Almost Trapped in Portugal

After a great time in the Algarve, real life intruded (specifically my lack of money and need to start working again) and I had to go home. Let another travel story begin!

First, I got to the Faro Airport with plenty of time and started to chill, conveniently forgetting that Portuguese airports are staffed by retards who’s only joy in life is to make mine as difficult as possible.
When I decided to check in, there was no one at the desk. And then the person I asked looked at me in panic and said “you are very late.” No, I was not, I must add. The problem was, I couldn’t just run through security. I NEEDED a passport check or there was no point.
I finally  found some flunky to check my passport and he took about 10 times longer than he needed to. And then, off to security, slightly concerned I was late, but knowing too much about Ryanair timing to be unduly worried. So, I waited in line, grumpy about the fact that Portuguese take the longest of all European airports to process security (which means about half the time of the best American airport). Luckily, these idiots didn’t have a problem with my liquids. Which is good because I would have dumped them on their ugly TSA shoes at that point.
Walked through the entire Faro airport, quickly but not too worried, despite the many many boarding calls for my flight I was hearing. When I got to the gate, no one seemed surprised that I was checking in “so late” and, I must add, there were 15 more people who got on the plane after me! Yeah, bite me Faro employees. Don’t freak people out without any reason.

So I got myself back to Porto. Great, should be easy from here on, right? Ha. Ha.

There’s a bus that runs from Porto to southern Galicia. It runs a couple times a day and I missed it by 30 minutes…Waiting ensued.  Oh yeah, and the zipper on my pants had decided to fail, probably hours before I’d noticed that I was flashing the world. To add to the fun, I only had enough cash to pay for my bus tickets. And in Europe, paying for things with a card can be complicated or impossible (especially American cards). I’d finished my book on the plane, my pens were out of ink, and my iPod was dead. Cue hours of grumpy boredom in the aiport…Also the bus was late!

So I basically got to Vigo about 30 minutes later than I should have. Easily missed my connecting bus . Oh goody, thinks tired Jeannette. Time to figure out a new way home. I went to the info desk at the bus station and asked the guy, “Where’s the train station? I need to go to Santiago.” He looked at his watch and made a face. For those of you who don’t travel, this is never a good sign. “It’s too far away, you need to take a city bus,” he finally offered, which is infinitely better to hear than, “you missed the last train.”
I grumbled, but I didn’t have a clue how long I had til the next train, and therefore taking any more time than absolutely necessary to get to the train station was a bad idea.

I ran up the stairs and stared at the arrivals board. Next train to Santiago–leaves in 90 minutes. Really? Really?! Not only was I not getting home until midnight, but I could have taken my sweet time getting to the station. My bad mood only slightly decreased when I realized that I could pay for my ticket with my credit card, thus meaning I could spend my cash at the station bar. So I went to the bathroom and futilely tried to fix my pants, gave up and bought a pen and a beer. The next 3 1/2 hours were spent writing and planning out my future, until FINALLY I got home.

-Of course, there are no city buses in Santiago at 12:15 a.m. so I ended up walking for another 30  minutes, but that’s another whiny experience alltogether.


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