Spain - Barcelona, a nice city crowded with tourists
After 16 years I returned to Barcelona. Wow, this city has changed a lot. We were both longing for some bustling spanish city - what we found was a tourist crowded place.
Well, at least we had the perfect place to stay. The Hostal Goya quite in the center is such a lovely, small and clean hostel - not the cheapest, but I think one of the best. We started with some strolling along the beautiful Passeig de Gracia as we wanted to pay the Casa Batlló (constructed by Gaudí) a visit. But there were so many people - we would have had to wait for more than 1 hour to enter. So we decided to keep walking through the city.
We discovered the Barrio Gótico where there were also lots of tourists. But finally we ended up in the Barrio Born which is really beautiful. It has some nice shops, great local tapas bars. This is a place in town which has kept its barcelonian spirit. The next day early in the morning we went back to Casa Batlló and were lucky. At 9am it was nearly empty and we could enjoy this phenomenal house. Later at the Sagrada Familia we were unable to take proper pictures as it was so crowded. We continued down the Ramblas, went up the Colon Statue (from there you have a nice view over the harbour) and ended up doing a nice harbour cruise. The Parc Güell was also to crowded and there was a strange atmosphere in the parc. Some local sellers seemed quite scared, they were moving all the time and were dealing something in the bushes. It is a shame, as the parc itself is really nice. Finally we spent some time at the beautiful Plaza España and walked up the Montjuic. This area of the Olympic Games is still quite nice and we enjoyed it up there. Also a really nice place to spend a local evening is Barceloneta if you go away from the waterfront and enter the small streets with the amazing fish restaurants. They are not cheap - but the food is really delicious and of high quality. Well, Barcelona is a really nice city with great architecture, very nice restaurants and, of course, excellent shopping. We would have enjoyed it much more if there had been less tourists. This was tooooooo much for us.
However, I enjoyed being back to Spain, going shopping in the Mercadona (where I always went when I lived in Alicante), having a look in Corte Ingles, enjoying the food in one of the millions of tapas bars. It was a little bit like coming home after a long time. We would like to come back to Barcelona in offseason when it is quiter.