Travel Barcelona - Game of Life - Postcard 17

Goodbye Barcelona, hello Cannes! My first train station for the day was Sans Station on the other side of Barcelona. When I inquired about where to check-in with my ticket, I was told to go to terminal 7. I thought to myself, there is no way it is this easy!  I continued to look around the station and found nothing that told me differently. I decided to trust the information counter and down I went three flights of stairs, my suitcase plopping down each one, trying to locate terminal 7.

I found a younger couple that looked American, so I asked them if they knew where train 7 was going? They told me they were on the same train, except Nice was their destination. We introduced ourselves, and chatted briefly. Within a matter of minutes, I was on a train to Ceveres. The train was empty and it stopped about a dozen times over the two hour ride.

When we arrived to the Ceveres station, security let us pass right through customs. The station was a ghost town and there was no bathroom in service for the two-hour layover.

I attempted to redirect my focus to the reservation line. I asked my new friends Jessica and Bob, if they had been given their reservation? They told me they had, back at the station in Barcelona, so I hopped in the line. When I got to the front, I was informed that the train was full.  When the older gentleman behind the counter saw my response, he decided to check again.  He said he came up with a seat and that I had to pay the 1.50 in euros as tax.  I paid the man and began to look for the terminal; all the signs were leading down the stairs. My hesitation came at the thought I might be wrong and I didn't know if I had it in me to do another flight of stairs with my bag. It seemed all the stairs in Europe were not built with two flights like in America, but with three and steeper!  When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I found myself in a hallway tattooed with graffiti. No one was in sight!  Over to the left, arrows pointed up three more, very tall flights of stairs, which apparently led to my terminal.

My cart was the last one on the train, and I stood waiting outside for five minutes. A beautiful, older Spanish woman in front of me said her luggage would not fit in the compartment. I laughed and told her that mine probably wouldn't either.  She let me slide by her to check, and thank God mine did! The first thing I did after situating my luggage was head off to find the bathroom. It was locked! They both were! I began walking to the other cart to check, and they told me the bathrooms wouldn't be unlocked until the train started. I told him 'I don't think I can wait thirty more minutes!' he shrugged. As I walked back to my seat, I saw the woman that was having luggage problems.  She was sitting behind me with three of her friends and brother.   She laughed, while pointing to her luggage; it was going to stay in the aisle!  A man climbed aboard the train smoking a cigarette.  We all looked at each other like, 'This is a no smoking train!' As I looked back at the man, I noticed the boxer running up and sitting in front of him. Now, I was completely shocked and started laughing! I said, 'Well hello, sweet doggy!' She must have thought that meant I wanted to play, because she decided she would come jump up on my seat and not move.

After we all stopped laughing, the man began trying to get her off my seat, but she still wouldn't move. He eventually had to pick up the 50 pound dog and move her to the other side of the train. I shook my head in disbelief of how strange my train rides had been.  I moved up a seat, so I wasn't sitting in dog hair, and I heard the whistle from the train. I looked around and the train was empty, I was confused at why the guy behind the counter told me the train was full. Then it hit me, my ticket was first class, and first class was full. This was second-class; hence the dog, the cigarette, and the sit up seats for a ten-hour ride. I turned around and asked the woman behind me if she knew what class our cart was, she said it was second. I pulled out a big bag of cookies, trying to make the best of the situation, and passed them around the train.  I grabbed my jacket, pushed my seat back as far as it would go, and went to sleep.

The sun that was peeking through the curtains startled me.  The daylight seemed too bright to be before 8am, which was when my train was to arrive in Cannes. I opened the curtains all the way and saw us beginning to pull up to a station that read, 'Cannes'.

I hopped up, smiled at what I thought was perfect timing, and began to gather my things. Just then, the train started moving again. I looked back to the woman behind me and they were still all sound asleep. There was no one working our cart to ask, and no way to stop the train. I sat back down, now laughing and thinking to myself, 'I knew it wasn't going to be that easy'! Twenty minutes went by and we pulled up to another station. I hopped out and made my way down three flights of stairs and back up another three. I noticed an older woman attempting to do the same thing. I knew I didn't have much in me, but I saw the struggle behind her embarrassed smile, and it reminded me of my own. I set my luggage at the top of the stairs and went down to pick up hers. She thanked me repeatedly in French, I wasn't sure what she was saying, so I nodded and put her suitcase at the top of the stairs. I got to the information counter, which was outside by the train tracks. I had no energy left, and I could not make the enunciation switch from Spanish to French. I pulled out my book of French and pointed to the line that said, 'Where is _______ Train?'  I took my pen out and filled in the blank.  He laughed and said, 'Here!' I said, 'Here?' He took my book and my hand, and pulled me outside of his office door.  He said, 'Here!' I looked at him and he pointed to a bench and said, 'Wait, it leave in 10!' I said, 'Okay!' and sat patiently.  Sure enough, ten minutes later a train pulled up and he said, 'Here!'

I laughed and said thank you and boarded the train. Two stops later I saw the sign that read, 'Cannes'


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