"Barcelona: Europe Old and New." Barcelona by gilescorey

Barcelona Travel Guide: 9,764 reviews and 22,676 photos

Chapter 29: The boy tries Barna.

So, I finally up and did it. I left Los Angeles.

As a citizen of Ireland, I have the option of living throughout Europe. Missing my family, and working in the wine industry, Spain seemed a natural fit. Got myself a good understanding of Spanish and an affection for a Mediterranean climate. So, Barcelona it is.

And Barcelona it has become for many. The city is now one of the most visited in Europe and the strain of tourism is visible in much of the Old City. Civic leaders are trying to "spread the wealth", so to speak, to maintain quality of life and the flow of Euros at the same time. I have confidence they will succeed.

But, I too love this city. I do. New and Old at the same time. Vespas and Gaudí. Gothic weight and the effervescence of modern Europe.

Oh, yeah...that "history" thing...

I don't know about you, but I have an affection for cities that view their history as an afterthought. It suggests full confidence in their legacy - their place in the world. Barcelona is one of those cities. it contains all the energy and freneticism of a modern city on the edge of progress, and the gravitas of old Europe.

Some, here, describe Barcelona as a "small city".

Really? With it´s dense character, wild nightlife, and boisterous street culture, it sure seems a Hell of a lot bigger than LA.

Can walk right outside and hail a cab...Hella.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Energetic, Cosmopolitan, Beautiful
  • Cons:Tourist Overrun, pickpockets and..skateboarding capital of the world.
  • In a nutshell:I'm coming home, Barcelona!
  • Last visit to Barcelona: Jun 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (16)

Comments (5)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    40 years between visits to Barcelona for me , changes everywhere. A hotel at the top of the Ramblas then, a clone of your Lloret, 19/6, ie19shillings and 6pence a night for bed, breakfast and Christmas sweets. Barrio Gotico pretty much a no-go zone after dark and don't even think of venturing into el Born. Park Guell deserted, wreathed in winter mist. Sagrada Familia a silent skeleton. Guardia civil on every corner and not a Catalan flag to be seen anywhere. Loved it. Went back in '09, June, spruced up, stylish, heaving with tourists. Loved it still.

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    Hopefully my wife and I will get a chance to visit Barcelona in May, 2012. Hotel Lloret looks like a real find. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Well written tips.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2011 at 4:27 AM

    Thanks for your wonderful story, my colleague!~

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2009 at 5:17 AM

    Will be there soon. Thanks for the tips.

  • Sep 6, 2007 at 2:37 PM

    Thanks for the warnings! We too had a series of food disasters, in Rome. I'm in the wrong business, it's time to open a pasta place somewhere serving indifferent tomato sauce with a bad attitude.

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