flying is cheaper than taking the train – this is a perversion
everyone knows it, flying is an ecological crime. we always have very guilty feelings when we fly somewhere. for our trip to barcelona we decided to make a compromise and only fly one way, then take the train back home. the flight cost us 180.- swiss franks for two people, the train 406.-. even if you add to the flight cost the train fare to the airport, flying is about half the price of taking the train. now, that’s just wrong on so many levels. why should trying to live in an ecological manner cost more? how is it even possible? shouldn’t it be cheaper to run a train than planes?
it also takes more time to travel by train. of course. but flying takes more time than people usually think, theway to and from airports is a huge time waster. the trip to barcelona by plane took us 8 hours door to door, while the train home took 12 hours. that’s 4 hours more, but not that huge of a difference considering that the actual plane ride takes less than 2 hours.
no free bikes for tourists ;(
barcelona has one the best free bicycle systems ever bicing.com. all around the city there are bike stations, where people can collect a bicycle using a swipe card. this means the users never have to hassle to lock up bikes or such, they just leave the bike at the next station and recollect another one later. sadly this sevice is not available for tourists. this is understandable in some way, but with credit card deposits it could be made available for tourists easy.
rediscovering the city on a bike
we rented bikes instead, they cost us around 9 euros per day. we chose budgetbikes, but there are others. they have decent bikes, dutch one-gear cruisers, the only problem is that the bikes are bright orange, marking you as a tourist from a mile away. but the great thing with a bike is that you visit places you would not normally find. feet get tired when walking around cities, on a bike it’s only the butt that gets a lil sour.
barcelona must be one of the places in the world with the highest rate of vegetarian restaurants per capita. sadly the food they serve is not always very nice, they all offer honest deals and good quantity, but the cooking can be quite bad. the first week we kinda hunted down vegetarian restaurants, but frankly, some of the food we ate was really terrible and in one case (la bascula) it was outright horrendous. maybe the cook had a bad day, or maybe the main chef was ill and his second cousin filled in for him, but the food they served us at la bascula was the most awful food i ever ate in a restaurant.
not really great: amattea, organic, oriental vegetarian restaurant
avoid at all cost: la bascula
actually the much better idea, as we found out the second week, is to visit organic restaurants, that also serve meat but all have vegetarian dishes on offer.
barca is openly hostile to tourists – but i like it
i so understand …
we rent a flat
we rented a small apartement in the fantastic poble sec neighborhood at the foot of the montjuic parc. it was a very nice place, with tasteful interior design and all the comfort you can think of. renting a flat beats hotel on many levels. but in some crucial points hotels are actually much better. cleaning your room and buying toilet paper are not activities that seem right when on vacation. but most importantly, in a hotel, if you have loud neighbors, you complain at the front desk, they will try to fix it, if they don’t you can always ask for a different room. or find a better hotel. in an apartment you can’t do shit. you are the damn tourist imposing on their lives, so you best not say a word. but being kept awake until 2 am every other night by some klutz is deffo not my idea of a relaxing holiday.
sex! (the highlights)
best desert ever: panqueque con dulce de leche
a slogan that made me smile: PIZZA & LOVE – WE MAKE PIZZA NOT LOVE
barcelona – espanyol 3:2