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

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not.  Dormans instant coffee tastes better than Sasini instant coffee. Ramtons electronics are manufactured for Kenya's Hypermart Limited, yet maintain a high product quality 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

Heineken 0.0 Best Alcohol Free Beer

What if you wanted to drink a beer, but without getting drunk? Say, you don’t drink alcohol, or for one reason or another, you are off alcohol. Or perhaps it’s a working day, and you would like to have a cold one in the middle of the day but without all negative effects. Well, you could. Welcome to the world of Alcohol-free beer.  Over the last few days, I’ve been enjoying some Heineken 0.0 rather than the typical beers. Now, Heineken 0.0 is a beer, in the malt lager style as the standard Heineken, the only difference being that all the alcohol has been removed - it contains less than 0.03% alcohol, which counts as safe enough even for those who are pregnant or affected by alcohol, according to Heineken. It smells very close to a Heineken, tastes close to a Heineken, and you even keep taking a piss like you would when drinking a Heineken - but you never get drunk.  How do they remove all the alcohol? From my research, they brew a standard Heineken beer as normal, then use some form

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

A spoonful of sugar, but for who? ( Image: Carol Wallis on Flickr ) 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 decline

A to Z of Girl Pick-up Lines

Girl,  You are like a breath of fresh air , like an outstanding piece of Art in an art gallery  There are many things you and me can be, but it puts a smile of satisfaction on my face and a smile of envy on my buddies faces that you both beautiful and bootyfull  E ither your creator must have taken the greatest care creating you or your cheated your way around heaven, 'coz you clearly the prettiest girl on earth  D on't ask why my breathing quickens every time I see you; setting my eyes on you makes me feel like I am drowning in your beauty, I have to catch my breath   Exciting, Exotic, Elegant, Electrifying ; so many definitions in english , but when it comes to the human race, girl, you are the one and only definition of all the above  W hen I say you are fly , it may be due to the sensation of flying off the ground that I get when I am around you. Some girls are beautiful, a few are decent, even fewer got class; I didn't know I could find all this qualities in one gir