In the past two days, I’ve have some crazy highs and lows.
Let’s start with the bad. Yesterday, while heading to the train station, I realized my Eurorail Global Pass was the wrong one. The guy behind the desk gave me a Continuous Pass rather than a Flexi Pass. I figured I could just go in and change it to the Flexi Pass since I haven’t used it yet. After waiting in line for 40 minutes and missing my connection to Valencia, I got to the international ticket counter. I asked him to change it for me and he told me to go to customer service. Balls.
I got to the customer service counter and the man behind the desk couldn’t speak English. I pieced together spanish words to say that I needed to change the pass. He understood, but took another 20 minutes talking to other people to see if he could change it. After finding his boss – who gave off the “mean old hag” vibe – he came back with a definite no. Balls.
Basically, when I purchased the pass on the 19th, I also purchased a reservation for the train ride to Valencia. The representative behind the counter also marked the start day of my Eurorail pass as the following day which was the 20th – the day I was planning on traveling. This is standard routine. What I didn’t realize until the next day, the 20th, was that the pass was the wrong one. This basically screwed me out of 880 euros, or in USD, $1,200. MAJOR BALLS.
After realizing that my money is gone, I went back to the ticket counters and picked up a number and waited for the international ticket counter to call it. Just as I picked up the number I saw the two people handling international tickets close their booth. I figured someone would take over, but after 30 minutes of waiting I was fed up. Fed up is an understatement. I was raging at this point. I went to the information desk and the guy told me how the people are changing shifts or some bullshit like that. But after 30 minutes, the international queue number was still at 918, and I had ticket number 930. Balls.
I gave up and decided to try and buy a ticket using my current Global Continuous pass, figuring that I could buy the proper Eurorail pass in Valencia. As I decided to do that, I notice the line for railway tickets go outside the ticket area. Balls.
Instead, I walked around to see if I could get a ticket at one of the automatic ticket machines. I reached the machine and it was in spanish. There were no options to change the language. I looked at the credit card slot and it had a graphic indicating to me that I should insert my credit card. I inserted my credit card and it doesn’t read. I tried to hit cancel and it doesn’t work. I pushed every button on the screen and still no luck. Talk about a comedy of errors. This day was HORRIBLE. I already lost $1,200, and now I don’t have my main credit card. Balls.
I ran to a security card yelling “tarjeta” and pointed to the machine. I had the security guard to follow me towards the machine and he points me to an office that would be able to help me. This office in turn was a lounge. It looked like a lounge for the rich people who have some stupid membership to Renfe – Renfe is Spain’s national train provider. Anyways, I walk in, and the lady at the desk could not speak English. I asked her if there’s anyone that can. She pointed over to the information window in the ticket counter area. Yes, the same ticket counter area where I was screwed of my $1,200. I went back to the ticket area and lined up at the information counter. I talked to the lady, and she told me to talk to customer service. Freaking ridiculous. I walked back over to customer service, but this time, there was a line out of the office! I proceeded to wait in line. When the next available customer service representative was available, I walked over. Guess who it was? The same guy that told me I couldn’t change my ticket. I told him my credit card was stuck and he waited for his boss – the same “mean old hag” lady – to come over. Just to add salt to wound, his boss wasn’t even there! She was no where to be seen. I sat and waited for five minutes. She showed up, and I told her what the problem was. Again, I was cobbling together spanish words. She understood. Guess what. She walked me back over to the Renfe special guests lounge! Oh, and get this. While she was walked me back over to Renfe lounge, I noticed the ticket counter started calling numbers again. You would think this day couldn’t get worse, but it can! They had already passed my number and they’re into the 950s. $#
#!#$ BALLS @#!#$#$
As we walked over the Renfe lounge, she peeked in and asked for someone to help me. This woman walked out and straight to the machine with my credit card. She stuck some card in the card reader and out my card went. You couldn’t believe how relieved I was.
Anyways, I headed back to the ticket counter area, pulled a number and luckily talked to a representative behind the counter within 15 minutes. I bought my Eurorail pass – yes I spent another $1,200 – specifically yelling out the world flexi. I received the pass and bought another reservation to Valencia for the same day. Forty minutes later, I boarded a train and off to Valencia I went.
That was yesterday. That was the bad. Now for the good.
Today was amazing. Probably the best day I’ve had so far in Spain. I met an Aussie in my hostel that I had met earlier in Madrid. We got to talking and decided to grab breakfast. After breakfast we rented some bikes and biked around Valencia. Awesome.
The skies were clear. Not a single cloud in sight. The bikes were shitty, but made for fun experiences. We biked down to the park. This park isn’t like a normal park. It was originally a river. It flooded Valencia one year, so they decided to divert the river and build a huge park in it’s place. You can see it above. It covered the northwest to the east/southest portion of downtown Valencia. The park is down below the street level, so when we were down there, we couldn’t hear traffice. Awesome.
We rode down the park towards the water thinking we could go for a swim at the beach. As we neared the end of the park, we stopped by a tapas joint and ordered some food. This was amazingly cheap food. We had some sausage, bread, olives, cheese, and a beer for 4 euros a pop. We sat around for two hours telling stories. Awesome.
We took off and headed for the water. We rode up a boardwalk of sorts, and parked our bikes. Went for a dip. The water was full of seaweed. I still have seaweed in my shorts. It was still fun. Awesome.
After the swim, we stopped at another tapas joint and chilled for another few hours before heading back. We both said that today was fantastic. Such an awesome way to spend the day after getting screwed out of $1,200.
That was the good. Now for the ugly.
This happened after my Aussie friend rode across an intersection. He didn’t do anything odd, but as he reached the other side, he yelled out, “my seat snapped!” I was definitely confused. I never heard of a seat snapping. When he stopped, that picture was what we saw. Hilarious!
I have NEVER seen a break like this before. It’s insane! Luckily, we got our deposit back, but we both had an awesome laugh. Good times.
Here’s another view.
Anyways, here’s some pictures of the park.
Neat building, yeah?
My travel buddy, Luca. He’s from Melbourne, AU.