24 April 2014, Thursday
I promised myself to revisit this city, as my stay 4 years ago was too short. What I love about Barcelona is it is so tourist-friendly:
- Aerobus: brings you to the city from Barcelona’s airport. It costs 5.90 Euros per trip or 10.20 Euros for a return trip. Ensure you keep the receipt.
- Bus Turistic: we bought the tickets from the tourist information counter at the airport. You can switch lines depending on your destination. Plan your route ahead! I highly recommend this.
- Walking city: Walk down La Rambla from one end to the other gets you to Catalunya and the port. That is if you have the energy to walk to all destinations.
Coming from all-year-summer Singapore, I was pleasantly surprised that Spring in Barcelona was like Australia’s winter! It took me a while to get used to 10 to 16 degrees especially with strong winds in the morning and evening. All I had was my thin Adidas jacket.
Our humble apartment was smacked in Placa Catalunya. We immediately stocked up on fluid at El Corte Ingles. The plan to walk through at night did not happen as we both dozed off on the couch. What a 14-hr flight does to you.
We explored places I have not visited like Montjuic and Port Vell. Parc Guell was kind of disappointing as there was a lot of waiting. They impose an entrance fee now and you have to select a time band, depending on availability to view the monumental site. Book online if you must go!
Heedless to warnings online especially on Trip Advisor, we decided to explore Raval. Though deep in my heart, I didn’t feel too good about it. It seems like a harmless street away from La Rambla. When I walked in, I felt nervous. I said my prayers.
It’s a stark contrast from the lively main street. We passed by a few men who seemed homeless. I forgot about that fear when I met this friendly couple at a flea market. Gorgeous clay accessories! Go check out http://handmay2.blogspot.sg/
While walking back, a suspicious looking man approached us in a language I could not figure. I brushed him off and we walked on. My travel partner, Nihla, turned back and nervously said “He’s coming back for us!” If I could run, I would but I tried to compose myself (though God knows how nervous I was). This time he touched my back and I angrily stared at him. Thankfully, we were in front of a Muslim shop. We hurriedly went in and could see that the strange man took a step in and went out again, rather indecisive.
We pretended to look around but in a few minutes we left and hastened our pace. The moment we stepped on the main heart of the city, we were so relieved! Lesson learnt: follow your instinct and trust Trip Advisor!