Morocco was my last country in November 2017 before resting in Ireland for several months with Guilhem. Aside from a trip to France for Christmas with his family, I didn’t move until we returned to France in March 2018 for the annual family ski trip in Meribel. Afterwards, I spent 10 days in the south before flying to my next country of Spain! Guilhem flew to meet me for the weekend, and we explored Barcelona together.
After years of traveling, it was just another city to me. We loved enjoying tapas and paella, but overall, we were met with adverse responses from the people. There is a lot of civil unrest from the local area because of Catalonia region wanting to gain independence from the rest of Spain. And, the crabby mindset against tourists.
Everywhere is overpriced with entrance fees, and local tourist taxes are attached on accommodations. The people just don’t want to help. They seem fed up with tourists. There was a woman in the metro who didn’t want to help me because she didn’t speak English, though she took the time to find someone to translate that to me. . .
Overall, I was a bit disappointed by the hospitality and attitude in Barcelona. The gothic architecture was interesting, and provided a new and different feel than other cities I’ve visited.
The Sagrada Familla was majestic and quite fascinating to see after a complete renovation. I loved being able to see what something used to look like when it was first built. That was a treat. But, in the center where you get THE best view, you had to sit in benches to look at it, and COULDN’T STAND to take a picture. Had I known this before standing with my camera, I would have been more prepared, and just stood up quickly for the photograph before the paid mood killers came to ruin the moment. They were on a mission to stop anyone from standing with a camera. I was abhorred by their persistence and lack of enthusiasm for their day job.
I guess I have very pessimistic views of Barcelona, because not many other places I have visited have been so deliberate and consistent about their attitudes of tourism. The Guell Park was another example of this. The whole park is free, but certain areas, the mosaic tiled bench, and the museum were walled off with a price. That’s fine. I don’t care about the museum, but the mosaic tiled bench, the hallmark spot for a Barcelona picture had people posted along tape to block people from entering without paying a heavy 8 euro fee to walk down to see this walled bench. First, that was ALL there was in this area, and second, it was packed with people anyway, so you wouldn’t have room to get 3 feet of space to yourself to capture a picture. . . so you get my point. Ah! I just didn’t have patience for that. I opted out of being exploited.
From what I was told. Spain never charged for anything, and over the decades, noticed that they needed money for upkeep. Since their economy was already weak, they needed to get the money from somewhere. But, since maintenance is expensive, instead of a small fee over the years, they just decided to get the money quickly, and overcharge for the tickets to get money faster. That’s one way to kill an industry! Although it’s been over a year since I have been there, I have seen numerous people on social media changing their minds about a trip to Spain because of these issues.