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Barcelona - Am I the only one who wasn't blown away?

Barcelona - Am I the only one who wasn't blown away?

Old Aug 26th, 2015, 07:16 AM
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Also, I don't get the unfavourable comparison between Park Retiro and Parc Guell.

Parc Guell was meant to be a residential area and that is a huge part of the fascination for me - that someone had a vision to make this bizarre housing estate in a completely unique style. Park Retiro is a typical public park - lawns, fountains, glasshouses etc - a much better comparision imho would have been with Parc de la Ciutadella. A bit of research can make all the difference to your appreciation and understanding...
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Old Aug 26th, 2015, 10:33 AM
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RM67--I could not agree more. One major rule of travel: After-trip Satisfaction is related to the pre-trip level of Expectation.

Plus the city one has visited and the city to which one returns are often different.

I loved my college daughter's Lower East Side apartment. On her street was a cute little bodega and a lovely little DR-run hardware store. Her building was ramshackle, her apartment layout was teeny and quirky, but I loved how the neighbor in the building next door played Cuban music.

Five years later....
Her apartment building is a condo. The DR hardware store? Gone. The bodega? A Starbucks.

On the bright side--the Starbucks does play Cuban music from time to time.
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Old Sep 5th, 2015, 02:07 PM
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I agree with Loacker. Life style in Barcelona is great, but city is overrun by tourists, service is suffering as results and though sights are good, but not as god as in other Spain historic places.
In Madrid less people speak English and it gives it less touristy feel compare to Barcelona. In other words if you go just in Barcelona you would like it, but if you visit more cities you will be much less impressed with it.
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Old Sep 5th, 2015, 06:28 PM
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It's all about the people you meet along the way. A wise person once said that for a woman a great trip is all about the shopping and for a man it's whether he had "romance" on his trip. I've had great trips at various places around the world and my wife has had great travels in other cities. We both "loved" Barcelona.
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Old Sep 5th, 2015, 09:02 PM
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We visited Barcelona last fall for the first time and liked it. The apartment we rented for 7 days ,was in the El Born neighborhood; the food was great, people friendly (for the most part!), and the highlight was the La Sagrada Familia. That is reason enough to visit the city, I found it like nothing else I had seen before. While I prefer Paris and Rome, Barcelona is definitely worth visiting for a few days.
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Old Sep 5th, 2015, 09:44 PM
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I think the first rule of travel is Leave home, home. We have never visited a city quite like Barcelona. It is a textured city with 1,000's of years of history but a modern attitude. We have been there 4 or 5 times over the years and never tire of it. I always visit Sagrada Familia and see how much progress they have made without me. I always re-visit La Boqueria, as it one of the best markets we have seen. And then we walk the city and that is when you escape the tourists from La Rambla and the essential Gaudi collection. One of our finds was a restaurant called Harrison Foc. The owner was a Harrison Ford fan and his posters and crap all over the place. Foc means fire in Catalan. It is now closed. But that type of quirky place is what you find when you walk on your own. We had to eat there and we still have an espresso cup with the name.

Madrid is a place to conduct business that fortunately has world class museums and is central to visit many nearby towns. I like to get lost in the curving streets near the Plaza Mayor.
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Old Sep 6th, 2015, 09:47 AM
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<Madrid is a place to conduct business that fortunately has world class museums and is central to visit many nearby towns. I like to get lost in the curving streets near the Plaza Mayor.>

To each there own. While I will admit that Barcelona is a world class city, if all you think of is it's a place to conduct business that has good museum you have described 90% of all cities. The Retiro is one of my favorite parks as the Parque Oeste. There are quirky parts of Madrid, it's just that most tourist never venture beyond Sol.

But then I'm reminded of when I went to Brussels and I was told that everyone liked Brussels and I thought it was sterile apart from the Gran Plas. Different strokes.

Or as they say in Spain "Cada maestrillo tiene su librillo."
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Old Sep 6th, 2015, 10:37 AM
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Rule No 1 of European city breaks : make sure the city is a long way from a cruise ship terminal.

Gaudi looks dated, they still haven't finished the cathedral, the traffic is dire, the Nou Camp needs pulling down (and will be) and the times we have been drug use is on open show.
I hate Barcelona.

Seville wipes the floor with Barcelona.

