Big beastly blunder in Barcelona

Everyone who had been to Barcelona warned us about losing money to pickpockets whilst in Barcelona. I managed to lose 140 Euros in Barcelona in an entirely new way.

We gave up ongoing to a Real Madrid game because we could not find any reasonably priced tickets available. But for Barcelona, I bought online tickets for their game against Getafe. They sent me an email confirmation and I would pick up the tickets in Barcelona when we went there on Wednesday..

On Wednesday morning, we bought regional train tickets to Barcelona Sants station since that is the closest to Camp Nou, the Barcelona stadium. Before leaving, I checked the time of the game, which was scheduled for 9 pm. We figured out options for how to get back depending on when the game ended because the Barcelona metro stops at midnight as do the regional trains, but we could take a night bus back to Sitges.

Sitges train station

We got on the train and were amused by a group of German girls on an art class trip to Barcelona. We got off the train and successfully managed to buy the 10 trip metro tickets for Barcelona’s metro. We took the metro to Placa de Catalunya where we went to an FNAC store to pick up our tickets.

We found the right line for tickets and I was all prepared with my Spanish to ask to pick up tickets and had my passport and credit card which were needed to collect prepaid tickets. I asked the young woman for my tickets and she said “Que?”. I thought perhaps my Spanish pronunciation was lacking. After some clarification that I wanted futbol tickets for Barcelona and Getafe game, she replied “ayer”, which means yesterday. By then, her supervisor was there and was sadly smiling and agreeing that the game had already been played on Tuesday, not to be played Wednesday and the score had been 4 – 0 for Barcelona. Scott says at this point my mouth was hanging open.  I knew the date for a game was not confirmed until the week before, but I had been so focused on the hour the game started, I had not looked closely at the day. I wish I could say the email confirmation was in Spanish or something but it was in English and when I looked after we returned to the flat, the email says 10/4/2012, not 11/4/2012. So, no futbol. No refund. And I was 140 Euros poorer in Barcelona.

Our original plan was to take the hop on hop off bus for the afternoon until it was time to go to the stadium.  We decided we could do the same but sadly now it did not matter how long we took the tour. Here’s a few highlights from the bus:

the block of discord
La Sagrada Familia
Palau Reial, formerly the royal palace, now part of the University of Barcelona
Port Olimpic
Barcelona Cathedral in the far background
Camp Nou, where FC Barcelona plays
Placa d’Espanya
view from Montjuic

We toured for almost four hours taking a break to walk and for lunch in the middle, thus occupying over six hours. After getting off the bus, we walked Las Ramblas and explored some of the side streets.

Sadly, we did not need to worry about taking the midnight bus because we no longer had a need to stay late. On the good side, we did not have any pickpocket problems.

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