I arrived to Barcelona from Moscow by a charter flight at saturday midday. The return flight has been appointed in the morning in a week. However I suspected, that the same plane which has brought other group of tourists from Moscow at midday will depart to Moscow.
So it has turned out true! As a result we waited at the airport 3 hours. Then we waited 1,5 hours in the plane. The delay of flight has made 4,5 hours. What does it mean to fly charter-parties?!
I feel the need to share the circumstances of how my computer was stolen from a rental apartment under the company "BLACK AND WHITE HOME".
My mother and I stayed in one of Black and White Home's apartments and while we were there, we were burgled by someone WITH A KEY. The apartment had a heavy door that could only be accessed once inside the building. Both the building door and the apartment door were locked with no sign of forced entry. The apartment door was triple locked when we left AND when we returned and there was no sign of forced entry, confirming that the burglar entered with a key (windows were all locked from the inside). My Mac laptop was stolen from the apartment.
The representative said they were not responsible for items inside the apartment, which I can understand in the case of a forced entry, but the fact that this happened by someone with access to a key makes things very suspicious - how is the security of their customers not their responsibility? We were two women traveling alone together. What if the key was available to someone who wanted more than a computer?
We began to suspect the company was involved in the theft when our phone calls and emails begun to be ignored and when we remembered how when we first arrived at the apartment, the representative insisted on seeing my computer ("to make sure it would work with the internet" he said). Two days later it was gone.
Additionally, when the police arrived after the theft, I begged Black and White Home's representative (tearfully) to get the message out to his people that I would pay the price of a new Mac laptop as ransom for the computer that had been stolen (I work in the creative sector and lost a huge amount of material when the computer was stolen). The representative refused to give his employees this message. Why would he refuse - unless he thought that the computer might be returned, which would prove the company was connected to the theft?
I strongly caution people against booking with this company and have posted this review on a couple of other sites. If your apartment doesn't have a safe (the combination of which you set yourself), you're basically gambling with your belongings. To have been in such a vulnerable position is bad enough, to be ignored afterwards is unacceptable.
Basically I don't want to waste any more time on these fraudsters than I have to but I feel compelled to warn others.
We booked in December/January time for a stay here in May 2012. They took our deposit then a couple of weeks ago we got a random email to state that the apartment was 'no longer available' and they would look to find us somewhere else. After 3 anxious weeks of waiting we were given 2 other alternatives of apartments not nearly up to the standard of this one we had booked. We complained then eventually after another week they offered us a dormitory style apartment that didn't even have a lounge. I had explained that I was pregnant and had specific needs, which they totally refused to take into account.
We eventually managed to get our deposit back but they made up a ridiculous exchange rate which left us £25 out of pocket. The lady was rude, and I feel like reporting them for the way they have treated us. Consequently we have had to rush to find somewhere else, that suits our needs, and we are struggling. My advice would be avoid this company, they can't be trusted!!!
Even though it does not show outwardly, there is a large proportion of people from other countries; especially Indians who operate a lot of the restaurants and junk gift shops. Besides that, there is a Muslim group that probably is not very welcome here, but may be tolerated? Then there are also a large number of blacks from Africa that mostly do not have jobs.
Throughout the city there are vehicles backed up for blocks. I could not imagine the length of line and time it takes to get across the city center, but no doubt long and I would not try to do it. In addition, there appears to be few parking spaces on the street and very few parking lots
Every place you go, there can be found on the street tent shops that sell the typical junk trinkets to take home, or some local maps of some sort. It gets tedious after a while to maneuver through the crowds that flock around them to buy something they think is cheap; but not really
I found that I like to drink beer for a lot of meals on trips. This satisfies the pallet, and warms the tummy. However, IN Barcelona, I was cautious as to how many beers I had. Prices for a normal 12 ounce beer ranged from 5-6 Euro, and that is outrageous. I tried even local beers thinking they may cost less. Not. The only place found after 5 days was one place close to where we stayed just off Parellel near the harbor for 2,50 Euro a bottle. I filled up. We got the tip from some German locals, who searched and found it
The connection to the rail lines in the city is at Plaza Espanya. The difficulty is leaving the subway section and then finding the rail lines. They are marked with an ORANGE symbol. Even seeing that, the direction stop get to rail lines is poor in that the signage stops at some places, and you do not know which way to go. To make matters worse, the locals in the subway who work there were little help. They also did not know, how to tell us how to connect to the rail, or which way and some did not speak any English, and my Spanish is okay-but not proficient.
