Sunday, February 11, 2007

Get me to Barcelona

Again, I woke up hungover…

To be make sure our trip to Barcelona was stress free and enjoyable, we decided we would goto the train station a good hour or two early. We had lots of time to spare, so I went out to get some breakfast with Andrew, a Kiwi we had met the night before. Wayne caught up with us and we discussed out train trip to Barcelona, Andrew pointed out that if we were on the express train that it left from the train station down the road, we didn’t have our tickets on us so we decided to check them when we went back to the hostel.

So we go back to the hostel, pack our stuff and head off to the train station we arrived at. Important thing to note here is that we didn’t check our tickets to see where we departed from!

Relaxed and with plenty of time up our sleeves we caught the underground out to the, or should I say one of the, train station(s)… When we got there, we couldn’t find our train on any of the departure boards, suddenly it dawned on us that we hadn’t checked what station we were departing from… A horrible feeling welled up inside us as we realised that we should be at the other station, on the other side of town.

With an hour till our train left and about that amount of travel to get to it, we started running… So much for being early and having a relaxing trip…

We just made it, I was sweating like a pig, having had to run with my suitcase, thank god it had wheels and a handle…

We got to Barcelona, there was a bit of rain but nothing to write home about.

Wayne’s brother Mark, had kindly offered us his couch. My plan was to stay there for a few nights until Tim and Amber arrived in a couple of days.

At the train station we had the option of catching the underground or getting a Taxi. Mark had advised us to get a taxi. However being the underground veterans that we thought we were and add to that the huge queue for taxi’s we decided that the underground was for us!

Not knowing exactly where Mark lived and not having a map ended up being more of an issue than we thought it would be.

We got the underground to a station which was in the suburb Mark lived in, as we were leaving the station hordes of people were entering the station, it was pandemonium. Barcelona had just played and one a soccer match and this was all the fans catching the train home. We had to get one of the station attendants to walk in front of us clearing the way… there were that many people! As we were passing through the crowd, I made the disturbing observation that people were wet and some of them were wearing ponchos.

Barcelona was experiencing a torrential downpour. This only happens for like 3 or 4 days a year and as luck would have it we were in the middle of it. We were stuck in the street, with no cover in the pouring rain! We were drenched and hiding in a doorway for an hour until we were rescued by Mark, who took us back to his apartment.

Safe, dry sigh…

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