You don’t get free parking at Hotel Paxton Barcelona

Oh I have not been well. Thankfully someone else piloted the boat. Bergman was just in the hold.

I woke at 7 after a feverish sleep. I threw myself into Bergie and slammed down the road to the port. Lou, meanwhile, was on the phone to my hotel checking I hadn’t died in the night. About halfway to the port I realised my phone was still on airplane mode from last night. I rang her. She was in the process of getting the staff at the Finca to check I wasn’t dead.

I got to the boat in time and bought a cabin. I felt just absolutely drained. Like I’d been in a fight. Seventy five euros for the cabin, but I honestly didn’t care. I got something for my money. A door I could close. An opportunity to sleep and go from place to place simultaneously! I slept the whole journey. Literally just down. Up briefly as I needed water, but I mostly slept all day. Woke up with a shock to hear that we were already in port in Barcelona.

I’m staying in the Hotel Paxton in Barcelona. Tristan is here. I persuaded him that a roadtrip was in order. He bit. I sent him the check-in details and warned the hotel that he would be there but shouldn’t pay.

I booked this expensive place for one night because it said it had parking. Turns out you have to pay €25 euro extra. They shouldn’t advertise that as parking. That’s garage. That’s for the Maserati crowd. Bergman doesn’t need to be safe. He just needs to be able to stop without a fine. I had a squabble with the woman at reception who seemed unusually gleeful about having access to a thing I couldn’t afford. Wonderful English, but turned to sarcasm. Terribly polite. Absolutely foul. I only booked this hotel because it said it had parking. I didn’t want to have to mess around, this place was expensive and it said it had parking. I booked it. No breakfast, as that’s €25 extra per person too. This is nightmare corporate hotel world. I made a terrible terrible mistake. She made me pay. Normally you’d expect to pay when you leave? Apparently not here. I had to pay immediately.

I eventually left that woman who was being horrible to me at her nasty reception, and went up to the room.

“It looks like I’m your rent boy,” says Tristan. He’s already checked in. We are going to hit the road together. “The woman at reception was flirting with me,” he adds.

OK. So that’s why she was such an absolute bastard to me. She likes him and thinks I’m his sugar daddy. I hope she gets a really persistent pimple on the end of her nose.

It’s too expensive here. It’s not for real people. Avoid it. €25 euro each if we want breakfast. We won’t, of course. Still. Pigs.

I’ve slept mostly for the last 36 hours but I’ve got to get back on the road now. This is the most expensive night of the whole trip so far, and I’ve ended up putting Bergman on some local side street where I’ll have to move him at 8. The extent to which the reception staff at Paxton didn’t give a fuck about my car parking concerns is almost epic. I’m sad as I was excited about this night. “I’ve booked a posh hotel cos they have car parking,” I told Tristan a few days ago. I was looking forward to a luxury stay. I can’t relax though as Bergman is off on some street nearby where I only half understand the parking restrictions, and this is exactly what I was trying to avoid when I chose a hotel with parking, and they should be ashamed of themselves for their attitude.

Still. Bedtime. We went to see Sagrada Familia. Good God. Wonderful. Impossible. I had no idea. Organic architecture?! How did that get past the unimaginative people who run the world? I adore it.

I’m sorry to be so negative. I was thrown out. I’m so tired and spun out and it’s the combination of not being able to park and being treated like I’m an asshole for expecting it. Bad hotel. Bad bad bad naughty bad hotel. But these things are fleeting. I just wish I hadn’t given them so much of my money. They do not deserve anyones custom.

“What about all the lovely things we’ve done this evening?” Tristan asks me as I read this back to him. “We’ve done so many other things tonight! The best artichokes you claimed you’ve ever had. The best architecture humanity can create, free of restriction. And you talk about the parking?”

But this, Hotel Paxton, is what you are capable of doing to people who, like me, artlessly book thinking that “parking” means “parking”.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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