How to see Spain in a day from Barcelona

Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 03:35 PM
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How to see Spain in a day from Barcelona

Hi everyone! My friends and I are in Barcelona for 3 more days and while we love it here, we all agree that it feels very much like America. We would really like to experience the spanish culture or go to a more rustic/typical spanish town. Since this is the only city we are staying in in Spain we are looking for a day trip from Barcelona just to get out of the city and see Spain. Any suggestions or tips regarding what town to visit/how to get there/what to do?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 04:29 PM
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How about Girona easily reach by train from Barcelona?.It is only 60 miles from Barcelona.
The old part is amazing, a lot of climbing though. The cathedral is famous for its uncluttered Gothic naive, . well there is a lot of Catalan Gothic, +Romanesque architecture in Girona..The Jewish quarter is also interesting and there are many art galleries and museums.
Besalu north of Girona is a must visit. TIny , the capital of a feudal country.Picltures of its fortified bridge have been seen in posters all over the world.
Besalu is not far from Girona. Have fun.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 04:29 PM
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Another possility totally differrent would be the COsta Brava.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 02:34 AM
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What part of America do you thin it is?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:21 AM
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Go up to the Poble Espanyol where various Spanish archicectural style were created for the 1929 World's Fair. If you think Barcelona is like America, you will think these reproductions are real.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:33 AM
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we all agree that it feels very much like America.

Let me explain your problem, people often confuse:

Catalan with English
Gaudi's church with Disneyland
The Cathedral with a drive through church
Gausi's apartment houses with McMansions
Tapas restaurants and Cal Pep with Wendy's and Red Lobster
The thousand year old Gothic Quarter with slums
La Boqueria with Piggly Wiggly
Parque Guell with the local dog run
Las Ramblas with Main Street

It is all understandable.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Aduchap 1

LOL,
could not agree more.

"a day trip from Barcelona just to get out of the city and see Spain."

a day trip from Boston would really give one an opportunity to "see" the US.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:24 AM
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Catalonia is not "real Spain"--never has been.
Girona is a good day trip, but it is not like the Andalusian white villages. It takes 5 trips to see Spain--Catalonia is one of them.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Catalonia is not "real Spain"--never has been.

Yes, what is the real Spain? Spain is at about 7 different cultures and histories tossed together, so which one is the "real Spain?"
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:35 AM
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"Catalonia is not "real Spain"--never has been.'"


is the Basque country "real" Spain ?
how about Cantabria or Galicia or Asutria?

Non of those places are even remotely like Andalusia.
Does not make them "unreal" Spain or less beautiful than Andalusia.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:37 AM
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sorry, Asturia
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:37 AM
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Exactly ! It is in the mind of the beholder, and I suspect the OP is picturing Moorish Spain.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:41 AM
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I haven't actually been there yet. But have been reading up for our trip in June. I can understand Barcelona not being the "Spain" the OP expected. But just like America??? That assessment surprised me quite a bit!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:59 AM
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Barcelona has a spirit and sense of design, that is rarely seen elsewhere. Like any place there are things one does not like but comparing it to America is absurd. And what is America, is it NYC, the bayous of LA, the Rockies, the Mojave, small town America, farmlands, Badlands, the national parks, DC, LA, seaports, or the malling of America?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 09:28 AM
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To give the OP some credit, I would assume that she (hopefully) meant that the lifestyle in the big city resembles that of many other major cities, with same types of chain stores, a hip bar & club scene, fancy restaurants etc.

And if you ever approached a big city like Barcelona by car, you would find some similarities with US cities, like huge billboards along the highways, malls, drive-thrus in the outskirts or the extensive freeway system with one artery even cutting through Barcelona under the harbor promenade. Plus the city has one major district (Eixample) of a master-planned city extension with checkboard pattern streets which is quite uncommon in Europe.

So Barcelona is not really a quaint Spanish/ Catalan town, unless you spend most your time in Barri Gotic or Born.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 09:48 AM
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"Exactly ! It is in the mind of the beholder, and I suspect the OP is picturing Moorish Spain."

I think most people do. Too bad!
Last week I was in Barcelona for 5 nights with a friend.
She wanted to eat paella, drink Sangria and see a flamenco show (!).
After 2 days , she finally agreed to go to Cal Pep, have Rioja, and see a concert at Palau de la Musica Catalana.(rather than flamenco)
She liked the food and vine ,but Palau, Gaudi, and most of Barcelona was not "Spanish enough" for her.

"So Barcelona is not really a quaint Spanish/ Catalan town,"

ant city of over 1.5 million ( metropolitan over 3 million) would not be a "quaint town" in any country.

Someone here once said being in Madrid was like being in Chicago... oh well...
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Paella would have been more Catalan than tapas.

Rioja is as Catalan as Napa Valley. If you want to sample local, try e.g. Penedès
Sangria got a bad rap from the North European tourists drinking it from 10 liter plastic buckets but is an almost "historic" "pan-iberian" drink and can be good when done with proper ingredients.

One usually overlooked fine museum in Barcelona is the Museum of the History of Catalonia, near the old harbor. It's well worth a visit and presents the facts in a very lively manner.

Yet
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 12:23 PM
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I wonder where that "Yet" came from... I did not type it. Or I just had a bit too much from the Red on my desk..
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 12:32 PM
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My friend did not wish to " eat paella, drink Sangria and see a flamenco show (!)." because she thought it was Catalan , but because she saw those things as "Spanish" .

Of course Rioja is not a Catalan region, but at least it is better than Sangria (IMO).
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 12:40 PM
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p.s
paella is a Catalan (Valencia), but not really something I would look for in Barcelona.
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