Monday, May 28, 2012

European Triad: Why I Hate Barcelona


Everyone I know just loves Barcelona, so why do I hate it?  Well, hate is such a strong word.  Let me walk through my thoughts/hatred.  I visited Barcelona once, in High School. It was my first trip abroad (EF Tours - great operator who really sparked my love for travel) and we visited Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, Monte Carlo, Florence and Rome.  All in 10 days.  I absolutely loved Madrid. It was the first foreign city I ever visited and the first place I was ever able to use a foreign language skill successfully -- probably also a reason I love language study now.

It was spring break -- March 1996. Madrid was warm (22C) and sunny. It was amazing. Barcelona was cold   (less than 10C). We had to spend more time on the bus that we did in Madrid.  Our jet lag was really starting to kick in while in Barcelona, so we didn't go out at night.  In Madrid we were out every night - just spending time on the Plaza Mayor and enjoying Chocolate con Churros and people watching.  I even had my first flamenco experience (which I loved). 

-- Digressing slightly.  There was a Flamenco Festival (of sorts) in Chicago in March.  I was excited to go see the dancers, hear the music, drink some sangria, but instead of taking a trip to a bar to watch Flamenco, I took a trip down 15 stairs - you can read about that here --

Back on topic.  MS, the better half, loves Barcelona. It is his favorite city. He studied there in High School (also with EF Tours, I believe) and returns every couple of years.  After we cancelled out trip to Vietnam you can read about it herehereherehereherehere and here. I was racking my brain to find a great replacement.

I don't have anything specific that I hate about Barcelona, I just don't have a memory of loving it. I obviously didn't get to really experience the city.  I am comparing Barcelona to the other cities on this High School trip, which is completely irrational, I know.

I would have been perfectly happy never returning to Barcelona again. That is horribly short sighted though. Especially since MS loves it.  There has to be something redeeming about Barcelona, right?  I love architecture, so that would be something, right?  It is a major city, so it has to have good food, right? So, I really don't hate Barcelona, I just need to really experience it.

Have any of you been to Barcelona? We are spending 3 days there over the summer, what should I do? What should we steer clear of? Where should we eat?
  
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2 comments:

zoomy said...

I also hate Barcelona but there's a pub selling absinthe off las ramblas that's fun. Also, u can get good food off the waterfront....

Tim Nickerson said...

-Zoomy: Good to see I found a kindred spirit. I am going into the upcoming trip with an open mind though. I will definitely report back to all.