Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Barcelona Blues: Why It Wasn't My Favorite City

I was pumped for Barcelona, after so many people telling me that I would just love it there! I gave myself more time to stay there than in the other cities. I booked a train to Barcelona, which took some time. I wasn't able to find a decent host on Couchsurfing, so I decided to just book a hostel in a smaller, all female room.

Arriving at the train station, Sants, I was so confused. That's because they had the long distance train, the regional train and the metro going through there. That's good and dandy, but at the same time the signage there didn't make things obvious. There was lots of figuring out to do. I knew that I was supposed to take a train a couple of stops, and I knew my destination station, so I waited in a line to talk to the one lady at the information desk that was open. Good. Which train am I actually catching? With no map, I wasn't sure. Called the hostel, and got no answer. Then I had to buy the ticket. A bunch of different looking machines. Which one do I use? Finally got my ticket. I go to the right platform, but they had a few different trains running through there. Had to ask again. The first two trains weren't right, but the third one was. The lady told me it was my train. Good.

I get to the hostel, ready to check in. This hostel was called Urbany Hostel on a street called Mediana. I added one night, then with the city's tourist tax and the hostel's key deposit, my bill was over 100 euros. So, I pulled out my lucky 200 Euro bill I got from the exchange house in Seoul. The guy at the counter looks at me like I'm crazy, then tells me that they don't accept 200 Euro bills. They asked me to pay by credit card, and I declined, knowing that my U.S. Bank charges very high fees when using their card overseas. My Korean bank card was for withdraws only, and they cost money too of course. I wanted to be careful. I wanted to use that precious 200 Euro bill I had. Can't go to waste, can it? I asked to go to the bank later to exchange it for smaller bills, which should be free. They said okay.

Why am I telling this in detail? You'll see later.