Dec 12-Hello BCN
After breaky at the hostel, I was out the door and on my way to the train station via the metro. At the metro, I ended up at the wrong kiosk to buy a ticket, and was at the Renfe National Train Kiosk. A very nice woman approached and the conversation roughly as follows:
Renfe Agent: Where are you going?
Me: Train station for train to BCN (Yes, very descriptive I know)
Renfe Agent: Which one?
Me: Ur, what do you mean which one? I thought there was only one train station
Renfe Agent: There are two. Which one do you need?
Me: The main one that goes to BCN. Where is the other train station?
Renfe Agent: I don’t know
Me: Um, you don’t know where the other train station is? Okay, well I need the main train station to BCN…here is my ticket, (which didn’t have the name of the Valencia train station, only the BCN arrival station)
Renfe Agent: Ah yes…you need Estació del Nord
Me: Thank goodness, that’s what I thought!
At this point, I thought the conversation was over and she would point me over to the metro ticket kiosk…nope.
Renfe Agent: You walk to train station. Very close.
Me: Ah yes, but my bag is heavy. I want to take the metro.
Renfe Agent: No, no, very close. You walk.
Me: (Point at bag) Heavy! I would like to take metro, por favour!
Renfe Agent: Easy to walk, very close!
Holy smokes lady! I knew the train station was close, as I had walked there the previous day, but with a full backpack and my Freitag bag to carry, it would have been easier to take the metro. A few more minutes of back and forth and it finally dawns on her that I need the metro. That’s when she goes, “Wrong kiosk, you need metro kiosk over there.” No kidding! Very nice lady…I wish I could speak articulately in Spanish to have avoided that conversation and I am certain she was wishing the same.
Eventually I made it to the station with a little bit of time before my train arrived, just enough to take a few photos. There is a screening point right under the train schedule board. I was trying to take a photo of the train schedule and managed a couple of shots before I was approached by security. Very nice gentleman, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking photos of the security area. At that point, it was time to go through security to board my train, so didn’t have too much time to photograph.
I had a great window seat for the ride to BCN, but I was so tuckered I slept through most of it. The moments I was awake, the view is spectacular as the train goes right along the Mediterranean coast. I will have to remember to stay awake next time. Dropped off my bag at the hostel, then out the door for some exploring and photographs before dark. My hostel was right at the base of Montjuïc, of course that was where I went. The view of BCN was quite overwhelming as it looked like an entire city was still under construction. That wasn’t too far of a stretch judging from all the cranes that dotted the skyline.
On my way, I passed by the Olympic pool and the former diving venue during the Olympics and was a tad dismayed. It looked so neglected with a ton of seagulls swimming in it, looking like they were having a grand time doing so. Not sure if the pool is actually used in the summer by residents, but it looked pretty dismal. I got as far as Fundació Joan Miró and that was it for the day, as the light had completely faded, but a full moon was visible. So it was quite a lovely walk back down the hill on my first evening in BCN.
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