Monday, June 7, 2010

Fwd: Cadiz, Granada, Barcellona, ferry to Rome

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jake Nacheman <>
Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010
Subject: Cadiz, Granada, Barcellona, ferry to Rome

So now we are on a train to Barcelona (an overnight train) from
granada. The last time I updated this blog was when I was on a train
to Cadiz, so that's where I'll pick up. We arrived on Cadiz and began
to look for wifi and/or a place tk stay. We found a public square with
free wifi, so I checked Couch Surfing but we had gotten no responses--
that meant that we were going to have to find a hostel but so far we
had bumped into none yet. We kept wandering aimlessly throughthe city
looking for a youth hostel with our backpacks on-- getting heavier by
the step-- until finall a Dutch couple approached us and asked if we
still were looking for a place to stay. He said that he recogniized us
from the train Ndthat they too had been searching for a hostel but had
found none. That had, however, reported Bend, found a cheapish
pension. I usually stay away from pensions because they commonly
consist of a cell-like room and zero social atmosphere. But, at this
point, we were tired and hungry and I was ready to find anyplace to
throw our bags. So we took Bend's recomendation and booked what turned
out to be one of the last rooms in town.
We then walked around for a bit, ate, and got to know the town a
little. We sat down at a cafe for a bit and as we were sitting there a
parade started to march through the square. It featured an all girls
drum corps and a guy blowing a wistle-- I tried my best to translate
the posters that they were carryig but I still couldn't make much
sense out of them. Just as we were trying to guess what it was for,
another parade came through the square. This one had a full marching
band in uniform and a gigantic catholic float topped with a huge
cross. The thing that disturbed me was that no one seemed to be
pushing or pulling the float. Emily then noticed that below the float
were dozens of pairs of tiny feet. There were children holding up and
moving the float! I can't imagine how hot it mush have been to be
inside that thing.

I am updating the following severely days later on a boat from
Barcelona to Rome:

That night in Cadiz, after wandering around alm day, Emily and I went
for a walk on the beach and crashed early. The next morning we were
displeased to hear from the pensionne proprieter that we were not
allowed to leave our bags with her for the day unless we payed for
another night. She assured me that she had never heard of a hotel that
holds your bags after you check out. She knows because she had
traveled the world- she once went to Miami! I assured her that hers
was the only hotel in Spain that was this bad of a rip off, then we
parted ways.

Now saddled by our packs, Emily and I were condemned to wander the
streets in misery-- or to blow off exploring the town and spend the
day relaxing on the beach. We chose door number two. Crispy from a day
by the water, we lugged our bags to an historic castle on the
waterfront and found a receptionist kind enough to hold our bags while
we explored it. The castle had been converted into an art gallery and
we saw some really nifty pices. After that we walked until we found
the train station and caught the first train with open seats back to
Seville. There, we spent the night and caught a train to Grenada in
the morning (this was poor planning on my part- I assumed we could to
Grenada direct from Cadiz, when infact there is no train or road
directly connecting the two).

We arrived in Grenada around 3pm and made our way tk the city center
looking for wifi signal. I needed to get on skype because we had
planned to meet up with Josh (currently studying Spanish in Grenada).
We finally got through to his local cell and planned a place to meet
up with him. While waiting, I found a very nice pensionne (run by nice
people) and booked us a room.

We met up with Josh who proceeded to give us the grand tour or Grenada
and lure us into seeing a bull fight with him. So, that's what we did
that evening. Jus. A couple of euros bought our way into a show that
was far more grusem than I could have expected. I thought that the
term "bull-fight" meant that there would be some fighting involved.
However, it just turned out to be a dozen dudes dresses like Liza
Menilli ganging up on a little bull first with sticks that they
stabbed into his back and then with swords that they plunged into
non-lethal areas they continued to poke and stick the animal until it
bled out or got tired or living. Then they took a dagger and sepersted
it's spine at the neck. Traif.

They did this 6 times with 6 bulls.

I mean, I thought that it was going to be a bit like hunting- where an
experienced practioner can take a skilled shot and kill the animal
(relatively) humanely in one or maybe two blows. This was bloodsport.

After that we went out for cheeseburgers.

Jk-- after eating some FISH tapas, the three of us spent the night
walking through the streets enjoying the beautiful surroundings that
Granada had to offer, including a walk up the hill towards la
Alhambra, an old Muslim fort/city that overlooks Granada- it is
Granada's main attraction. We said goodbye to Josh around midnight
(because he had homework-ha) and crashed. The next morning we got up
early, left our bags at the hotel (hah) and walked back up to la
Alhambra which is supposed tk sell out everyday befor noon or earlier.
We got there just in time- and cheated a little because we found a
ticket machine around the back of the ticket office that no one in the
long line seemed to know about.

La Alhambra is a day long event. It should be called the water palace.
Beautiful gardin, after beautiful gardin, the fountains seemed to go
on forever. Each fountain was followed by another that was more
magnificant than the last. The kings who lived here certainly has a
vision on paradice in mind that I could go along with-- I'm not so
sure that I'd choose the same route of getting there, however.

