jose and i have this problem where we don¿t bother trying to plan things ahead of time.
for example, we knew we wanted to go to granada a day or two after chrsitmas. so the day we wanted to go to granada, we took our luggage to the train station and tried to buy a train ticket. oops, they were all full. the buses too.
so we went to valencia and arrived around midnight. we walked around for 45 min before we found a hostel. it was in a fun part of town and we had lunch near the market. it was one of the best meals i've had in spain. 3 courses for 6 euros. it was a tiny little place and we were the only foriegners there.
that night we took a night bus to granada and stayed there for two days. i really like granada. valencia was better than i remembered it too. we didnt do anything touristy in either city, we just walked around.
we were in granada for new years. the town hall puts on a party and tehre was a really good local rock band playing, and lots of fireworks. the plaza was full of people - 70 year old men wearing afro wigs, little kids with santa hats, tourists, preps, hippies, families, all until about 2 a.m. The plan was to go to sleep around 2 so we could catch an early afternoon train but we ended up going to a bar and not getting back to the hotel until 7 a.m. I fell asleep with my shoes on.
We got to the train station 10 minutes before teh train left and luckily there were still
On the train we met this man, Pepe, who was also going to Morocco, but he was going to Ceuta, a spanish owned city on the coast. So we talked with him for 4 hours and he gave us a coke and a pastry.
He told us great stories - his grandpa was a spy during the spanish civil war for Franco and his other grandpa was killed by the reds (his family was pretty pro-franco). then this old senile man got on the train and jumped into our coversation. i was kind of scared of him and he just spent the whole time making fun of Pepe (who kind of deserves it) and talking about how things were great in franco's time because of corruption. and he actually said, 'Listen to me! I am a catholic and I dont lie.' that almost made me crack up. He went on and on about how he used to be a chaufer for a marine captin who worked at customs in Ceuta and could steal whatever he wanted and one time the captin gave the chaufer a radio. THen Pepe would try and butt in and explain that things aren't like that anymore, that things are more democratic since Franco died but the old man wouldnt have it.
Then before teh old man got off the train, a crazy guy got on and started telling us jokes and was talked about 15 feet long snakes and lions that walk on two feet. jose and i were cracking up but it really pissed Pepe off. He was like, 'come on, now. there is no such thing as a lion that walks on two feet.' he was really serious about it. then the crazy guy asked if jose and i were married, he kissed my hand and then he left.
When we got to Algeciras, the super south of spain, next to Gibraltar, Pepe ran us to the ferry (we almost missed the ferry too, just like the train and the bus...) and then we were off to Morocco!
on the boat, there were two elevators labeled in english. one said PersonElevator 600 kg and the other one said GodsElevator 1200 kg. We couldnt figure that out. We also didnt know why it was written in english when everything else was in arabic, french and spanish.
When we got off the boat it was dark out and we were scared and we didnt know what to do or where to go or even what language to speak in so we kind of let this guy Mustaffa (we think thats his name) hustle us. He took us to a hotel, took us to a restaurant and then came to get us in the morning to be our tour guide.
Mustaffa really gipped us. First, our hotel had no hot water and the bathrooms were kind of scary. And they only had toilet paper at night time. Mustaffa took us to his friends restaurant which was more expensive than most food places (although for a 3 course meal for 2 people it was $25) and then he took us to his friends rug store! We had heard about these rug stores but it seemed more like a myth than reality. Nope, they sat us down, brought us mint tea and gave us this huge demonstration: authentic berber rug, made with camel hair. you like? i give you student price, not tourist price... and on and on. we got suckered into 3 or 4 rug stores before we left the country.
Jose really didnt like Mustaffa because M didnt pay any attention to J. He only looked at me and he only talked to me, even when Jose would ask him a question.