I was getting very bored sitting in La Linea so I decided to take an overland trip to Granada and Seville. I guess this will be my last backpacking trip for a very long time. I am probably beyond the point of caring to travel anymore anyway. I am saturated for sure. So the real reason for the little over-landing was just to get off the boat.

The Spanish transport network leaves a lot to be desired, especially departing from La Linea. I was able to finally find a way out though and it was a very long and slow bus ride to Granada. I checked into the Makuto Hostel and it was very nice. The staff were great too. The only thing that was funny was my bed was twenty feet up a ladder! The first evening there I took a walking tour to see some of the views. During the tour we went up a hill that overlooks the city and there are caves where people still live. It was sort of interesting as they are quasi-legal and some are even made into full homes.

But I really came to Granada to see only one thing, the Alhambra. I have wanted to see this fortress and palace since I learned about it in Spanish class as a kid. I was worried my expectations would lead to a huge letdown, they usually do. But in this case, I was not at all let down. The Alhambra is very impressive and peaceful and lived up to the hype. Even if I had to wake up at 6 am to make sure I could get a ticket. The main ticket line was already three or four hundred people long when I arrived. Luckily there is a line for credit card purchases that is much shorter. This was very helpful and made the visit to the palaces very early in the morning.

From Granada I took a train to Seville, this was a much improved form of transit over the bus. I checked into the La Banda hostel when I arrived and hoped I might meet some interesting people to talk with. See, the sport of cruising is dominated by a bunch of old men and their fathers, so trying to find someone my own age can be difficult. The problem I found though is that the majority of backpackers in Spain are young. So young, like 19. This is fine I guess, they come here because it is really safe, or at least that is what I imagine. So they are all first time travelers, or at least a lot of them are. Backpackers in general, they always ask the same five questions, always. And I hate these questions, partly because I have heard them so often and partly because I have bad answers to them which only lead to more questions that I don’t really want to answer. So a typical conversation might go like this:

Twenty-two year old college kid: So, where’s home?
Me: Uh, home, right. Boston, I guess.
Twenty-two year old college kid: You guess? How can you now know where home is?”
Me: Its complicated, Boston.
Twenty-two year old college kid: Where have you been since you left?
Me: Uh, that’s kind of a tough answer, but I just came from La Linea.
Twenty-two year old college kid: Where?

Me: It’s next to Gibraltar.
Twenty-two year old college kid: Well where do you go next?
Me: Probably the Canaries. We’ll see.
Twenty-two year old college kid: Cool, so what do you do back in Boston?
Me: What do you mean?
Twenty-two year old college kid: You know, like for work?
Me: I don’t. I guess I was an engineer.
Twenty-two year old college kid: Sweet, I was going to be an engineer, but the math was too hard. So how long you been traveling?
Me: Three years, I have 8 months left.

There is always the same expression of surprise and at this point the conversation usually takes a difficult turn as I am forced to explain myself. That isn’t easy to do, especially to young people.

Anyway, the tour around Seville was nice. They have a huge cathedral and some other interesting stuff. I was really just taking a break from the boat though so I wasn’t all that interested in seeing a ton of sites. The ones I did were nice. The hostel ran a dinner every night too and the food was quite good. This gave me a chance to meet some of the older travelers. I was able to have some very good conversations over a few drinks. It was nice 30-something adult time.

I decided though that I am done with that sort of travel for a long time. It was ruined by some drunk Americans yelling at an Asian girl at 2 AM in the mixed-dorm. “Hey do you fucking speak English, I think you are in my bed!” She wasn’t. I felt so bad for her, and for my country in general. Mostly I think the thing that made me annoyed was how much this guy re-enforced the stereo-type of people from my country. I said something to the guy but I think he was too drunk to understand. In the morning I had to apologize to the girl and let her know we are not all like that.

Anyway, I caught a very long bus ride back to La Linea. I am glad I took a break but I really wish the Spanish would pick up after their dogs. There is dog-shit everywhere and so the whole country seems to be full of very aggressive shit-laden flies. This seems to be the only real drawback aside from the slow buses.

My brother comes tomorrow. This is good as it will end a very lonely two months. It will be nice to have someone to talk to and share the work with. We have a bit of a list to accomplish and then as soon as we can it is off to the open ocean again. I can’t wait, but for the next week the weather is not permitting. That’s OK, we have a lot of work to do.