After Alhambra, we were sure that we would be able to hop on a quick
train to Barca, but I hadn't taken the size of Spain I to account. As
it turns out, Spain is huuge-- the only train connecting Barca to
Granada is a 12 hour express. Needless to say, this is an overnight
train and we had a few hours to kill. We were both dead tired though,
and had already collected our packs from the hotel. There was no way
that walking the city was going te be an option (not after Cadiz at
least). So, we plopped down into a heladoria and contemplated our
preticiment over some Spanish ice-cream (I can't wait for real Italian
gelato). We decided that we deserved some airconditioned rest, so we
found a movie theatre and watched "the prince of Persia" dubbed in
Spanish without subtitles. I don't think that I'll re-watch it in
English. Doest matter, it was a welcome respit.

We boarded the train around 9 pm and had a pleasent enough journey.
See the post below for some details on that drama. When we arrived in
Barcelona we once again began our usual sage of wandering around
looking for wifi and or a cheapish hostle. We found neither but were
contented with 19 euros a night. Once checked in we had Internet
access (ahh the catch-22) and I wen. On couch surfing only to find
that we hadn't gotten a couch anyway. *Note to self, Iberia is not the
most reliable place to CS, at least not in spring with two people--
although the few surfing exeriences we did have were awesome...

Since we got I to Barcelona eay we decided to go on a bit of a Gaudi
quest starting with the eternally incomplete crown to his collection:
El Tempolo de la Sagrada Familia. Zack, you need to come to Barca some
day. Gaudi makes buildings real prices of art. Stepping into Sagrada
Familia was like stepping into some kind of insect cucoon slash
gumdrop forrest. I know that doesn't make any sense unless you have
seen it, but it is awesome. To bad that it isn't finished. The guy
died like a century ago and his masterpiece is still under major
construction. It's actually kind of funny because you cannot find a
post card of the church that's missing a crane or two soiling the
image (unless it's a drawing or cartoon). It is ALWAYS undergoing

After seeing the churct we made our was around the city oogling Gaudis
other buildings and walkways and sculptures and generally enjoying the
experiences that Barcellona had to offer.

We were going tk go to a "ice bar" that night (I guess it's made out
of ice...?) but were too tired (a repeating theme towards the end of
this trip) and instead opted to grab some simple sangrias with a few
new friends from the hostle (from canada). That was nice, we shared
storied and swapped experiences.

The next morning we went to parque guell with our Canadian friends
(designed by Gaudi) and then Emily and j went to a few museums: fine
art, catalonian history, progression or Picasso from his more serious
student days to his satirical mastry days.

We met us with three québécois siblings who had contacted me on couch
surfing and were looking for other travelers currently in Barcellona
to chill with. They told us about a free pub crawl with free drinks
that they had heard about, se we all went to that. We had some good
conversation with them in a few bars, and then moved onto dancing at a
club on the beach called Shoko. All in all it was a fun night and I
thank CS for making meeting these folks possible.

In the morning I took Emily to the Airport for her 8:00 flight to EWR
through FRA. I went back to sleep for a bit after that. Then I checked
out, left my bag at reception, and I met up with a old friend who is a
barcellona local. We met 4 years ago in Rome when we I stayed at the
same hostle that she stayed at (this was when I was on my way to
Krakov for my Polish exchange program). She took me out for some
schkolat (which is like an unsweetened, thin, hot chocolate pudding
with a heap of umsweetened whipped cream on top. I also has some
churros. We talked and caught up, and talked about Spanish vs American
systems of government. We compared the Catalon situation to that of
Quebec. Then, of course, we talked at length about "lost". Lost, the
glue that binds all cultures together.

We said our goodbyes and I headed to the beach for a well-earned day
of sleeping in the sun.

At 8pm I checked in for my ferry transmediterraniana and we embarked
around 11pm. My ticket is that of "deck passanger" which is equivilant
to that of modern-day steerage. Literally, there is a room on the
lowest accomodation floor filled with chairs and a few lowly paupers
like me. I never would have slept through the night were it now for a
few chairs that had had their arms broken off in the past, as I was
able to lie accross them and get some decent sleep -- which was a good
thing beacuse I think I had a fever from overexposure to the sun on
the beach and the mystery stuff they gave me out of the first aid kit
seemed like a weak orange flavored placebo. No worries, I slept fi e
and have now been exploring the ship which has a casino, an arcade,
pool, fitness center, gym, and about a dozen restaurants. I a am not
in the upper class Internet room stealing power to charge my iPod-
though I doubt if I'll be able to send this email before we make port
later tonight. In fact, I think I need to skedaddle before someone
asks to see my ticket.

We arrive in Chivittacecchia at 7pm tonight. Then I need tk catch an
hour long train to Roma centrale and take a metro to the ACLE flat in
Rome where I will spend the night before heading up to Parma (in the
north :{ ) for my first week of work. I begin teaching on Monday, wish
me luck.

Feewf, long update...


(ps. This email is too long and I am too lazy to spell check, forgive me)

Sent from my iPod

Jacob Nacheman
Martin Luther King Elementary School: ESOL
University of Rochester: (BS)2009 (MS)2010


  1. Sorry about the formatting. For some reason it somtimes comes out patzo from the iPod. I thought I could preserve the formating by forwarding it to myself and then to the blog (it worked above!) but apparently that doesn't always work... What can you do. Sorry!

  2. haha i didn't know you thought those 2 jesus floats were magically floating in the air at first...i'm also very impressed you remembered that guys name