Europe 2. bed bugs and selfie-sticks

day by day, train by train: the story of our European adventure.

We spent an unsurprisingly sunny and tentatively tranquil day exploring Barcelona. Refreshing our palates with more croissants and orange juice, the seven of us battled our way through the maze of Boqueria market, slurping a dragonfruit and coconut smoothie and navigating aimlessly.

Maddy descended into modest and typical hysterics after catching the eyes of a number of fish and pig heads, though I thought they were rather cool. But that’s because I am a heartless meat-eater: the kind of flesh that Morrissey would rather have burnt, but I’m sure he was only joking when he said that.

meat is (not) murder

We trickled along the backstreets of Barcelona and rushed all the way down to the harbour to bathe in the conditioned air of the shopping mall, stalking Kaila and Josh’s backside dopplegangers and feeling like we had walked into a parallel universe.


And before I forget, it was also Josh’s birthday. Feliz Navidad.

Speaking of which, it was on this gander that I grew internally angry at Josh for repressing Kaila’s character very curtly, but what would I know…

I am the most useless person in the world, after all.


We took a brief nap on an edgy green (in comfort, not personality) and met Joe and Josh’s host, Fulter (bfijbr – I don’t know how to spell in Dutch, or dick). He was pleasant enough, which translated in Florence terms as ‘really cringey’. I did find it a little odd that he seemed to have nothing better to do than spend the day with a group of teenage travellers twelve years younger than him.

Suspicions aside, some of us were particularly keen for going to a bar to celebrate the birthday boy, meaning that we could easily walk back to the hostel with only a moderate level of effort required. But would that it t’were so simple…

‘I want to go to the beach’

Now, with it being the boy whose birthday it was as well as the first time Gowdy had expressed an opinion within my presence, the girls and I had to feign enthusiasm, wearing a strained smile,  and agreed to grant his birthday wish.

sorry if you ever read this, Josh


What followed was a jambon baguette on the beach, waiting three hours for the three amigos to arrive after getting, and I quote:

 ‘fucking haaaaaaiiiiiigh’

…as well as waiting for Josh to resurrect from his ‘weed coma’ (most likely leading to the subsequent loss of his passport the following day…my  uselessness seems to have competition).

As the sun began to sink waist deep into the horizon line, I decided it was time to engage in a light public beach session of Tai Chi with the local Spanish ladies as the others observed, sipping heartily three measurable quantities of our saviour Don Simon Sangria.

The absolute lads joined us eventually and we spent a nice evening eating and drinking…

*and then crying (Flo) as we took the metro back to the hostel, admittedly a preferable option to trekking across the whole of Barcelona, in my drunken defence*

but I censored that for the purposes of individual dignity


All filled to different levels with Sangria, we ended up at Vilapicina station, phones dead (my fault), hope dying and no way of finding our way back to the hostel.

just remember guys, it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey

We did make it back at about 1:00 am and we slept off the night’s melting pot of Sangria fuelled emotions.


Tomorrow, or the next day, we would leave Barcelona. A new dawn with a new destination and any tensions refreshed and clean.

If only our bed sheets followed a similar philosophy…

the title says it all


Memory sparks:

  • ‘Chickey Licky’ the creepy seller on the beach
  • The abundance of selfie sticks plaguing Barcelona
  • Spanish hostel owners will take sarcasm to the extreme.




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