Tuesday, May 6, 2008

BCNcredible: Getting There

I can't say I made any strides to balance out my sleep patterns over the past week...I mean, does anyone sleep in a hostel, let alone a hostel in Barcelona? Yes, my insomnia in BCN was entirely voluntary and actually had the opposite effect...I've been revved up and giddy ever since I got home. Here's the rewind:

The Arrival: Travelling alone has never given me reason to be afraid, so arriving at 2am in Las Ramblas after a delayed flight from Venice didn't really rattle me. It wasn't until I turned down Carrer Sant Pau, the street where my hostel is located, that I my internal radar went off.

Spilling out of each door, balcony and alley were prostitutes and their creepy admirers with paper-bagged liquor and beady eyes. But there was no turning back.

"It's too late now" I thought. "If I do a 180 I'm an obvious target."

So I went forward, rolling my suitcase down the center of the narrow street looking as hard-ass as possible, which mustn't have been too convincing given my flowing bohemian skirt and wooden bangles.

After 5 harrowing minutes, there it was...#80 Barcelona Mar. I never thought I'd be so happy to arrive at a youth hostel...you'd think I just entered The Ritz. No wonder the hostel's website advises you to arrive from the other direction.

At the front desk there was a mellow French guy, Julien who gave me the lay of the land, key to my locker and sheets for my bunk bed. He told me about a cool party that was happening the next night - I heard "French DJ" and "Salsa" and agreed on the spot to join him.


Nomadic Matt said...

KABUL is where it is at in BCN. It's a shame you didn't stay there.

Courtney said...

we actually deliberately didn't stay at KABUL because it's such a (college) paty scene...we didn't want to deal with rowdy study-abroaders and kids puking in the hallway. Barcelona Mar had a good social vibe, more intimate.

Nomadic Matt said...

It wasn't nearly as bad as that when I went. It had a lot of long termers and backpackers there. Maybe I just went a a good time or its changed since then.

Courtney said...

When I was researching hostels I was 100% set on Kabul...it seems perfect. Then I started reading reviews from trip advisor and lots of people were complaining about it. I'm glad to hear you had a good experience...maybe I'll try a couple of nights next time I hit BCN which I hope is soon! I LOVE IT! :)

joe@italyville.com said...

I was in Barcelona the first week of May as well... first time and loved it! I'm back for a week in June for work. can't wait. I didn't get to la Pedra but looks amazing from your pics.