So no, you aren't the only one who wasn't blow away by Barcelona.
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Old Sep 7th, 2015, 01:15 AM
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<Seville wipes the floor with Barcelona>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBYDoSrGC9s
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Old Sep 7th, 2015, 09:15 AM
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The fourth goal was well offside.

Kimhe

It's 3 years since we visited the mainland. Been lots to Mallorca.

We were shocked by the value for money, Menu Del Dia in Sevilla was E8 for a starter, main, dessert and glass of Tinto de Verano. Which is simply ridiculous in 2015.

Compare that to e13 for a beer in Norway last February.

We were amazed by Conil, really vibrant.

Shocked by Zahara de Los Atunes and how the wealthy classes had invaded it since our last visit 10 years ago.

My lasting memory of Andalucia is still the huge black Torres bull adverts on the hillside.
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Old Sep 7th, 2015, 10:07 PM
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BritishCaicos,



<Menu Del Dia in Sevilla was E8 for a starter, main, dessert and glass of Tinto de Verano>

Going to Malaga city in a few days, and the same there, fine menu del dia for 8-10€ with wine included in lots of local atmosphere places. Even in Barcelona you find lots of the same outside the most beaten tourist track, three course menu del dia with drinks normally 9-12€. And yes, Norway is of course redicoulously expensive.
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Old Sep 8th, 2015, 04:31 AM
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The first time we went to Barcelona in the early '70's, there was a restaurant that had a menu del dia, at that time called the cubierto, for $1.25 for 7 courses. Of course one course was the napkin and another the spoon.
________

Emily 71,

We have spent considerable time in Madrid, in fact, my wife would prefer if we rather skipped Madrid but I like the museums.

We walk every city we can just to see what we can see.

Two of my favorite smaller places in Madrid are Casa Hernanz, the hemp store near the Plaza Mayor. We ask friends and family to draw an outline of their foot and we bring back espadrilles for the women. And the Royal Tapestry Museum, which is a little out of the way and rarely cited on Fodor's by visitors.

We know Madrid, it just lacks charm for us.
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Old Sep 8th, 2015, 11:56 AM
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Going to Malaga city in a few days, and the same there, fine menu del dia for 8-10€ with wine included in lots of local atmosphere places.>>

same in Valencia. And I found it difficult to get over the 4kgs of tomatoes for €1 in the market in Segunt.
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Old Sep 8th, 2015, 12:48 PM
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I bought a mid range bottle of white (E2) from Mercadona.

I took it back and we drank it with barbecued king prawns. We agreed IT WAS FINE.

Until Mrs BC asked me how much it was, she then spat it out and said it was like vinegar. I asked her if the same bottle would have tasted better had it been £12 from Waitrose.

Friexenet is E3.50 a bottle, it's now £9 in Britain. We drunk far too much of it on honeymoon in Zahara all those years ago.
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Old Sep 10th, 2015, 11:25 AM
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Going back to the caganers - does anyone know if there are any Christmas cards with one on it ? Might be amusing to send them to Barcelonaphiles.
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Old Sep 10th, 2015, 11:33 AM
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No, but it sure beats those family pictures and the letters that start,"I can't believe another year has passed."
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Old Sep 10th, 2015, 12:36 PM
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A good little business for someone !
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Old Sep 10th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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This has been a very interesting thread to read. My family will be visiting Barcelona for the first time next summer for 5 days prior to starting a cruise. None of us is really enamored of the Gaudi buildings and we have no plans to even visit Sagrada Familia. We are more interested in visiting sites in the Barri Gotic, Parc de la Ciutadella and relaxing on the beach. We have some other things planned as well. I'm looking forward to it and I am sure we will have a wonderful experience. Will I want to return? Who knows. Of course, Paris is my favorite city so the odds may be against me
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Old Sep 10th, 2015, 02:25 PM
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Sagrada Familia, like it or not , is worth a visit.
Nothing like it.
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Old Sep 10th, 2015, 07:12 PM
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Have taken a few Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona and quite frankly I hate the place. I have read so much about how pick pocketing is so rampant there. Since I don't like to arrive in a city where I'm taking a cruise out of the day of departure, I generally fly in the day before from wherever (the USA or sometimes London or Paris via Easy Jet). I now stay by the airport and will have nothing to do with this city. I was relating this during he one of my cruises while waiting for a show to begin. The person sitting behind me overheard what I was saying, tapped me on the shoulder and say you are quite right. They nailed us on our first day there. Hate the place.
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