Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Barcelona: Photos and a Story

Barcelona the second time around.

I am aware that I have already posted Montserrat and the Boqueria ahead of this HELLO AGAIN BARCELONA post. But let me backtrack and share with you a few more notes about landing in BCN the second time around.

A midday flight out of Venice, a short layover in Switzerland arriving at night in Barcelona. We were attempting to take the train to Las Ramblas to our hotel, but somehow we couldn’t locate the way to the train depot. It seemed easy the last time around. After collecting our luggage a few minutes of walking led us to the train depot, not this time.

As looks of confusion plastered on our tired faces I’m sure, an Indian man approached us. He drives a taxi, he said, and would like to offer his services to us. Quite odd I thought since there should have been a taxi area where you can get cabs, right? A red flag was raised, a scam? Or simply he approached us because hubby, although not an Indian, look like one and he’s simply helping us.

Too tired to walk the length of the airport to find where the train station was, we decided to take him at face value and negotiate price for fare. He quoted $20, or euros, and we said DEAL! I think the actual cab fare from airport to the Las Ramblas area should be higher, correct?

Turned out that he had a fare to the airport and doesn’t want to go all the way back to the city by himself, hence the lower price for us.

The taxi driver was a chatty one. I must have told him that I was a bit worried he might be some scam artist, because he shared that with technology and GOOGLE MAPS taxi drivers all over the world can no longer take the longer route for more expensive fare because travelers nowadays are more knowledgeable. He shared with us his experience with an older Indian gentleman he picked up from the airport. Just by looking at him, the driver added, you wouldn’t think he’s one to use google maps or even a cell phone. But as it turned out, the gentleman even directed the driver which route to take to get to his hotel. Thus the driver said, gone are the hay days of taxi drivers.

He was so chatty that we learned about his family life, his side businesses (he does private tour all over Spain and Italy), his kids, etc. In the end, it was another memorable travel experience.

The hotel we booked was 1.5 block from Las Ramblas. It was a mix of shared lodging and private rooms. We had a private room and it was huge. The bathroom was huge too. It does not come with breakfast, but somehow we managed to go through our short time in Barcelona without eating too much, pity, but we grazed a lot.

A great plus about this location was that we would spend a lot of time at night to walk around the neighborhood. Such a pleasure to explore this part of the city at night with all the activities going on. For the most part, we spent our time pretending to be locals going about our day in the most touristic part of town.

Is it possible to love Barcelona even more the second time around? Yes it is!

Photos we took while walking around the neighborhood of our hotel:

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The street of our hotel.

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Love the narrow alleys.

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Road looked wet, but it did not rain the whole time we were there.

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A lot of walking.

Then, we found some murals.

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We did a little window shopping.

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The church at the corner of our street and Las Ramblas was a lovely spot to rest the legs and feet and also to ask for continued travel mercies.

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The nights were also spent walking around the Ramblas and at one point we even got to Placa Reial in search of food, but we were not in the mood for a sit-down meal, so we got some Turkish food to go.

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Busy and chaotic - that's Las Ramblas.

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Chairs available when you feet feel sore from all the walking.

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Did not get to visit museum. May be next time?

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Placa Reial, another dining destination.

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Noms, anyone?

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The skywatching took a backseat while I was in Barcelona, understandably so.

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20 comments:

  1. Oh, I like the sparkly look of the streets at night and your sparkling little tale about the cab driver. Funny how when we take time to get to know people we usually find we are all the same. I was sorry to see the graffiti on the beautiful door though.

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  2. Wonderful tour of Barcelona. The night shots and the last image are my favorites. Have a happy weekend!

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  3. Ah, I do love Barcelona!! Thanks for the memories with your marvelous captures!! A great tour indeed!!

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  4. nice pictures of Barcelona. Thanks for up close experience

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  5. Beautiful shots of the place. I like those paintings.

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  6. Excellent photographs and I love the narrative of your trip. I am amazed at how the narrow the streets and alleys are and how cramped it all looks.

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  7. That's definitely a beautiful city, one I'd love to visit. What a fun story about the taxi driver.

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  8. I like that shot of all the sunglasses!! Have a great weekend.

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  9. so interesting with great shots ! happy weekend :-)

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  10. Visiting your blog after a long time. Barcelona.. the allyes what can i say, its so lovely. Even the everyday shots looks magical . And as u said trusting a cabbie takes a lot of courage :) but yes there are loads of good people in the world just like him.

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  11. Wonderful glimpses into Barcelona!

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  12. Love the narrow streets of Barcelona. The 'sombreros' sign is so cool!

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  13. Your travels are so interesting. A beautiful old- world City, with many modern touches as well! You always seem to see it all!

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  14. a nice sky for visiting the city :)

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  15. I didn't know that BCN's street art culture is thriving! That makes me want to go there all the more. And the story about the Indian cab driver is so nice. It can even be included in my Kindness on the Road series, if you feel like submitting a summary :)

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  16. It's so sad that the initial reaction we, tourists have when someone showed a random act of kindness is that they might be scamming us. I do the same, although I have never been scammed in my travels - I was always doubtful of people around me when traveling solo. I blame the scam artists who ruined it all together for everyone.

    As always, beautiful photos.

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  17. I know what you mean when you say doubtful.
    Really, it's hard to trust these days. ^0^
    But sometimes, in those unexpected moments, you do find people with good intentions.^0^

    20 euros was more or less the price we paid when we first arrived from El Prat to Plaça Catalunya area.
    so that's not a rip off.

    Las ramblas like always, is vibrant, as if the city never sleeps. ^0^
    I wonder what's inside Museu de Cera though... curious...

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