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I woke up at 700 exactly with my phone in my hand; I woke up and shut it off I guess. I got up and grabbed my things and headed to the station wondering if honesty or ignorance was going to be my weapon of choice for today… remember that my ticket was for the 5:55 bus. The next one left the station at 800 I decided to not talk to the lady at the ticket office and see if the driver would notice.

Since the Valladolid route is the same as the Cuellar route I recognized the driver; we aren’t friends or anything but I thought maybe he would let it slide. I threw my bag in the baggage hold, under the bus and got in line. When I handed the ticket to the driver he looked at it and handed it back and didn’t say anything.

At about 10 I got to Valladolid, which had to be about 20 degrees colder than Segovia. I got my round trip ticket from the AlSA window for about 50 Euros and got breakfast (a tomato and tuna Empanada) which was delicious but overpriced. Finally our bus showed up at about 5 past 11. About 2 hrs into the trip we stopped and let off a hand full of passengers including a guy and his kid who didn’t stop crying and screaming the whole two hours. We took a 30 minute break; When we all got back on the bus 2 of the 6 Italian girls traveling in a group were missing. As the driver was about to pull away they came running through the station and hopped in.

A little ways in I woke up and enjoyed the crazy mountain views. Part of the highway gives way to HUGE jagged peaks and green hills. Hopefully I can snag some pictures on the way back.

To get to the “Kasko Viejo” (old section) from the bus station you take a bus, walk really far or use the metro. I entered the metro, bought a ticket and hopped on the super sleek train. At my stop I jumped off and tried to find the exit but all exits looked like connecting routes because they required that you enter your ticket; in Madrid you only need the ticket to enter the metro. Out of the station I wandered around until I found my “pension” it’s like a room in a really big house. I climbed 5 flights of creaky old wooden stairs and finally got to my musty room.

All of the signs are in Euskara (the language of the Basque people) and in Spanish. Basques don’t consider themselves Spanish and many actually struggle for independence from Spain. Their culture is distinct and their language so old that linguists say it has no connection to any other language. I read that the Basques have a saying, “before god was god and rocks were rocks, the Basques were Basques”. If you find yourself in Basque country instead of “como estas” try Kaixo (ka-show).

Went and had some food and checked internet at a café/ salon de juego ( Casino but smaller just have some slot machines) I didn’t play but I did see some asian guy win 200 Euros… maybe I should have played…  I have heard there is some skill involved in the slot machines here, they have too many blinking lights to figure out in my opinion.

On the way up the stairs I ran into a guy and girl speaking Engish I stopped and asked them if by chance they were auxiliaries… they laughed and said yeah. Andrea is from California and Luis is from Boston. I thought they were together going to enjoy the evening so I didn’t say much more.

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