At the time when we booked the flight from Athens to Barcelona, one of the cheaper options for a return ticket was from the airline Vueling.
The flight takes about 3 hours, but allow at least 3 hours more for it because in the middle of the summer the crowds at the Athens airport are huge.
No less crowds awaited us even after landing. Although the weather was warm in Greece, the subjective feeling after landing is that it is somehow even warmer in Spain.
The taxi ride from the airport to the center of Barcelona passes with all of the car windows open in an attempt to create a breeze that would naturally cool us down.
We aimed for the accommodation to be as close as possible to the center, so that we could visit as much as possible. As we are going here in a modified, smaller composition, the hotel room was quite sufficient for all our needs. Both accommodation and work. Realistically, one desk and chair, good internet connection, that’s it. That’s all you need to do the job of a dispatcher and handle the requested information.
I have to tell you, it’s amazing how much this city has to offer. Architecturally, historically, culturally and with a wide range of entertainment on its plate. This has long been recognized by tourists from America, England and other Western countries with a stronger economic status, so the prices have been adjusted accordingly. Compared to Greece, where from we had just landed, the prices were at times twice as high, which somehow seemed unjustified. When we already draw that parallel of Thessaloniki/Volos/Athens in relation to Barcelona, somehow it seems to me that the restaurateurs in Greece are simply on a level above those we met here.
I believe that the very fact that Barcelona is still a city of some 5 million inhabitants that is visited annually by over 8 million tourists, has in some way contributed to the hospitality facilities acting like some kind of mass production. Not in the sense that they all look exactly the same, but in the sense that they serve you like a conveyor belt and are just waiting for you to get up so they can accommodate new tourists. Consequently, don’t expect them to look favorably on you if you sit down with your laptop and just order a coffee, intending to spend a good part of the day working there. At least not in the wider circle of the center or around some of the tourist attractions.
And there are them on every corner of the city. Thank Mr. Gaudi for that. But no joke, a really big thank you to him. As a child, while other boys dreamed of being pirates, cowboys or astronauts, I dreamed of becoming an architect. That dream never came true, but that boy is still awake somewhere in me. I’m always fascinated by architecture, and I especially liked it on this trip. Get your high-quality shoes ready, because despite the ingenious solution of the metro and city transport, we easily covered 20 thousand steps a day.
Arm yourself with patience and plan your time well. Lines to enter the most famous of these buildings can be long. We have prepared a couple of pictures for you in the gallery and we hope you will enjoy them as much as we did when we “clicked” them. Entrance fees to the vast majority of these facilities are paid and are not among the cheapest, but they are worth every penny.
Finally, the beaches. All beaches in the city are man-made, that is, they are not natural. As the city itself is a port, the depth of the water along the coast is also great. Until the nineties of the last century, most of the coastline was a wasteland, but before the 1992 Olympics, the beaches were completely transformed into what we as tourists have the opportunity to see today. Wide beaches, kilometers long, mixed with small stones and fine sand, provide various types of entertainment on them. Spaniards live a very active social life, so there are rare moments when you won’t see people enjoying the sun, swimming, relaxing in some of the bars or playing sports on the beaches. Waves are inevitable and the cold water comes as a real refreshment for the warm Catalan climate. You will struggle a bit with the sand in your swimming shorts after getting out of the water, but let’s be realistic, those are all sweet struggles.
Stay tuned as the next destination is Paris.
As before, here are a few suggestions of restaurants from our side.
La Rita – one of the really better catering establishments near “Casa Batllo”
La Tavernicola – perhaps the best Angus steak we tried in Barcelona
Greenco – if you are in the mood for exclusively organic food specialties, visit this restaurant located on Placa Reial