Before embarking on a journey, one always thinks of all the good things that will happen during the trip. Not realising that at times things could go wrong. I was excited and happy to be visiting Barcelona for the first time in summer 2015. After doing a lot of research about the hotels, places to visit and things not to miss in Barcelona, here is what the internet didn’t tell me.
Barcelona has everything for everyone! You can begin your day by strolling in the museums and praising Antoni Gaudi’s brilliant architecture. In the evenings with your glass filled with sangria and Paella on the plate you can enjoy the enthralling Flamenco. Barcelona is a shopper’s paradise and an apt destination for the beach bum. The best part about the city is that one can never get lost as there is information centers located after every few kilometers and by spending 25 Euros, one can take the hop on bus to see all the main attractions. Barcelona forces you to live life to the fullest and one cannot get enough of this destination!
While the internet did tell me to be careful about my belongings, it didn’t tell me that people were extremely rude. From cab drivers to shopkeepers I came across people who were out right offensive. On the last day of my trip, I dropped my phone in the cab. It was only a few minutes later I realised that something was missing and I no longer had my iPhone in my bag! I rushed out of the bus station to locate that cab that had just dropped me. After several attempts and running from one place to another I thought of tracking my phone. At the bus station, there was a middle aged man who saw me upset and asked me what was wrong. After narrating the mishap, I asked him if I could use his phone to Whatsapp my brother in India and tell him that I have lost my phone and if he could track the location for me. The man very sweetly gave me his phone. I used his phone for 15 minutes and came to know from my brother that my phone was switched off and could not be tracked. After losing hope to find my phone again, I profusely thanked the man for helping me. Just when I was about to change my opinion about people being rude in Barcelona, this man extended his hand in front me asking for money. He said, “You used my phone and you need to pay me. You can give me whatever you have.” I wasn’t just disappointed but I was disgusted.
What became ugly during our stay was that the area where I was staying was surrounded by Pakistanis! (Read: I have absolutely no problems with them. I respect all religions.) The reason I say this is because they made us regret our stay at La Rambla which is supposed to be the most happening street in Barcelona. From calling us ‘Besharam’ (shameless) on the beach when we were in our bikinis to calling us ‘Bloody Indians’ we were harassed at every nook and corner.
These are the experiences that one can never forget and I am someone who will always remember Barcelona for the good things that it has to offer and without a doubt it will always be a city that I would often want to go back to. The purpose of telling you my experience in Barcelona was not because I want you to form an opinion about the city, but because I want you to be open to the bad and the ugly side of your journey and keeping that behind remember the good a city has to offer.