Sunday, 14 September 2014

The cheapest car park in Santiago de Compostela

If we were still at As Catedrais at 7pm plus, you can imagine at what time we would arrive in Santiago de Compostela. The apartment we had booked was in the old quarters, which is heavily pedestrianised. So, the arrangement was to leave my family at the Policía Nacional, which, according to Jesús, our host, was the closest we could get to by car, and then leave the vehicle in a car park.

As we approached Santiago de Compostela, it started to drizzle, and, in fact, it would rain every day but one the whole time we were there.

Besides one tricky turn - when I turned left and had to immediately change lanes to take a right turn, but I wasn't warned about this and there was too much traffic and it was too dangerous to do anything so I had to attempt to go around the block - Google navigated us to the police station beautifully. Driving in a city for the first time is always a tricky affair, their one-way and pedestrianised streets making the unfamiliarity worse, not to mention arriving at night.

I dropped the family and the luggage and headed towards Belvis car park. Again, Google navigated me there perfectly. This time I had no problems. It was, after all, a pretty straightforward route. In my links page, you'll find a link to car parks in Santiago.

Belvis is only an 8-minute walk to the Cathedral, if you don't get lost, that is. So, in terms of location, it's pretty good, maybe even perfect. Bear in mind, that private cars aren't allowed in many parts of the old town. In terms of price, it's just about the cheapest you can get.

There are places where you can get a weekly rate, if you're there that long, but us being there for only 3 nights, Belvis was the cheapest, especially when once we clock in the car, we wouldn't be taking it out again until the following day.

The maximum amount that they charge per 24-hour period is €7.51 because from the 10th until the 24th hour, they stop counting.

Part of the reason why they can offer competitive rates is because it's an uncovered car park. In one sense, it's actually better because I think it's safer. Covered car parks are often rather dark and thieves are more likely to target them than in the open spaces. Besides, there's someone on duty 24 hours a day.

On the very first morning, I suddenly realised I couldn't find the ticket! Panic. I searched everywhere, but there was no sign of it. Oh dear, I thought. I wonder how much they would charge for a lost ticket...

The only hope was if I'd left it in the car. So, in the pouring rain, we trudged to the car park, but it wasn't in the car. We went to the attendant on duty, explained the problem. He asked what time I'd entered. I told him that it was the previous night, around 9pm or so.

No problem! The marvel of technology these days, even in cheaper car parks. There was a record of our entrance - I supposed they photographed all the cars going in and out - and he printed me another ticket!

Here's a map. Google shows a different name, but the location is correct.