I can't even begin to describe my state of mind. The entire night was peppered with sleep but we both never really fully passed out. We changed trains so many times, I honestly really lost track.
We left Florence at 12:30ish and made our way to Pisa where we saw the leaning tower. It was surprisingly diminutive and looked fake, just like a chess piece. Most books call the leaning tower a tourist trap and it is. It's just a bell tower that's was put up improperly (or properly) and that's it. There is nothing else to see in Pisa. I almost regret having tramped across the city with our luggage to see something slightly disappointing. But hey, I can cross it off my life list....that has to count for something.
We made it back in time for the next train to take us to Maliglia (or something named like that). Our plans had changed when we realized we really needed a place to sleep (no duh right?. Originally we were just going to sleep on the beaches of Nice because hostels and hotels are so expensive in Nice, but thats just unrealistic. So we decided to push on towards Figueres in Spain. So pretty much the moment we arrived in Nice we got the next train out to Figueres because Bella said she knew of a really great place to crash there and it was nice and cheap. My kinda of language.
We are currently on the train for Figueres and we have 4 more hours left. My bones ache, my muscles don't know what their function is anymore, my eye color has gone from bloodshot to a yellow jaundice sort of look. My clothes.....well lets just say I'm not the most pleasant creature to be around right now. I feel bad for the poor souls who have to sit next to me.
Bella has passed out pretty consistently on each train despite it's been only for 2 minutes, it's humorous to see her nod off to sleep. Our moods, like the London/Brussels fiasco has been all over the map. We went from giggly to silent, to disbelief at our current situation. For the most part I have been pretty quiet, conserving my energy while Bella expends it and then passes out. I think we've only gotten on each others nerves a few times, otherwise it hasn't been too bad (ie. as in we haven't wanted to kill each other yet). Actually I take that back, I have wanted to pop Bella a few times when she randomly hits my backpack or smacks me. Otherwise, it's been amicable, mostly because I believe were both too tired to do much else......I think I'm about to nod off...be back in a sec.
So I actually never got the chance to continue that post during the train ride...mostly because I don't think my mind would have functioned to be able to do that. However I'll pick up where I left off. We had changed trains a few more times until we were finally on a train for Montepelier. That train was supposed to make a stop where we would take another train to Figueres. Or something like that. By now, you've either taken a cue from what I've just said or read Bella's blog (www.bellaseurope.blogspot.com) and know that never actually happened.
Unfortunately someone decided to end their life by jumping out in front of a train. This occurs rather often in France. This was the second time Bella was experiencing this in her travels abroad and my first. The entire process delayed us by 2 hours causing us to miss our train that would take us to Figueres. While this was incredibly unfortunate, we did our best to make light of the situation (ie. a few jokes on the behalf of the person who made this unwise decision) and make some friends.
Two French guys became our new best buds, well Isabella's really. I didn't really feel like talking to anyone because I hadn't slept for about 30ish hours and smelled like dirty socks that had been left in some guy's gym bag for 42 weeks. But once I got past that I managed to play a few card games with them and join in on the conversation. We talked about almost everything. It was interesting to see their perspective and hear their opinions on situations and ideas. Though I doubt we got a realistic accurate view of the French population's beliefs as one of them was an ex-gymnast and the other a recently-graduate fashion student, who was gay. Regardless it was interesting.
Two and a half hours later we got off at a stop that the train company had directed us to get off at so we could get on our next train that would take us to another stop so we could get on the bus that would take us to Figueres. This was the only way they could get us to our destination really, and while I appreciated that they didn't just let us fend for ourselves despite paying our way I couldn't help but resent them a little bit for not just getting another freaking train to take us to Figueres. But as I didn't know how trains operate, I overlooked it. They fed us on the train and I made the huge mistake of having nuts on an empty stomach before I got on the bus. my stomach was cramping hard core before I got off the train and I was afraid I was going to lose everything I had just ingested.
While waiting for the bus to come and take 100 of the 200 people to their destination. "Wait, you say, what happened to the other 100 people?" Well sad to say I have no idea. Bella was determined to get on that bus. The scene was just like what Bella had told me it was like when we sat down on the bus "the last bus out of Saigon." I can barely recall anything but Bella shoving me into the middle of stinky smelly people to be one of the first people on that bus. Now if you know me, you know I'm not a terribly affectionate person, and that I enjoy my personal space. Well that night, personal space was no longer an issue as much as getting on that last bus. I feel like a different person after that experience.
Once on the bus, my body started honing in on the stomach pain which may or may not have drawn a few tears from my eyes (I will neither confirm nor deny this, merely leave it up to the people to make this decision as to whether I'm a pansy or not). Bella thought I was going to die while I coped with the pain and started to feel really bad about the whole situation. The only thing I could think about was how this was so out of a movie. The girl dies after going out on this adventure with her friend, while the friend thinks it's her fault for dragging her out there. Only she didn't drag me....I went willingly. I laughed it off and promised I wouldn't die. I think she still was a little worried until in the midst of my body's desire to put me in pain for eating those nuts, I heard people talking and laughing in a different language. Bella has the amazing ability to understand a bunch of languages and I have the amazing ability to still be curious and nosy about what people are saying even if I am dying. So I asked her what the people were saying. Bella cautiously asked me what who was saying....I think she thought I was hearing the voice of God. I told her the people behind us. She asked me in bewilderment why I wanted to know what the heck the people behind us where saying when I was feeling crappy. I think she then realized I wasn't going to die. Or maybe I was and had decided I'm gonna die being nosy. Either way.
We traveled through the night and arrived at Figueres around 12. We hailed the next cab and Bella told him where to take us. The hotel that was nice and cheap was closed for the night so he brought us to this other hotel that was open.
Grimy, sweaty, stinky, and looking like we ourselves had gotten run over by a train walked into the nicest hotel I have ever seen since ive been in eruope. I really couldn't help but notice the irony of the situation. For €80 a night we could stay. That was a lot. Bella looked at me....I looked at her. And we caved. The man checking us in could have asked for anything...I would have probably given it to him for only a shower and a clean bed. I am so human.
I wanted people to know I was alive so I took advantage of the wifi and texted and skyped a few people then I passed out for the best sleep of my life.