We just got back from Barcelona early morning today but should have been home yesterday evening. Before I review our trip to Barcelona, I want to share/rant briefly about our nightmare return trip. First, we boarded on Easyjet on time and before heading onto the runway, the captain sidelined the plane, where we idled for more than ten minutes as other planes cut ahead and took off. Nick called it and was suspicious something was wrong with the plane. Finally we got on the runway after Nick’s call, but the plane was not speeding up for take-off. Nick said we’re not taking off, and he was right. The captain announced the plane had to be checked for the air conditioner. We all waited for about a half hour or so for the engineers to be done “resetting” the system. Mr. Skeptical Nick said there is no such thing as resetting something that doesn’t work. Well, turned out he was right. After the engineers were done, the captain did some tests and found out the problem was more serious than that: the starter motor to one of the engines was not working and had to be replaced. Good thing we had a smart pilot who made the right choice not to fly after the engineers insisted everything was okay.
Everyone got off the flight and was told Easyjet would find the next available plane that would fly us to Nice. At this point it was 8:30 p.m. and we were already supposed to be home in Nice an hour ago. Shortly, Easyjet told us another plane from London would fly out at 10 p.m. and arrive to Barcelona around midnight. But, even though we would have a replacement plane, we couldn’t get back to Nice because French air traffic control was on strike again for what seemed like the millionth time. We suddenly had an aching realization we would be stranded at the airport. By this point we were tired and tired of the chaos. The French people were wreaking havoc; they were angry, throwing fits, and arguing with and yelling at the poor airport workers who were just relaying the message. They formed a mob, and it kept on growing. It became such a crowded mess with both French women and men throwing attitudes that several security guards were called out. We watched as outsiders, noticing how ridiculous it all was. We understood it was not the airport worker’s fault, and now that we got a new plane, the French air traffic controllers were on strike, and the reason why we couldn’t fly into Nice. But, every French person there didn’t seem to get this: Easyjet and the airport workers at Barcelona were the blame for everything.
After all the commotion, our plane came and somehow some of the workers at Nice accommodated our flight back. I suspected they did this because of their own livid people being stranded. Nevertheless, after twelve hours we finally arrived home at 4 a.m. We were wiped. And we’re glad this chaos/nightmare is over with.
On to the Barcelona review…we really enjoyed the city. We have only two gripes about the city, and that is the lingering smell of sewer and the abundance of cigarette smoke. But, this isn’t worse than what we’re experiencing daily in France. Overall, we truly enjoyed Barcelona as a whole more so than Paris.
Barcelona is a cool city with lots to see and do. And the best part is that it’s so cheap to eat and shop there. Ridden with the works of Antoni Gaudi, we loved checking out his work. We’re big fans of his design, so seeing his casas were a delight to us. We also enjoyed the vegan food and fruits in the city. Spain is the place for raw foodists in Europe, not gourmet raw foodists, but raw vegans like us who eat tons of fruits. We were in heaven with the abundance of fruit. We had all the fruit we wanted for breakfast everyday at our hotel and at La Boqueria Market. We took pleasure in eating our favorite fruits, as we were able to buy all that we wanted at the market and eat fruits we normally don’t get to enjoy in the states and in France. We were in heaven…
Aside from the art and food, we loved the city at night for the atmosphere and the current Christmas spirit. There were Christmas lights everywhere; they go all out there.
The city is also just lively at night but very quiet during the day. People in Barcelona come out at night and eat very late dinners. We’re used to eating dinner between 8 – 9 p.m. in France, but in Barcelona, people are still coming out to eat dinner at 11:30 at night. The vibe in the city is a good one and we liked it very much. The people are genuinely nice and polite, and good quality people as a whole. We would surely go back and visit another area of Spain, such as south of Spain for the good beach.
There is a beach in Barcelona, and we enjoyed walking on the boardwalk. It is a nice beach, and we appreciated the cleanliness and layout. We could only imagine how nice the beaches are down south. And we look forward to visiting the area some day.