It is somewhat fitting that Scotland will visit the Costa Blanca to finish off what already appears to be a doomed European Championship qualifying campaign. Some fans and players may end up back in that neck of the woods when the Euro 2012 finals are contested in Poland and Ukraine.
Scotland are used to having summers off. Having failed to wash up at a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup finals in France, they became tourists of the football world some time ago.
Whatever result befalls Craig Levein's side against Spain on October 10 in Alicante - and it is more than likely to be a defeat against one of the more joyous national teams in living memory - the travelling hordes of kilt devotees are likely to revel in their surroundings if not the result amid a region renowned for package deals. Scotland's national team has been a suspect package for some time.
The diehards more than most are entitled to let their Jimmy hats down and drink in the moment after having their pockets dipped by their national side's inherent lack of ambition over the past 13 months. The money spent on following Scotland has perhaps been squandered to the same extent as opportunity has been lost by their team in what is turning out to be a mournful sequence of results. In any walk of life, regret is a dish that rarely slides over easily.
One admires Levein's undoubted passion for his job as the country's manager, but he must accept responsibility for an adverse series of results that is likely to leave the national team in the same sort of pickle Paul Newman and Robert Redford faced in the classic Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Surrounded by Bolivian calvary in the final scene of the film, our heroes emerge from some sort of shack before hearing the word 'fuego' (Spanish for 'fire') as they prepare to be gunned down in cold blood.
Scotland are likely to meet a similarly grisly end in their final match of the section against Spain, the defending world and European champions, even if Vicente del Bosque's already qualified lot are in holiday mode near a Spanish holiday resort.
If Czech Republic lose to Spain on October 7 and Scotland down Liechtenstein a night later, Scotland will be one point clear in second place before they fly to meet their fate in southern Europe.
With the Czechs concluding in Lithuania on the same night, Scotland must mirror whatever the Czechs come up with. If the Czechs win, Scotland must win. If the Czechs draw, Scotland must draw. A defeat is only useful if Lithuania can collect a win. This seems unlikely with the Czechs knowing what is needed against a Lithuania side that were recently held 0-0 by Liechtenstein.
It must be asked, how did it come down to this scenario for Scotland? The answer is blowin' in the wind. To suggest a Dutch referee, Kevin Blom (pictured above with the Scotland captain Darren Fletcher) and his erratic decision-making is to blame, is missing as many crucial points as Scotland are in the Group I table.
Scotland failed to unlock Lithuania on the opening night at the Proms, and have miscalculated the rest of the job specifications from that point onwards.
Opportunities have been tossed asunder throughout the past 13 months, never more so than during that wretched evening in Prague when Scotland decided to play that much-maligned strikerless 4-2-4-0 - or 4-6-0 if it sounds less convoluted - and wound up losing 1-0.
Czech Republic were not worthy of such respect, as a mediocre Lithuania side suggested by winning 1-0 in Olomouc. It is likely to be the defining moment in the campaign, no matter what is said about the 2-2 draw with the Czechs.
The dodgy decisions by a match official in wrongly awarding a diving visiting player a penalty before denying the home team a penalty in the death throes of the match would not have mattered if Scotland were brave in Prague. Other points have been picked up along the way, and dropped quite carelessly.
A draw was well within Scotland's grasp against Spain, but all was lost when Stephen McManus somehow lost the enormous Fernando Llorente in the penalty box in a 3-2 defeat last October. As Kenny Miller suggested in discussing the performance at Hampden Park on Saturday, Scotland are where they are because they have not been good enough.
Having dealt with Levein during his formative years in management at Cowdenbeath and Hearts, one is acutely aware that he can sometimes be stubborn. One recalls being asked to write him a letter of apology for an article I wrote concerning him and Hearts. To his credit, he does not hold grudges, but he is never far from venting his frustration if he feels he has been wronged.
This can be a positive aspect of a manager's character, but is only constructive in winning times. When the output is adverse in terms of results, it seems like he is not grasping the disgruntled mood among the public. He has to remember that the vast majority of Scots are only critical because they care about the health of their national side. It should be noted that Scotland were among the top five best supported countries in Europe in recent days.
Levein deserves credit for not being afraid to field younger players. David Goodwillie, Danny Wilson and Barry Bannan faced Czech Republic and Lithuania with some success. Bannan looks to be a more assured and cultivated player than Celtic's Scott Brown, who cannot seem to help himself fly into late tackles when the mood takes him. His "good engine" tends to be negated by ill-discipline.
Criticism is part of the territory as a coach. Levein would and will be praised if Scotland attain a play-off spot from the group. He must be strong enough to accept his shortcomings if Scotland fail to finish second in a section that was hardly daunting. Levein's 4-6-0 formation deserves to be recalled as a night of ignominy.
Scotland may yet go out in a blaze of glory, but even if they do not hear the word 'fuego' in Spain, the dimming of the light seems the only likely conclusion to what has been a frustrating campaign of some stalling.