Thursday, September 30, 2010

Barcelona's Travel Woes

Aaaah logistics. Nitty gritty minutiae that deal with the most mundane of subjects and content. Nobody really enjoys dealing with them, but at the end of the day, they are the glue that hold together any planned outing. So, I will now bore you with a problem that is receiving ample space in local newspapers in Barcelona: How to get to Ceuta?

Ceuta is Barcelona's opponent later this month in the Copa del Rey. The problem is, Ceuta is not located in's in Morocco. Located just across the Straight of Gibralter, this autonomous city of 75,000 has dealt the Catalans a bit of a headache. You can't fly there because there is no airport. You can't take a train because the Straight is in the way. And you can't walk because, well, that's just not possible. So, here are the options being considered:

OPTION 1: Fly to Málaga in southern Spain, take a coach to the coastal city of Algeciras, ride the ferry to Ceuta.

OPTION 2: Fly to Málaga, coach to Algeciras, helicopter into Ceuta.

OPTION 3: Fly to Tetouan, Morocco, coach to Ceuta

The helicopter ride would take only 10 minutes compared to the 30 by boat. Also, it would avoid any potential sea sickness problems along the way as the meeting point of the Atlantic and Mediterranean isn't always the smoothest. We wouldn't want the players to be wretching just hours before the match! However, the helicopters can only hold 12-15 passengers or even less, which means the team would have to commandeer an entire fleet. Oh, and the helicopters are 95 euros each way.

Believe it or not, this is practically front page material in Barcelona. How poor old Barcelona will get to Ceuta to field a youth squad against the third division side. Although there is something rather arrogant yet dashing about flying in on helicopters, landing just next to the stadium, and walking out like FBI agents in any movie ever made. Yet it also degrades the local side a bit - arriving to take care of business and then leaving right out of the parking lot in their fancy helicopters.

Judge as you will, but it's rather obvious option 2 is their best bet. How could you NOT take helicopters to a match?!

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