Trains, Ferries, and Automobiles

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Yesterday I left Madrid for Ibiza. I'd forgotten to bring a travel alarm clock, which had been one of the things stressing me out the night prior. I had to be at the station by 8:30 AM at the latest and I had been up the night before until about 7 AM. I just set my head and also prayed for a wake up, as well as setting my iPod to play at 7:30 AM and hoping that one of my earphones would stay in overnight. It turns out that I woke up at 6:30 AM and so had nothing to fear. In fact, I'd even had time to shower, except that I'd painfully packed everything the night before and didn't dare risk upsetting the delicate balance now.

So I took the 9:00 train from Madrid to Valencia. I was speeding along the Spanish countryside in a somewhat futuristic looking bullet train, alternatively reading Bradbury's excellent Martian Chronicles and looking out at the very red soil and the resulting (to me) alien landscape of green shrubs, red soil, and reddish-gray mountains. There was one scene in particular out the window where a lone mountain stood in the middle of the plains with little orchards surrounding it and I really regret not takin a picture. Anyway, I quickly pulled out my music notebook and scrawled this. I've been writing a lot lately. Anyway, I kinda like it, hope you do too:

A Place Like Home
Familiar red soil beneath his feet
The first traveller stands regarding
A sky of blue, so pretty too
But reminding him of his parting

Stumbling through the ancient land
Decoding ancient runes
Discovering truths, ages unused
A smile in spite of its weight

Thinking on what he must do
To give to Mars its rebirth
Red carbon skies, the old life dies
And salt water falls to the Earth.

Change it all the way we like
It's fine if it's not ours
Out with the new, in with the old
And make the Earth like Mars

So anyway, back on topic here, I finally got into Valencia, and grabbed a city bus to the bus station. The ferry company provided a free bus down to Denia from Valencia, and it's good they do, because they really rip you off on the ferry rides. So another bus, another hour and a half, en route we passed a little town that did the Hollywood thing and spelled its name in white block letters on a hill, and a few scenic and probably Moorish castles. I've been giving the camera a little rest lately and just taking it all in, as you'll no doubt notice if/when I get my pictures uploaded.

Ibiza City
Then, from Denia, onto the ferry for Ibiza. Another 3 hours. I had finished The Martian Chronicles on the train and started Dan Brown's Digital Fortress on the bus and polished off a good chunk of it by the time we finally got into Ibiza. I'd rather have sat outside and watched the see go by, but that wasn't allowed and the weather was lousy for anything except travelling anyway. I did sit by a window, but it's not the same, so I just read. I did end up finishing the book by the end of the night, incidentally, an interesting novel though thoroughly predictable and I did spot a few mistakes, like the head of a major chip manufacturer thinking he's make a mint producing "VSLI" chips or Greg Hale saying at the end of a certain chapter that "Who will guard the guards" was Tokanama's favourite saying, which cast suspicion on him as a potential murderer since he should not have known Tokanama died, but in the end he was innocent (of that) and that little subtlety was never explained.

Some of the people I asked
Anyway, I got into Ibiza city and then had to catch another bus (after a long hike to the bus station) to San Antonio, the city where I'm staying. THEN I walked around looking for the place and everyone I asked for directions was saying something different. It was actually pretty funny in spite of the 60 pound pack on my back but I eventually had enough and took a cab who DID seem to know where it was (I'd asked two cabbies prior who were among the culprits sending me walking in various directions). Having walked arounds and seen some of the places, I was pretty sure that my €30 had booked me a dive, but I was pleasantly surprised by my hotel. Clean, nice, pool, tennis, ping pong, and a dinner buffet that I probably was more impressed by than I would've been had I not eaten something I really liked in over a week. Which, in my first bit of good luck that day, I JUST managed to catch.

The hotel park
Anyway, I have my own clean room AND bathroom, which is nice, and get this - the maids come in and clean up after me in case I made a mess every morning. What a world! :) I didn't have enough energy to go out last night so I basically laid in my room (there was an awful keyboard duet downstairs so I didn't sit in the lounge) and finished my book. Which was nice. I came here to relax AND to have fun.

The beach I walked along
Today I just walked around (the weather was cool and it even rained, which figures, since I had hot sun the whole trip prior) and I may rent a moped to find some of the nice beaches or explore the island tomorrow, we'll see. It'll probably depend on the weather a bit. Tonight I'll probably go out to a club on the sea about 10 minutes walk away.

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