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Posted on Jun 15, 2012

Barcelona

Barcelona

Playa de Barcelona

Just saying out loud ‘Barcelona’ generates a feeling of satisfaction and awesomeness. As a devoted FC Barcelona fan since 2000, being in the city that represents my all-time favorite football club is an honor by itself. Yet, the city’s reputation precedes it, in a good and bad way. Barcelona, as a whole, is an organized masterpiece of history and harmony. It’s vibrant atmosphere stems from the soul of its warm people that never hesitated to share a smile, a laugh, even a dance in the middle of the street. The life that flows in its streets is too obvious to be noticed, and too charming to be avoided. From the Catalunya Square to the Ramblas lies a broad street of merchants, restaurants, and packs of people admiring the beauty around. The warm weather and the cooling winds provide the best combination for a great experience while having a traditional plate of paella and some tapas on the side. While the dominating presence of immigrants, particularly from Bangladesh and India, would be a bit of an inconvenience after refusing to buy beer, refreshing water, or whatever gadgets they sell, they somehow add to the flamboyant taste that Barcelona enjoys and is famous for. It is almost always advised to join the hop-on hop-off touristic bus that every big city employs. Yet the advantage of being in the heart of Barcelona is the close proximity of touristic sites to the city center. A simple search through trip advisor would show how each important attraction is located near the city center, thus it is also advisable to find accommodation near the Ramblas area where plenty of tourists take a stroll and push away pesky merchants and prostitutes. La Sagarada Familia was one of our main destinations, and despite it’s unfinished construction and the visible cranes and scaffolding, the cathedral is an outstanding creation emanating a fusion between innovative architecture and perfectionism. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia is a landmark that maybe our children will witness it’s completion. During that time, i would highly recommend the rich open buffet nearby in Lactuca with an amazing price of 11€ (with a -2€ when presenting a coupon from your accommodation). I practically spent all my lunches there, always leaving with a satisfied stomach and a tranquil smile. Plenty of parks surround the city center. The most prominent is also designed by Gaudi, and for some reason the damn lizard seems to be the symbol representing it, although the hanging arena, the richness of oak trees, or the town church could easily be candidates of high caliber. On your way up, pass by Zuum, a fresh cocktail shop that creates the greatest smoothies. Take it easy on Oliver, a young tattooed fellow that’s a bit hyper from the overdose of fruit intake. Pretty cool guy, though. The city is notorious for pickpocketing and robbery. While the police is well scattered on a wide scale and at all times, criminals are good at evading and hold no certain sect or nationality. I speak as an observer and also as a victim of such behavior, where a man came into the hostel carrying a paper and when he spotted my friend’s phone, he approached my table and knelt down, begging for money and hiding the phone with the paper at hand. He got caught on CCTV and the police is enquiring about him, but the memories found in that phone are probably lost forever. The nightlife in Barcelona is commendable. Having a cluster of clubs situated closely together on the beautiful coast, tourists are offered cheap access to drinking in pubs and complementary bus trips to the venue, depending on the night. The PR crew clutters the Ramblas street and spotting them won’t be necessary; you’ll definitely be targeted by one if not half of them. The most common were Shoko, Catwalk, and xxx. While plenty of night clubs are around the city, their inconveniences lie in their high price, distance from the city center, or the type of music played. The threw clubs I attended were popular and cluttered by tourists and locals alike. The price of drinks start from 12€ and go uphill from there, so pre-drinking is advisable. The music was highly upbeat, with different rooms playing different genres, mainly electronic or RnB. It’s the place to be at night in the city that never sleeps, with all respect for Las Vegas for that quote. Personally, Barcelona is an amazing city, but far from being the best one. The subway is an efficient means of transportation, and the bus transit complements access to the whole city. The magic in Barcelona’s atmosphere reminds, yet it is smeared by sketchy foreigners, picketers, and the like. The food and rent are relatively cheaper than other European cities,  and the reputable universities in the city make it an attractive destination for international students. They comprise the majority of park dwellers, either reading their course material or practicing their street talent.

Here’s a collection of pictures from the trip in the link below! Enjoy!! If you like a higher res for any picture, just let me know 🙂

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Nicolas El Hayek located at Beirut, Lebanon , Beirut, LB . Reviewed by rated: 10 / 5