After a short night I awoke really excited and hurried to the French Train Station in Basel (the cite is boardering so close with Germany and France, that there is a French and German train station with customs). In Lyon I don’t have time to see the city and take the next train to Béziers where I plan to leave the trainstation for a bit to explore for some 20 Minutes the city. Upon arrival the display is announcing a delay of the connecting train to Barcelona of 40 Minutes. This shakes my plans up, as I will miss the connecting train to Madrid. Instead of having a look at Béziers I am standing now in line of the ticket counter, constructing the phrases in my rusty French which I will use to ask to change my reserved seat to Madrid to the train one hour later. I can still easily make it to Cordoba if this works. As I stammer the prepared sentences the lady gives me a impatient look and then tells me she can not do anything about this, but the Spanish conductor in the train would be able to change the booking. As the train finally arrives one hour later, the conductor tells me he, himself could not do anything about the ticket, I had to go to customer services after arriving in Barcelona. In Barcelona, the lady behind the counter tells me, all trains were booked apart form the one running at eight o clock. My spirits sink as I realize that I will not make it to Cordoba today. While exiting the office, my stommach is growling as loud as my mind and I decide to leave the station and go look for a restaurant and some WIFI to book a hostel in Madrid. The only restaurant I can find within a reasonable radius does not have WIFI but delicious looking tapas. The savoury piementos del padron (grilled green pepers with oil and salt) and batatas bravas (patatoe wedged with spicy sauce and mayonnaise) calm my mood and my mind resets to positive. I was in quest for an adventure, that is why I choose this trip, adventures do not follow plans. Back at the station the WIFI is too bad to book anything, so I boards the train to Madrid with a broad grin and in my tummy the excitement of not knowing what comes next is producing small butterflies.
The train arrives at 23:15 in Madrid and I head straight to the metro with the plan to go to the center Sol district, but one stop before at Tirso de Molino, I feel like its better to get out there as places will be cheaper a bit from the center. As I get out of the Metro I ask two friendly looking girls if they could have a look on the phone where the next hostel is. The two are really nice, we talk a bit and they even accompany to the hostel. I find a very frienly and clean place. This district seems to be rather alternative, with lots of small alleys to discover. Even though the 15 hour journey had made me very tired I am way to excited to go to sleep, one night in Madrid and waste it on sleeping? I don’t think so. So I have a shower and leave for a night stroll. The beauty of Madrid strikes me, it seems like history is hiding at every corner and that a new story awaits after each small alley. I stay in the more crowded streets for safety reasons and enjoy the role of the spectator. In a little side street I spot a small Bodega, which is all wooden and looks to typical Spanish that any tourist heart could not be happier. I order a glass of Rioja and a toasted bread with goat cheese and ham for an incredible price. In this setting the combination tastes like heaven.
Just as I finish and am about to leave, a crying woman storms in the bar and orders a beer. She then sits sobbing over her beer. I go up to talk to her to ask what is the matter. She sighs and tells me in bits that she was supposed to fly back to her homecountry today but RyanAir would not let her board the plain because something was wrong with her ticket, she then kicked the glassdoor of RyanAir and now she must go back home via another country becuse she does now if this will have any legal concequences. On top of that her boyfriend got in a fight with a dealer who tried to sell them Skunk Weed and she walked away in anger and now is lost, not kfnowing where her boyfriend nor her hostel is. Oh dear what a complicated life. We then walk back to my hostel to look up the adress of hers and part with a hug.
The next day I have a lot of time to explore beautiful Madrid, as the next free seat to Cordoba is only leaving at three in the afternoon.