Saturday, March 25, 1989

With 3 pesetas in my pocket ...

Woke at 10.30 a.m. and showered before packing our things to check out of the room. They wouldn't accept Vivienne's check, so we had to go out and find a bank. None were open (again with the Easter weekend, in hindsight probably not the best weekend to visit a very Catholic city), so we had to go to an automatic teller and use my Access card to get the money we needed.

We went back to Pension Pintor, paid our bill, and then left our luggage there so that we could take in a bit of last-minute sightseeing. Again, we walked through Gotica and Ramblas, eating sandwiches at a little shop near our room (the only way to eat on a vacation to Spain!) (Pictured is one of the buildings located in he Gothic Quarter.) Next we took the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe, and it was an absolutely clear day. I took a few more photos and relaxed in the park before we returned to our room, picked up our luggage, and returned again to the Arc de Triomphe, this time to wait for the bus.

At 3.30 p.m., our bus left for the return journey to Madrid. Along the way, we were treated to listening to the American Top 40 countdown on the radio while getting another look at exactly the same beautiful scenery we saw when we first came to Barcelona.

Unfortunately, we had Mario Andretti as our bus driver, who insisted upon driving excessively fast along some very narrow and winding roads that would be tricky for a regular car, let alone a large motorcoach. We weren't the only ones who thought he was going a bit too fast. Eventually, he was pulled over by the police and ticketed for speeding, which was actually quite humorous to me. Of course, it did little to deter him, and it wasn't long before he was speeding along the Spanish countryside once more. (Pictured is some of that Spanish countryside, zipping along.)

Well, after passing through the cities of Zaragoza and Guadalajara, as well as making two pit stops - one where I bought a Barcelona '92 Olympics key chain and a can of beer (since it was 60 pesetas cheaper than buying a Coke), we finally arrived at Madrid's bus station, poor and tired, at midnight.

Further revelations occurred at this late hour:
  1. Being Easter Sunday now, the Metro was closed.
  2. This meant we would have to take a taxi back to the Residencia.
  3. The clocks here were moved ahead an hour, making it even later than midnight.
  4. We had very little cash on hand.
Well, we dished out all of our money to the taxi driver (including 100 pesetas extra for night service.) So with a secure 3 pesetas in my pocket, we carried our luggage from the taxi back into the Residencia. We said our hellos to everyone who was present, and even The Old Man gave us some food - a delicious hot ham sandwich.

After unpacking and a game of checkers, Viv and I hit the hay for some sleep. After all, it was 3 a.m.

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