Skip to main content

EuroTrip: Barcelona in 3 Days

This post is part of a series of my Eurotrip. Read about my trip to Nice by clicking here. 

From Nice, I caught a flight the next day out to Barcelona. This time, the flights were cheaper than the trains and the buses took too long. I also found out I happened to be lucky in that this was not one of the weeks that Vueling delayed a literal thousands of flights.

Important to note is that if you want to have fun flying cheap between Schengen countries, then ensure you only have hand luggage. The queue to check in luggage can be horrendous, and so can be the costs. So, travel light. It is cheaper to keep laundering a bag of clothes than to pay for check-in luggage.



Barcelona’s La Rambla with its hundreds of tourists. The city receives more than 25 million visitors annually
Barcelona is otherwise known as the pickpocket capital of Europe, but with the almost 30 million visitors annually, you are still very likely to leave without encountering the Eastern European pickpockets. The Catalan state has also done a lot to beef up security, but also one of the perks of being black is that you are more likely to get suspicious looks rather than get pickpocketed.

I was staying at the Hostal Europa, which though not expensive, was neither cheap. I came to discover it is right next to Barcelona’s most touristy area which may explain the cost. The other thing is that Barcelona’s streets are still packed at 2 AM, and at 3 AM. That’s what 30 million tourists and being Europe’s most popular destination gets you.

There were a few clubs that play hip hop, but my joy was short-lived as I came to learn that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than to figure out how to reserve, pay, and get into a Barcelona hiphop club in two days. I got frozen at the Jamboree Dance Club for all two nights that I was in Barcelona. Those hoes really ain’t loyal.

There’s a bunch of interesting things to do in Barcelona if you really don't care about the Flamenco (some Spanish dance) and if you can not figure out how to hang out with Messi or Enrique Iglesias.


Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia. Construction began in 1882 and the church is set for completion in 2026.
For starters, there is the La Sagrada Familia, which is a grand Catholic Castle Church that has been in construction for more than 100 years and will still be under construction until 2022 or some point after that. It is not only grand and imposing but similarly captivating. I spent no less than three hours marvelling at this sight and finding different angles to photograph it. 

Then, there is the Bunkers del Carmel, an old air-gun fortress from the Spanish civil war which is now more of an elevated point from which you can take in most of Barcelona. It is full of tourists. In fact, Barcelona is so full of tourists that the steps up to the Bunkers have graffiti commanding tourists to “go back home”, and also reading “fuck tourists”.

If heights are not your thing, then there is the Barcelona beach on the other end. Just make sure you lease one of the lockers if you are by yourself as no one will accept to watch your stuff - remember you are in the world's pickpocket capital, where rackets are rife.

In between, there are lots of restaurants and bars, and if you can stand European music, the bars may be cool. If you can, remember to comment on Jamboree’s Facebook page and carry an entrance fee to their club or you will have less of an option. Suckers.


The Boqueria Market has been open since 1840
Did I mention there are lots of other tourists they are almost under your armpit? There’s also the “futuristic” buildings to see for those interested in design and architecture. These were built in the early 20th Century and were seen as a vision of what buildings would be popular in the future. They mostly have a wavy design; to put it, they are interesting. I did not go into any of them, but it is fascinating to see that we have been consistent in always picturing the future as very different from the now, and also wrong in getting it right.

As the capital of secessionist Catalonia, you will also notice the yellow of Catalunya’s flag hanging from Barcelona windows and the yellow independence ribbons everywhere. It is also an enterprising city with lots of businesses, especially small businesses in the vehicle-restricted backstreets. There is also the La Boqueria market off the tourist-popular La Rambla street, and here, you can admire different meats and vegetables from stalls that have existed for more than 100 years.
Barcelona rightly marked my longest destination stay of three nights. It felt melancholic as I caught the Aerobus, sort of a bus-taxi, to the airport for my next destination. The packed Air Europa flight was delayed for an hour, which gave me time to catch on my sleep before we departed for Madrid.

Casa Mila is one of the modernist buildings strewn around Barcelona. Built in 1906, this building sought to capture how the future would look like

Next in these series, read about my trip to Madrid, yet another boring European Capital. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

Tuskys Bread Versus Ukwala Sukuma Wiki

Ukwala is a relatively cheapaffordable supermarket. The exact same good sold in Nakumatt, Tuskys and Ukwala chain of stores will most of the time cost less in Ukwala. For example, I was recently looking at a Kenpoly Plastic rack that comes with 3,4,5 or 6 compartments that I saw in a friends house.

My friend, wait, colleagues says that the rack set him slightly more than kshs 2000 at Nakumatt. It is quite a good looking rack and adds up to the spruced up appearance of his house.Why he doesn't have a girlfriend beats me.n This is not to say I have one, neither do I deny.Also,my house is the equivalent of the Commonwealth Games in India,something a relative once described as a dustbin, and for this reason , "No Visitors" policy remains.

Back to the Kenpoly rack, the rack is available in most Nakumatt stores and at least one Ukwala store that I visited. As for Tuskys, I have never figured how they operate big stores that competing stores beat when it comes to variety. For t…

How I lost my phone to Nairobi's best con man

A good con requires the highest level of cooperation from the victim.

*** I lost my phone on Friday evening, some time between 6:40 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. I know the time because my receipt indicates I was served at Ukwala Supermaket, Tom Mboya at 6:32 p.m., on the 26th of February, 2016.

Given I'm a brisk walker who avoids crowds, it should not have taken me more than five minutes to get to the area around the Tom Mboya statue on Moi Avenue,  just opposite the Hilton.

My habit of avoiding crowds is what led to what became a tragic decision, to walk along the road and emerge at the bus stop next to Ambassadeur Hotel, rather than walk along the pavement. It is here that I bumped into the villain, Nairobi’s best con man. He was running, kicking a plastic bottle along the road.

He said something to me that I didn't catch, to which I responded with a “huh”? It was only the two of us and lots of buses, for everyone else was using the zebra crossing next to Pizza Inn, then walking past t…

The Bible. Why you should read your Bible.

After reading what The Candid Tin man had to say about the Bible on his blog, I felt a disappointed man. In my opinion, the candid Tin man had committed the same errors of omission and commission that have plagued the Bible for centuries.

In the beginning, the Roman Catholic church was the dominant church worldwide, and the bible existed in Latin language which common folk like me and you did not understand. Latin was a dead language used by the priests of the roman Catholic church and perhaps a few scholars.

The Roman Catholic church aimed at controlling the public's opinion , as the church still does today, and especially their opinion of what was God's word. Therefore, back then, if you needed to understand God's word, you had to consult the Roman Catholic Priests to read the Bible for youa nd then tell you what it said. How well they did this and their intentions remained questionable, with accusations directed at the Roman Catholic Church for mistranslating The Bible…

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school. A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter , probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money , it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus. This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you could withdraw your pocket money next to the kibanda  where you had your one meal of the day.

The peanut butter though is a far cry form the peanut butter you remember. It does not taste that good, and turns into some sort of stone barely before you are a third way through the jar. The stone is not a kind that you learned about in your Geography classes though.

Dejectedly, you decide not …