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“So, you’ve decided to become a bum” – John Travolta as Vincent, Pulp Fiction.
To get to Italy from Spain, we decided to try out the ferry option offered by the Eurail pass. Getting to the Barcelona port, we ended up walking around in cirlces for an hour being pointed in several different directions trying to find the right ticketing office (Gremodli Lines). We finally found it and bought tickets to make the 19 hour boat ride across the Mediterranean. It would have cost us either 47 euros for a “reclining” train seat or 27 euros on a ferry (that’s with a 20% discount, one of the many bonuses offerred with the Eurail). Really though, the boat isn’t much of a ferry at all. Actually, I had totally imagined ourselves bedding down with some local farm life fighting over hay space. Unfortunatly, there wasn’t any farm-like quality about the ship. There weren’t even rows of seats that you could pass out under like the ferry boats running imbetween Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Instead, more like a hotel lobby, you have ultra-sheek couches randomly arranged throughout the lobby ways.
It was here that we officially bummed out for the first time on our trip. We attached our packs together (good luck trying to lift both those suckers up together), made clothes pillows and wrapped our eyes with head wraps. Of the few couches we’d spotted, we obviously picked the one right next to the boat’s arcade room, home to the world’s loudest game ever. Every few minutes the game’s computer voice would sound “Virtual Tennis, 3” followed by some whooshing sounds most probably a combination of dashing serves and aces. Not even the earplugs could block out C3PO’s earsplitting jinggle. I wondered if Nadal would have anything to do with the cruise’s top arcade game being ultimate tennis. I suddenly decided I hated tennis.
We woke up to one of the boat’s staff telling us that we couldn’t sleep there. That’s 9 hours after we’d splayed out our best on the red Ikea shapes. All that changed was us parrallel to perpendicular. Still on the couch. For the rest of the day we’d have the ship’s guests and passengers walk past asking if we’d had a good sleep. It was “Virtually” awesome guys, common. I know you all walked past us before you all snuggled into your premium cabins.
A practice fire alarm would sound and we’d be privy to hear the beforehand security warning reminding passengers that there was no smoking during a fire. A following announcement would call for a staff member’s attention and went something like this: “Charlie Dima, Charlie Dima, Charlie Dima, Charlie Dima, Charlie Dima, Charlie Dima. Attention. Please report to Port 9, port side, port side, port side, port side. Attention please, for what?… Please report to Port 9, port side.” Gotta love the Spanish.
There’s a non-profit group called CouchSurfing devoted to creating memorable experiences for travellers by connecting them with local people. “CouchSurfing members share hospitality with one another. These exchanges are a uniquely rich form of cultural interaction. Hosts have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world without leaving home. “Surfers,” or travelers, are able to participate in the local life of the places they visit. We also give more people the chance to become travelers, because “surfing” lowers the financial cost of exploration.” Unfortunately there are no cruise ship options. See more about about how you can participate on there website.