I Really Fucking Hate Barcelona (Round 3)… Barcelona, Spain

I thought I’d managed to catch up to at least moving back into Mum and Dad’s after Andorra but it turns out I totally forgot about my massive ordeal when trying to get home! It just so happened that the day I was due to fly back to England there were cancellations across the board thanks to a French airstrike.

My flight was one of them… and I was stranded in a city I knew I hated with no insurance, no mobile phone, a snowboard and an increasing sense of panic.

I queued an hour for more information from EasyJet regarding the next available flights to Luton airport. They said the next day was already fully booked but there were flights for the day after that. Unfortunately, the strikes were due to last the next two nights and without a contact phone number to call in case of another cancellation it was recommended that I book a seat for three days time.

It was like an arrow to the heart. I had been wanting to get home so badly for a good few weeks now. My arms were still covered in caustic soda burns, my only pair of shoes gave me blisters like you wouldn’t believe and my 9kg snowboard bag was doing a good job of dislocating my right shoulder.

But I trundled over to the café to buy a healthy dose of red wine and wait for a bus to take me and a whole flight of other people to the hotel that EasyJet were putting us in until we could get the hell out of Barcelona.

We drove a little way from the airport and all folded ourselves out of the bus, giving it one last glance as it drove off, leaving us all on an industrial estate… stranded. At the wrong hotel.

This hotel had no rooms available and it turned out that EasyJet had tried to palm people off with just one free night of accommodation. In this full hotel. Some people needed a room for as many as seven nights until their next available flight!

A few angry phone calls were made, the buses came back and took us ten metres down the road, to another hotel-motel-holiday inn, before telling us to get off again. Instead, we sent a fiery spokeswoman to ask reception what they had been told by EasyJet and sure enough she came back with the weak promise of one nights stay.

In the back of my mind I weighed up my options.

Do I stay and just accept that I might need to move again tomorrow, and the day after… and the day after, until I can get my flight? But how will I even contact EasyJet. There’s nothing here for me. There’s not even a bus stop. I don’t want to spend all my savings on trying to get to and from a town I hate/ my next hotel/ the airport. Alright, that’s enough. Back to the airport to slap some bitchez.

It was like they were expecting us.

We waltzed straight on up to a bunch of EasyJet representatives, who were now giving out location details of a new hotel with the guarantee of the amount of nights needed for each passenger with all meals included for the duration of our stay.

Bingo!

I waited for the free bus to the Hesperia Tower and when we pulled up outside I thanked my brilliant greediness for being so greedy.

Hesperia Tower is a modern, high rising, 5* hotel and I had this room all to myself for three whole nights. It was pure luxury and I had to pinch myself to make sure it was actually real.

The next day I forced myself to venture into town… and once again try to love Barcelona.

I set out to find the El Carmel bunkers and then accidentally, illegally caught the bus to Park Guell without a bus ticket. Unfortunately, I hadn’t booked so I was free to roam the ticketless attractions but I wasn’t allowed into the monumental zone. From here, I used the underground to go shopping which is exactly what I needed to perk me right up after a long day walking around in those god awful blister shoes.

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On day two, I told myself that I could afford to treat myself to a spa day. I paid my 16 euros and visited the spa and swimming pool… where I spent most of my time laid in the sun with a magazine written in Spanish.

Event of the day: One giant Staffordshire BullTerrier and one oh so cute puppy came hurtling through the sun deck from the trees. I looked up from my bed to catch, in the corner of my eye, the bigger of the two gun straight through the open door to the pool and launch itself into the pristine water.

Of course, this is pretty funny on its own. Especially when watching the lifeguards angrily trying to get the dog out of the water, as its owner screeched uncontrollably at the poor thing, which was obviously loving life and completely clueless to its total destruction of everyone’s relaxing spa day.

But what made it even funnier was that the dog had single handily managed to shut the pool down for the day. The rules were, that when using the pool you had to wear a shower cap to help keep hairs and dirt in the water to a minimum. But not one fuck was given by that dog that day. Not one single flying fuck.

Even after eventually coaxing it out of the pool, it decided it didn’t give a shit any more than it had in the first place and jumped straight back in. Prompting a young and very angry pool attendant to jump in after it and drag it out by the scruff of its neck.

It took two people to carry that dog out of the pool area and set it down on the sun deck, where the owner could attach a lead and pull it away. The attendants stood at the doors to the pool as stiff as the Queen’s guards to avoid it all happening again, and I eventually stopped petting the puppy to within an inch of its life so that it could join its owner once again. The whole ensemble trotted away, leaving one closed swimming pool, a very amused English girl and so many pathetically angry holiday makers in their wake.

That night I enjoyed a Once Upon A Time marathon on my massive TV, wrapped up in a big fluffy dressing gown, my new PJs and some complimentary slippers. Tomorrow I was flying home and I just about managed a small smile about my time here. Maybe Barcelona wasn’t so bad after all.

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