After earning some travel bucks with various jobs, I got back on the Interrail stage in 1980. Giorgio, another classmate joined me together with his brother Christophoro. We were to tour Spain not being aware that the dark Franco era had just ended a few years ago. Starting in Athens we once again did the long-haul rail trip with the Vemezia Express to Venice and then straight on to Madrid that we reached after a total of four days.We resided at the youth hostel and always looked for the cheapest restaurants for food. The youth hostel in Toledo was located in an old castle. The days were boiling hot and in the evenings we had freezing cold showers in the vaulted bathrooms. First encounter with Islamic culture in Cordoba and Sevilla. Our daily show consisted of Christophoro counting his 40 rolls of film before going to bed. To and from Ronda we had to change trains in an a remote village by the funny name of Bobadilla. Granada was the highlight of our trip. Most of Christophoro‘s films must have been shot there. A clapped out night train that would have figured well in „Once Upon a Time in the West“ took us to Barcelona in a 24 hour trip. Thanks to Talgo this service is not running any longer. The city that is a major attraction nowadays was quite run down at that time and did not inspire us in any way. The youth hotel situation did not contribute to improve our spirits. I cannot remeber any other occasion of being stuffed into a clautrophobic small room with so many other inmates, sweating like crazy without a window or an A/C.
Itinerary: Athens, Venice, Irun, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, Barcelona, Zurich, Basel
- 30 day rail journey across 5 European countries
- 8,000 rail kilometers covered
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