Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Barcelona, Spain

so, like i said before, I'm going to tell about my Spain trip.. but it gets to me, that's boring.. Me personally, I am not a good storyteller... I only told my trip to 2 friends of mine.. I'm just not good at telling stories i guess.. So, i thought, I'll write something like tips just in case you're thinking of visiting Spain one day :)

First thing first, make sure you have the currency i.e € before you reach Spain.. Doesn't matter where you're landing, Girona Aeroporto, Barcelona Aeroporto.. make sure you have some cash with you. You could also withdraw your money from any ATM if your card has Visa stamp.. Personally, it would be easier if you just have some cash with you before hand and withdraw more if you need more.. What happened to us was ,I thought they would have a money exchanger at the airport.. I mean it is logic to think that way.. But.. I was wrong.. it was an adventure i tell you that.. :p

One thing i like about Spain train system is that, you can buy a 10 journeys or 50 journeys ticket and share with 2 or 3 people at a time.. It doesn't cost that much.. Aisamuddin and I got the 10 journeys ticket, cost us €7,50. was worth it. They have few different lines and different zones.. Most places are in zone 1 so you don't have to worry that much. But different people, different places in mind.. So, just check that..

Our hotel, Hotel Transit was very near to the train station and was a walking distance to Estadi Olimpic, Montjuic and Palau Nacional.. You'll see these two towers first.. I am not sure about these towers but they have something to do with art if I'm not mistaken.. Ahead of it, lies the Palau Nacional or I think, the Grand Palace.. something like that.. It's a great place to take pictures.. In front of it, is Montjuic fountains.. popular.. they even have water and light shows, but on ly from October till April.. behind the big building, is the Montjuic or Jew Hill.. It used to be a military place but it was turned into a park.. a really nice park where you can see Barcelona city.. though it's kinda covered by trees, you can still see it in front of the building.. I tell you, its very nice..

Estadi Olimpic is kinda part of the hill.. The hill used to be the central of Barcelona Olympic before.. There are tennis courts, place to jog, indoor pool and stuff like that.. Also the Olympic stadium and the Catalunya Communication Tower.. It sorta look like the torch don't you think? :p The stadium when I was there was under reconstruction or so.. but no biggie..

Barcelona itself, have some halal restaurants *or at least one that's near to our hotel*.. But if you just want any kind of restaurant, there are a lot of them around.. Coffee shops too.. the price.. not that bad if you don't mind spending some.. If you're backpacking like us and not planning to spend that much.. Better of to go to any hypermarket you can get and just buy yourself breads and drinks.. way cheaper than those fancy coffee shops.. normal meal here is around €10-€12.. its ok.. but we didn't eat that much in Barcelona... we're good with bread, nestea and mineral water..

We went to Madrid on bus from Barcelona Nord bus station.. Be sure to know which bus you're going on.. they might have 2 buses at the same time going to the same place.. And they might write something different on the bus.. just go ahead and ask the conductor rather than waiting till the last 2-3 minutes just to notice you should be in that bus.. Alhamdulillah, we were helped by one of the people there who speaks english fluently..

One thing for sure, just be careful with your bags, handbags, camera bags, or whatever you're carrying.. They have pro pickpockets.. You'll read this warning in any guide books you read on Spain or any Europe countries.. But believe me, we almost got mugged and even witnessed a failed attempt to mug.. so yeah.. don't bring handbag ladies... if you want, keep it in front of you, not behind your arm.. guys.. put your wallet in the side pockets, and not back pockets.. if you're carrying messenger bag, same thing, put it in front of you where you can see it, and not your side or on your butt.. Don't take your guard off...

Also, try to learn or have a good pocket size language book.. People there don't speak english that much.. so a little knowledge about the language will definitely help.. Read through the book before so that you have a brief idea of important sentence.. gracias, Senor, numbre, pardon, dollares.. something like that..

Enough for today.. I'll write about Madrid later..


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