Barcelona trip report
I want to start off by thanking everyone who contributed information and tips. This was a last minute trip so I had to scramble to get things organized. Given the nature of this trip, I thought I would give some random thoughts on Barcelona for anyone else who might be thinking of going.
This was a short one –week trip to Barcelona to meet an old friend. We have very different tastes so we compromised - a bit of sight-seeing and a bit of beach time.
Barcelona is a wonderful city. I had read a lot of negative things about Barcelona, particularly about the pickpocketing. I would say this…I had no trouble at all. I might have just been lucky but I took the precautions and warnings seriously. I wish I had not wasted so much time worrying about it. As a mostly solo traveller, I always keep copies of my documents, have two credit cards and keep my valuables in the safe. I keep my handbag close and don’t leave my phone or wallet open to theft. One evening while sitting on Rambla Catalunya with my travelling companion, I took a glance around. My friend’s purse was on a chair beside her, the woman sitting next to us had her phone on the table adjacent to the street and the other table had a group of teenagers with purses hanging off their chairs. I am sure Barcelona has a problem (the native Barceloneans (?) said so) but this kind of behaviour is asking for theft. In any case, I read many posts over the past few months where people were not wary about going to Barcelona….GO. It is beautiful and I felt safe.
Things I loved about Barcelona
The People – The people were so friendly. For those who worry about language barriers…don’t. I teach English so I wasn’t too concerned about that and there is no need to – there was always someone who could speak English. I was very impressed with how many people spoke fluent English.
Back to the people…so often a trip can be made so much more pleasant with good “people experiences”. I would go back to Barcelona because of the people. Everywhere I went, I found people wanting to accommodate…not every tourist experience is like this.
The Food – I am not a foodie and I am quite picky about what I eat, especially on vacation. I don’t eat seafood and I don’t particularly like meat. I found I had little trouble finding delicious, budget-friendly food.
The Architecture – I go to Europe for the architecture. I need my dose every once in a while to keep me happy. I had not much knowledge of Gaudi and modernism but I found it very inspiring. I feel I need another visit to fully appreciate everything Barcelona has to offer.
The Beach – Long gone are those days where I could sit from morning till night on the beach. (I could but with age, I have more varied interests and I couldn’t imagine spending a whole vacation on the beach without sightseeing). We went to 3 different beaches and they were all very clean. There are facilities all along the beach with washrooms and shower facilities. There are also places to eat and drink. I saw a woman travelling solo on the beach and although a man selling beach blankets sat down next to her, she ignored him and he went away. In other words, don’t be deterred from visiting the beach alone.
Next post: What worked…what didn’t….
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Barcelona trip report