Barcelona – a sad personal story

(If you are reading my blog just for the technical stuff, don’t read any further).

In all the years I’ve been travelling, I’ve never been so absent-minded and unlucky at the same time.

I arrived in Barcelona at 1.00am last night. Took a taxi from the airport as nothing else seemed to be available (I don’t like using taxis). I gave the taxi driver the address of my hotel (or so I thought). Everything seemed to go just fine.

We arrive at the address, I pay, and I go to the receptionist. A nice gentleman looks at me as if I arrived from a different planet. He was not expecting me. In fact, he was not expecting anyone since they were fully booked. “But what about my reservation? What about the fax I sent you.” Nope, nothing. “But I called you; here’s the web page with the information (they had free wireless); I’ve even sent you a fax with my credit card details”. No room!

Could I have done something wrong and called a different hotel from the recommended list? Ok, I’ll try calling one of the other hotels to ask. Hmmm… where’s my mobile phone? Where’s my jacket with my 40GB iPod? “Oh nooooooooo!!!!!” The taxi had long gone.

And then, for no apparent reason, the pair of glasses I was wearing just broke. Just like that. I don’t know why, I didn’t touch them. They just broke!!! (200UKP worth).

Called a couple of more hotels. Nope, there is no booking. I didn’t call the number of the hotel I was currently in; the one with which I thought I had a reservation. Why would I? I was there! (Yeah, right!)

The nice gentleman at the reception finds me a room at a nearby hotel. Taxi arrives, I go to my new hotel. I check in. They have free Internet access. I am tired but I want to get to the bottom of this… Ah!!!! The fax! I open the Word document and here it is: Victoria hotel. The first hotel I went to. So, I wasn’t going crazy after all. Only if I hadn’t left the confirmation fax from the hotel at Newcastle!

Could it be? Could the phone number on the web page be from a different hotel? I go to the reception of my new hotel and I ask her to help me. We call the number given from the recommended list for Victoria Hotel but we get a completely different hotel! Grrrr!!!

Checked out immediately and went to the hotel I was supposed to be (3rd hotel for the night). I ask them for my fax and they indeed produce it. Before they even give it to me they wonder out-loud: “Why is this here?” “Indeed, why didn’t you notice that the fax was addressed to the hotel Victoria but sent to you? Why didn’t you say something in your confirmation fax (which was left back in Newcastle)?”

(Side note: Don’t assume from the above that I was upset. I rarely, if ever, get upset. I was joking with the guys at the reception and we were all laughing. They were pretty cool about the whole situation and understood my pain even though I was joking about it. That’s the only thing you can do really in situations like this. It was nobody’s fault… well, perhaps the author of the web page with the list of recommended hotels for the meeting should be blamed for this and me not having the confirmation fax with me!)

Then I go to my room. I’ve never stayed in a hotel room with the bathroom being larger than the main room!!! It really makes you feel claustrophobic even if you are not :-(

Today I am supposed to be relaxing a bit but instead I am off trying to locate my jacket with my mobile phone and my iPod. No luck so far. The taxi company said that the driver doesn’t know anything :-(

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