RAil to Monserrat is Difficult to Find
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.Related to:
- Road Trip
Beer is Expensive All Over
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
Trinket junk All Around
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 reallyRelated to:
- Budget Travel
Climbing the towers of the Sagrada Famiglia
This experience, while well worth it, might take some time. The passages are narrow, and only one can fit abreast. You climb quite high, so the only people who should attempt this should be people in good health. Because there will be people immediately behind you in very cramped quarters, it is a one way affair. You start, most likely, you have to finish.Related to:
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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 lotsRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
Other place where tourists, and locals too, are a target are in the bars in the centre. There are pickpockets that are waiting for the minimun distraction to take your staff, mobile phones on the table and other things. Don't hang the jackets or bags in the back of the chair.
By this tips I don't wanna make you think Barcelona is an unsafe place, just like the other touristic places in popular cities. If you have the basic precautions you don't have to have any problem.
Tourists, while waiting in line to take the tourist bus, tend to get distracted and that's when pickpockets take advantaged of it. As in Barcelona the line is in the middle of the street many people have to cross it and that's when they do it. So beware!
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Multi Cultural Issues
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.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
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Charter flight from Moscow
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?!Related to:
- Road Trip
there are few things I hate in life, but one I hate the most is smoking and I live in one of the countries were people smoke the most. I have seen 12 year olds smoking!! No kidding..... and they ara allowed to smoke everywere.
Be aware that every single restaurant, bar, store, bus, etc you will find people smoking and they really don´t care.
I personally have a hard time with this and can only hope for new laws to at least allow non smokers eat without the awful smell of cigaretes!
Walking, walking and walking... but underground!
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.
Avoid olympic area (olympico) for nightlife.Its full of clubs with drunk tourists.And after clubbing there is a problem how to return to hotel, there are a lot of people waiting for taxi and there is only a bus and you have to walk a little to reach the bus station but it is not so helpy as concerns the bus route.
Driving in Catalonia
Want to use your own car or hire one to get round Catalonia? Then this tip is for you.
Take into account:
(1) Catalonia's awful accident rate (road deaths are roughly three times UK rates). This is partly due to worse roads, hilly terrain, and bad signposting but is mainly the result of lax policing of drunk driving and speeding. Attitudes are changing but results are slow in coming. Avoid 'A' roads (county highways) late at night - especially at weekends.
(2) The road sign system. A couple of years ago, the Catalan Government decided to change the basis on which roads were labelled. It felt that the then existing one - which was based on Madrid and introduced shortly after the Civil War (1936-39) - was an affront to Catalan dignity. The local politicians forgot that the Madrid-based system was actually designed by a Catalan and was very practical. The new system is based on the direction a road takes. Unfortunately, as we all know, roads often twist and turn. Under the new system, a road changes number every time it takes a new general direction. The brains behind the new scheme also left map publishers in the dark. The reader can imagine the end result: a road numbering system that: (a) doesn't fit in with the one used in the rest of Spain; (b) isn't reflected on many maps; (c) defies driving logic. Needless to say, it cost millions of dollars to implement.
How could a country (Catalonia) so dependent on tourism indulge in such folly? Perhaps it all stems from some strange fear of invasion. The British turned road signs round in 1940 to confuse any invading Germans (it certainly confused the British!). Perhaps Catalonia's masters are kept awake at night by the fear that hordes of scantily-clad foreigners are going to drive through Catalonia faster than you can say 'Rommel'. Now they can sleep soundly, knowing that they have done their best to throw outlandish folk off the track.Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
It is really tough being a vegetarian in Spain. While there are a few token vegetarian places, the vast majority of restaurants have some kind of meat, poultry or fish in every dish, except for one or two vegetable appetizers. Vegetarian main courses are practically unheard of. Heaven help the poor vegan who decides he/she wants to spend a week in Spain.
I ate lots of Andalucian gazpacho (delicious!), or would order the ensalata mixto and scrape off the tuna. But my view is that traveling to a country means experiencing everything, even the cuisine. And if that means I have to eat non-vegetarian food, I will. If I had eaten only fruit and veggies in Spain, I would have missed out on a significant part of Spain's culture. I had plenty to choose from by eating fish. I didn't even have to branch out to poultry or red meat. And I certainly didn't have to eat any of the stuff shown in this picture!Related to:
- Food and Dining
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?
This is a beautiful property with a modern, luxurious feel. For those of you who want a more...more
Reserved 2 rooms for 4 nights for two couples. One included breakfast - identified on room card BB...more
The Majestic is where I stayed on my first trip to Barcelona, and I must say I could'nt have started...more
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