Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stuck in a Foreign Country by Chris

On June 22, Graham, Cynthia, and I were off to Lagos. This was our first trip on our own, and we threw a plan together a few short days before by booking a hostel and buying bus tickets. Our first speed bumps were when we could not purchase a bus ticket online for Graham, and we could not buy a bus ticket from Sevilla to Lagos. Plan B was for Cynthia and I to buy the round-trip tickets that took us from Sevilla to Faro, Portugal, online and purchase Graham's one-ticket at the bus station. Once we were on the bus for a few hours, we realized that there was not anyone getting on the bus, and they were not making sure that people got off, and we decided to take the bus all the way to Lagos instead of getting off at Faro. We got off the bus, found our hostel, and then went to the beach for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday morning finally came and we all went to the bus station. Sadly, they did not have any buses to Faro for Cynthia and I, but there was a bus directly to Sevilla for €22 for Graham, but Cynthia and I did not want to take that bus because we had already paid for the bus from Faro back to Sevilla. We went to the train station to buy our tickets, had lunch, and said goodbye to Graham as we got on the train to Faro.

When Cynthia and I first got off the train from Lagos to Faro, we had to find our way to the bus station, which turned out to be an easy task. After arriving, we checked an information board and saw a bus to Sevilla in about an hour at 15:30, but our bus at 17:30 was not on the board yet. Before we left, we checked with someone at the information counter who told us that our bus would not be on the information board because it was not a bus with EVA, the company that operated the bus station in Faro.

We wandered around the city and ended up at a McDonalds that had Wifi, and decided to kill some time and check Facebook. About an hour before we were supposed to leave Faro, we were back at the bus station, just to make sure that we didn't miss the bus. We waited. And waited. And waited. The bus never came.

We went back to ask the lady at the information desk where the bus was or if it was running late, and after looking at our tickets, she told us that the bus was here on time and pulled into lane six, which we had just spent an hour sitting in front of. The bus DID NOT come and we were stranded about 120 miles from Sevilla.

Our only option at that point was to purchase a ticket for the next EVA bus that would get us as close to the border as possible, since EVA only operates in Portugal and we could only buy tickets for an EVA bus at the station. From wherever that was going to drop us off, we would have had to find a way to cross the border into Spain and some way to get the last 90 miles home.

We went back to the McDonalds to inform everyone what had happened and we decided that our only way of getting home was to take the bus as far as we could and figure it out from there. By the time we were back at the bus station to buy our tickets to some unknown city near the border, the woman at the information desk had made several phone calls and got some information for us. The bus that we had tickets for actually did not exist, but she was able to talk another bus company into letting us get on a bus for Sevilla at 1:00AM for free!

We had some time to kill, and on that particular night, it was a good thing that we had to kill it in Faro. In the middle of town there was a large stage set up with a giant screen on it. It took us a while, but we finally realized that it was for the England vs. Italy game in the Euro Cup. We watched the second most exciting soccer game I have ever seen (next to the game where Spain defeated Italy for the title of Euro Cup champion), and then got to roam around the city for a few more hours until our bus arrived.

1:00AM came, and so did the bus that would eventually take us home. Luckily we were able to get a one-hour nap before we had to wake up for class the next day. Overall, it was an eventful and exciting weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment