It´s 20 minutes to 9pm here in Valencia. It´s been a fairly short stay, but contrary to Barcelona, I seemed to meet more people quickly.
The train into Valencia yesterday afternoon wasn´t too bad. And getting my ticket for Granada took no time at all.
On my way to finding the hostel I was staying at, I hit this small square nearby, and as I was trying to orient myself, this kinda sketchy guy with short dreads came up to me and started talking to me.
¨Hola,¨I replied, to be nice.
Then he started yammering away in Spanish, and then he asked me, ¨Castellano (Spanish)?¨
¨No, Canada,¨I said.
¨Ah,¨he said. I think he said welcome, then introduced himself as Bruno, and his Italian friend, Sebastian, who was standing nearby.
They got close (and this was when I thought, aw man, I´m a sucker who´s gonna get my bag snatched), and to my surprise, both gave me two-cheek kisses. Hoo boy, I thought.
So then Bruno asked me if I had any questions. I asked them where the hostel was. Sebastian, who knew the most English between the both of them, pointed me in the direction, which was really close. And then we parted ways. Thank God.
Unlike my guesthouse in Barcelona, this hostel has been waaaay better, and waaay cooler. Situated in the same complex as a church, it´s four floors of backpacker bliss. When I got there, heaving my suitcase, rivulets of sweat running down my back and front, the front desk was kind enough to give me some water. My room, albeit for two people, really, was HUGE. The bathrooms and showers were communal, but clean. And there´s a kitchen and two rooftop terraces.
Within about 40 minutes, I plunked myself down amongst some Aussies in town for the Tomatina fest in neighbouring Buñol (and others just passing through en route to other places). After a while, I went off the supermarket down the street in search of food (´cause I hadn´t eaten in hours). And I just chilled for the first time in a while.
The rest of the night went fairly quickly. I cooked myself up an omelette, and got to talking to a dude from Philly, now living in Valencia. Went back up to the terrace and talked some more to the Aussies. And then the drinking games began. And then I wondered why I didn´t decide to stay another night.
It was all right, though. I also met a few people from Ireland, and one guy from Norway. After giving myself a hangover and sleeping it off in one of the two soft beds in my room, it was time to re-orient myself again.
I spent today wandering around. I walked up to the Cathedral of Valencia (I think that´s what it´s called), and after the guided tour, huffed and puffed my way 206 stairs up to the Miguelete (or ¨Little Michael¨), the belltower. The view was fantastic, but the wind was crazy. And the bell scared the snot out of me on the way back down.
I found a bus tour, and hopped on. Then I hopped off and went to the Science Centre for a bit. When I resurfaced almost two hours later, it started to rain, so I ran for the tour bus, and then hiked it back to my hostel, where I´m now killing time until I have to leave again for the train station.
So short, but it was decent. If I come back, I´ll definitely try to spend more than 31 hours here.