You need to ask for, or follow direction to get to R5 line-standing for rail. it is at the end of the subway red line and you only know you got there once you see turnstyles to get out of subway system and enter the rail connector. VT people had not explained much about this whole process and detail is for sure needed to save time and grief.
In such big city as Barcelona, all is possible, thieves, pickpockets & scams are all just waiting there for the naïve tourist. Don’t make it easy for anyone, keep your valuables and papers in inside pockets and be careful while hanging around.
As you can see in the photo here, the police might not be that helpful, to escape from the heat they park their car in the shade and having a siesta as well :)
Do not be naive and do not think that you found the deal of your life when those streets vendors offering you some brand name product for a tempting price. All these items are pure fake or stolen. All this is illegal here and I notice when the police approaching by, those guys & goods disappeared in a second like a gazelle escaping a lion attack.
If you come to Barcelona with a car, be aware where you actually parking you car, this Swiss tourist thought his car is safe in the front of the hotel, but this does not seems to be the case and it will be a surprise later own when notice the car has been gone.... but where to?
The metro is usually the most convenient and comfortable way to move in a big city. I don't think it is the case in Barcelona.
Barcelona's metro has many advantages: it counts quite a lot of lines connecting most of the city and some suburbs, it is cheap and trains run frequently.
However, it has a couple of huge disadvantages that can turn into a nightmare for people with limited mobility:
1) the metro stations are rather distant from each other (I think around 500 m on average), so you may have to walk a lot anyway, after leaving the metro;
2) the stations are built many meters underground and only stairs are available to reach them. Escalators move only upwards and do not always work;
3) some transfer stations have very long corridors and a considerable amount of stairs. I am speaking not only of "Catalunya" or "Passeig de Gràcia" stations, linking three metro lines and a national railway line each, but also of smaller stations.
This is to tell you that you may consider not taking the metro if you can't walk much. There are many bus lines that you can take instead.
It would be of great help if the metro society built elevator moving downward in all stations.
For years, we have all been told of the importance of water. The general guideline has been to drink 2 litre of water each day. For a person who is not living an active lifestyle this may be enough, but if you are physically active, you need more water than that. That is especially true if you are hiking in and around the city of Tarragona due to the fact the average temperature is much higher than other areas and the landscape goes up and down.
Water is essential for everyone, especially if you are hiking. Water helps almost every part of the human body function properly. Our bodies are almost two-thirds water, and proper hydration is essential to keep your body functioning properly during the hike. Some of the things water does in the body are:
* The brain is 75% water; even moderate dehydration can cause headaches and dizziness;
* Water regulates body temperature, which is especially important here in the area where the temperatures can be so brutal;
* Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body
* Blood is 92% water;
* Water protects and cushions vital organs;
·* Water converts food into energy (which is something you will need on a 3 to 4 hour hike…);
* Muscles are 75% water, and you will use many muscles on a trail as you climb above the desert floor.
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the catchy title of the 1992 bestseller by John Gray, succinctly expresses an ancient dilemma. What--if anything--do men's and women's brains do differently?
The general statement that men and women respond and behave differently under the same circumstances is true; For example, from the crib, male babies tend to be more aggressive and females more passive. As adults, in spatial operations, men have the edge in such skills as negotiating a maze, reading a map, and quickly discriminating between right and left. Men also perform better than women when asked to visualize an object and imagine rotating it. On the other hand, women tend to perform better than men when asked to look at objects of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and then to group them in some order.
This still doesn't explain why Relinde turns the map all around when I'm asking for the road to travel, while I like the map at one point so I can better visualize our position. Help!
Mid of July to mid of August is one of the worst times, because what winter is is the North, that hard mid summer is in Barcelona. Nor the breeze from the sea side uses to arrive to the streets nor any other release. The sun burns down from early in the morning and humidity and pollution dirt stays caught between the mountains. It usaually does not refresh in the night.
If you stay at a hotel whith air conditioning, your chances to get ill will rise incredibly. And you won't feel well on the street anyway. Drink your benzoates-on- ice instead eating fruit because of bacteria fear, and bacterias will have more chances to attack successfully.
Some OK- places will be closed, while raping places may still rise their prices a bit.
It is vacancy time in Spain and many places (shops) will be closed until September.
If you want to be shure not to suffer from excessive heat, go in october.
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