Thursday, 6 May 2010


I came back two days ago. I had a really nice time.
The pros:
The city itself.
It was amazing. I totally loved it. It’s not big and most places are in a walkable distance. It is by the sea, with half of it next to a really nice sandy beach and the other half with a very beautiful marina. The first day I arrived, the beach was full of people sunbathing or swimming. It was like travelling through seasons after having left a rainy and windy London.
I also adored Gaudi’s buildings. The guy was a genius (ignoring the fact that he was killed when hit by a tram). His buildings are a work of art. We also visited many small alleys with very cute tapas bars, the big ramblas (like avenues), the aquarium, Miro’s museum, the palaces and the hills surrounding the city.
I have to admit that for such a touristic destination, the locals are very friendly. Most of them are very talkative, polite and happy to help you out even if they don’t know how to speak English.
I must comment on the food as well. It was brilliant. The whole tapas mentality I found very similar to the ‘mezze’ Greek mentality and I loved it. I am a sucker for seafood anyway. We had paellas, tapas of every kind, sangria and mojitos (lots of them).
Lastly, I’d like to comment on the excellent gay night life. There is an area close to the university that is full of gay bars and restaurants. People are open, friendly and talkative there as well.Barcelona is a destination I definitely have to visit again.

Sagrada Familia

The sea front

Parc Guell

Casa Battlo

The cons:
Part of the company. Apart from my best friend that I know and love for more than 15 years, we had her friend with us (let’s call her Catherine). She is one of the most difficult people I’ve met. She was making negative comments all the time about everything. She would comment on what we’d order in a restaurant, the people, the buildings, the traffic. It was so annoying! Catherine only been to Lisbon some years before and that was the only journey she’s done to a foreign country. That of course meant that everything was compared to Lisbon, which apparently according to her was much nicer.
What made the whole situation worse was the fact that Catherine was mugged in the entrance of ‘Parc Guell’ on our third day. Ok, I have to admit (only to you) that I didn’t feel that sorry for her. It’s a whole ‘bad things happen to bad people’ mentality. I believe that her bad karma provoked the city to take her revenge on her.
The thing is I had told both of them many times that people get mugged a lot in Barcelona. MadeInScotland had warned me as well. Catherine however thought that leaving some of her stuff in the apartment we were staying was more dangerous, so she also carried everything with her. She lost 4 credit/debit cards, €300 (all her money, her driving license and ID. So, I spent that afternoon looking through garbage bins in the area hoping to find the wallet, while they went to the police station to claim the theft. We also spent many hours in the Greek Embassy for Catherine to get a temporary ID to be able to fly.
Of course that incident made Catherine even worse tempered. She had a constant frown the next days, unwilling to even talk to us. She wasn’t enjoying anything and was even crying when my friend went into a souvenir shop to buy something. It was overly dramatic, unjustified and crazy. Bad things can happen in a journey, just deal with it and move on! We had given her money for all her needs and tried to reassure her that it wasn’t the end of the world, but in vain...
The problem was that it was the three of us and there wasn’t much I could do. If ‘JJ’ didn’t have work commitments and had come along, things would have been different. I managed to remain calm and patient for the whole trip. I know many people that would simply have gotten into a fight with her.
That’s enough of me bitching about her. Overall, I really did enjoy Barcelona but there is no way I’m having Catherine with me in a trip, ever again.
I’m now looking forward to spend a very nice weekend with ‘JJ’ in Brighton…


  1. Barcelona is one of my favourite places in the world. I have been there twice now, and have never been mugged or feel unsafe, but then again, I am from Johannesburg, South Africa....Noting scares me...

    Yes, travelling with someone like that is a nightmare. I am one of those people who would have locked heer in the hotel and enjoyed my holiday...

  2. My niece went to Barcelona for her honeymoon 6 years ago and she stills talks about how wonderful the city is. I'd love to see it too.

    Sorry about your friend but I'm glad you were able to make the best out of a very tough situation.

    Sometimes I'm overly negative too, and I hate myself when it happens. Thankfully my husband will whisper in my ear and tell me, and I reflect on the things I've said, then I snap out of it and turn positive. Perhaps your friend needs someone to whisper in her ear too.

  3. @JCLL I didn't feel unsafe in Barcelona, but it's normal that pickpockets operate in highly touristic areas. We went out until early in the morning without any problem.

    @Cubby We not only whispered it to her ear, we said it loudly at some point. She said that she's sorry for it but there's nothing she can do since she feels like the worst thing possible happened to her.
    I'm still trying to get used to your new nickname