The sun was just rising above the horizon when the train left the station, hurtling fast through darkness towards the breaking dawn. It had been 11 hours since I was last at home, and 21 hours since I had last seen a bed. It had been 20 hours since my last shower, but it would be at least 15 more before I would have that luxury once more. The night before was a blur of photograph flashes and the taste of sangria. There were brief remembrances of the taste of chocolate and churros at 4am, snippets of unforgettable conversations, and the sad pout I wore all evening, knowing it was all coming to an end.
Another adventure. Alone. I watched the outskirts of Barcelona roll by, but I did not see them, my eyes passing hazily over the unimpressive, indistinguishable landscape. Good riddance.
At 11:00, a group of Italian backpackers took their seats nearby and smiled at me. Shortly afterwards, a man passed through the car dressed in a furry pink bunny suit.
At 12:00, we rolled through the País Vasco (Basque Country) and rainclouds began to appear on the horizon. This made me happy. I started to feel at home, and realized that my heart, all my knowledge of Spain, comes from the north, from Euskadi, from something very different from the rest of the country.
At 1:43, we stopped in Miranda de Ebro. It was strange that I hadn´t thought of the possibility that the train would stop there, but seeing a landscape that looked strangely familiar, I began to get a nervous feeling in my stomach. There was still an empty seat next to mine, and I thought how cruelly ironic it would be if Olaia or Lierni were to board the train and take her seat next to mine. The train station was just as I remembered it. Ít´s strange how many of my memories of Miranda revolve around that train station. It was a sad little town, gray and dismal, without life, without personality. No one was waiting there. I could see why.
At 5:00, we finally hit the mountains. I woke up to a wall of green outside my windows, and watched as they revealed sloping curves and deep valleys though which glistening waters ran in the afternoon light. I smiled.
When we finally hit Coruña, it was too dark to see anything but a spread of glowing lights surrounding the station. I made my way with two extremely heavy suitcases to the hostel, which was situated down a cozy and bright alley, whose bars and taverns were still buzzing with life. I love it here already.