We just arrived at the Barcelona Sants Train Station for the third time during our stay here…and this isn’t the train station where we arrived. After our debacle of spending four hours here on Friday and not getting to go anywhere, we decided it would be smart to book our seat reservations yesterday on our way to the beach. There is a line for advanced ticket sales and a line for ticket sales for trains leaving that same day. We figured the advanced ticket sales line would probably be about the same length—we would be in and out in an hour and have seat reservations for Monday.
We took a ticket, number 532. We looked at the screen, #276. This cannot be right…it just can’t. There are not 250 people waiting around here. We sat and we waited and we waited and we sat…for FOUR hours. Finally at 5:00pm our number was called. We get up to the ticket counter to reserve our seats to Madrid… “Necesito sus InterRail.” (I need your InterRail passes) WHAT!? No one has needed these for past seat reservations!! No one asked for them when we were making seat reservations to Valencia…FROM THIS SAME STATION…TWO DAYS AGO! We fought and complained and then the ticket sales dude said that when we come back with our InterRail passes, we can cut the line. Just in case he might accidentally forget the two tourists who were yelling at him, I took another number and waited at the train station while Keith ran to hotel to get out passes.
Ticket number 897.
An hour later, Keith returned with our InterRail passes. He seemed hesitant to try to cut the line, but I said I would talk to the ticket sales guy, which worked out fine. Ticket sales guy apologized for the inconvenience and I apologized for yelling at him (all of this took place in Spanish).
At 6:30pm—five hours later—we left the train station with our seat reservations in hand. Since we hadn’t eaten all day, we ate at the first place we found—which was terribly over priced but fabulously filling and headed to the beach.
17 hours later, we are back at the train station. Our train leaves at 1:00pm, getting us into Madrid around 3:00. We will take three different Metro lines to our hotel on the complete other side of Madrid. It’s close to Madrid’s Barajas Airport and provides a free shuttle service to the airport. Our flight is at 11:45am Spain time and we will be in NYC at 1:30pm EST tomorrow.
photos to come