I did manage to finish As Many Nows As I Can Get and I loved it, my review will be up soon. I had to stop myself from bursting out into tears because I was sat next to a complete stranger and I didn’t want to be that strange person sobbing. I did this whole thing to make it look like the few tears that did leak were from yawning.
When I got back home it was super weird because I’d gone from the ridiculously busy streets of Barcelona to the deserted streets of my small town. To be fair it was siesta time but still, it was strange. That being said I did run into people I knew five minutes of being back home 😂
I got home and … nobody was there. My brother opened the door really slow and said “what are you doing here?”. I was like … “erm, I live here ???” Turns out he thought I was due home later and mum was out walking the dogs but still!!
Anyways, to celebrate my return we went out for a couple drinks at my local/the place I work lol. I was on the vodka & Fanta lemons and got drunk after 2 because I was running on 4 hours sleep and had only eaten half a McMuffin. I had fun though.
Albums listened to on my train trips:
- Lukas Graham by Lukas Graham
- Back from the Edge by James Arthur
- Reputation by Taylor Swift (again)
- Paramore by Paramore
- I Cry When I Laugh by Jess Glynne
Overall I had a really good trip, I’m just hoping everything works out and I can stop feeling so damn anxious!!
This felt like a small taster of what I want to do more of. I can’t wait to be able to travel to new places, even if it’s just for a couple of days. Thanks so much for reading :))