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March 12, 2010

第362話 地下鉄

 バレンシア空港から鉄道のバレンシアノルド駅まではシャトルバスを使うつもりでいた。何しろPaulからは次のように聞かされて(脅されて)いたのだ。

「マネーベルトは持っているか?(何だ?それは?)下着の下に貴重品を入れておかないと危ないぞ。特に駅の待合室や地下鉄の中はPickPocketが大勢いる。日本人は見れば分かるから狙われるぞ。電車の中で居眠りはするな。寝る場合は鞄は抱きかかえるか、上に足を乗せろ。」てな具合だ。

 さすがにタクシーは高いので使いたくない。ギリギリ、シャトルバスならスリもいないだろう、と考えていた。ところが、バスの乗り場の案内表示が方々歩き回ったが見当たらない。この辺りに来るとスペイン語しか通じないので、誰かに聞こうにもなかなか辛いものがある。「エアロブス?」って聞くと誰もが手を振るから、多分走っていないのだろう。

 と、なると地下鉄しかない。入口はすぐわかったが、ヒジョーに閑散としている。切符売場の女性に「エスタシオン、バレンシアノルド」と言ったら、留まっている電車を指さして切符をよこしてきたので、とりあえず飛び乗った。までは良かったが、3両連結の全車両合わせて乗客は自分一人。おいおい、まさか車庫に行くんじゃないだろうな~。誰も乗って無いぞ~。そうこう心配するうちに扉が閉まって走り出してしまった。やがて社内アナウンスで「プロキシマ エスタシオン ××」と流れてきたのでホッとしたが、この間約1分間、かなり焦った。次の駅ではドバッと人が乗ってきた。

 約25分後、バレンシア駅に繋がるXativa(ジャティバ)に到着。駅舎は伝統ある建物のようでなかなか良い雰囲気だが、町の中は昼間っから打ち上げ花火でやたらうるさい。戦争でも始まったんじゃないか、と思うくらいの騒音と、煙が街中充満して、折角のレトロな街並みも、これじゃ台無しだ。Photo

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