5 Things I hate about Barcelona

I would like to precursor this post with the obvious; I do love Barcelona. However, like any place you live in for a while there are always things you’re going to hate and mostly that’s because other people exist and do things that drive you insane. So yes, Barcelona is great but there are somethings that just really grind on me. Here it goes:

1. The noise.

If it isn’t your neighbours having either an argument or a really loud discussion in the interior of the building whilst slamming doors in the middle of the night then it’s the street cleaners humming along at 3am that’s going to disturb your beauty sleep. Now, I am not a light sleeper. I infamously slept through a near riot happening at the pub opposite my old house in York that woke up the other 6 people I lived with. However, in a city of single glazed windows and buildings packed tightly together it’s hard to avoid disturbances. Even when you’re living in the ‘penthouse’.
Also, the metro or the street or anywhere public forthat matter is not the time to be playing a game/ watching a video on your phone with the volume on full, asshole.

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Best Food & Drink places in Raval

El Raval is my neighbourhood, on top of its proximity to Port Vell it also had a lot of good places to grab a bite to eat and have a drink. As my parents were visiting me a couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to visit a few more new places near my flat and as my area is a place that tourists don’t seem to usually venture out to I wanted to recommend some places away from La Rambla. In no particular order:

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Weekend Excursions: Sitges

This week, I was lucky enough to have my parents fly over for a two-day visit in which we managed to pack in a trip to Sagrada Familia, the Botanic Gardens and Sitges! When I first arrived in Barcelona I was told by the person who helped me get from the airport to my accomodation to visit Sitges but for some reason or another I kept putting it off in favour of doing things inside the city or for visits to Monserrat, Montpellier and Munich (posts about all three can be found here). The idea to visit Sitges with my parents came about quite serendipidoulsy as my Mum was told by a friend that Sitges was a nice town and after she accidently posted about it on my Facebook thinking it was a private message I thought a little trip out whilst they were here was a no-brainer.

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Barcelona Carnival Fail

All week I was unable to avoid signs of upcoming carnival; a tradition that appears to have be born sometime in the 14th century and was revived after the fall of Franco as a time to celebrate the beginning of the Easter period. My students would show up to lessons covered in face paint or with their hair sprayed different colours and on the streets I saw many a strange costume. The children told me how one day they had to dress in their pyjamas and on another in their parents clothes, which I really wish I had a chance to witness. I was getting pretty excited to see what the carnival fuss was all about but the celebrations themselves were somewhat elusive. Continue reading Barcelona Carnival Fail

Jardí Botànic Històric de Barcelona

I’m sure you can all figure out that the title means ‘Barcelona’s Historic Botanical Gardens’ if you remember anything from doing languages at school and by that logic, I guess you have now also sussed out that this post will be about my day walking around the gardens that reside behind the Olympic stadium on the top of Montjuïc! With money being a little tight, I haven’t been able to go on as many weekend excursions as I would’ve liked but that’s okay because Barcelona has so much to offer and the weather is steadily getting distinctly summery (spring and autumn hardly exist here, let’s be honest).

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The Palo Alto Market

Last weekend was my birthday and for the first time ever there was actually sunshine on my birthday and it was abnormally warm. As someone with a February birthday I am very used to the weather being abysmal, attractions being closed for the winter/doing maintainance etc. and also around exams but this was year was completely different! On the first weekend of every month the Palo Alto market in Barcelona is open and this just happened to coincide with my birthday!

I didn’t know much about the market before we went except that it involves bringing together a lot of small, independent businesses and entry is 4€ on the door (unless you buy your ticket early on the app then it is 1€ less). The market is a little out of the city centre but that gave us the opportunity to wander around a new part of Barcelona that was so new and built up it made me think it would be a good setting for an apocalypse film – there was hardly any signs of life except market goers it was a bit creepy. Continue reading The Palo Alto Market

Places to Visit in Barcelona: The Box

The Box is a place that we had been planning to visit for over two months but for some reason we kept getting the idea to go on the one day a week it is closed (Monday*) and then promptly forgetting until the next Monday. Anyway, after completing this weird cycle for weeks we finally made it to The Box for a few farewell drinks as Colin is sadly leaving us to return to the States. The Box turned out to be a great choice for this kind of affair as the bar is very small – hence the name – and has a very friendly, cost environment that makes it great for catching up with friends. You’ll have to get there at a semi-reasonable time at the weekend I expect to get a seat as we were there on a Thursday and by 10pm there were no seats left.

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Places to visit in Barcelona: Milk

Calling my week simply hectic would be an understatement for sure. This week I taught my first intensive class and my first business class, which involved spending 6 hours a day in an office with only one person for five days and to top it off I had to commute for an hour outside the city meaning my alarm was set for 5.45am every morning. At this juncture, I would like to point out that spending this much time with one person as a TEFL teacher is unlikely but this student needed to improve their English quickly. As well as this intensive class, I still had my regular evening classes that last between 1-1.5 hours every evening meaning that I would spend all my free time each day getting ready for those and then not get home until about 8. But enough about this, what I really want to talk about is the cosy brunch place we visited yesterday afternoon; Milk.

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