“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” -Helen Keller
I stepped off the plane and screamed, “Hola Barcelona!” Mainly because I was excited to arrive in a new country, but also because literally one of the only words I know in Spanish is “hola.” Yeah, I’m educated. And let’s not forget that I took 3 years of Spanish in high school (obviously I retained none of it). Oh well. I could survive the weekend saying “hola” “adios” and “gracias.”
Let me start out by saying that Barcelona is beautiful by day, and sketchy as hell by night. Seriously. During the day we did the touristy stuff: went to the beach, Park Güell, saw the outside of the still-under-construction Sagrada Família, and wandered around the huge city. It was gorgeous. Annoyingly, people try to shove products in your face every second of the day. In the few hours that we were sitting on the beach, I swear at least 20 people came up to us trying to sell us stuff. Cocktails, tapestries, henna tattoos, hair braiding, etc. I found that if you completely avoid eye contact they would go away faster. Saying “no” to these salespeople just doesn’t cut it.
But as soon as the sun goes down, the atmosphere changes. Clubs are open from about 1 until 7AM so there are drunken people falling all over the place. Hookers and drug dealers line basically every street corner. Men are peeing out in the open in every single alleyway that you walk by. It’s bizarre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to turn anyone away from Barcelona, just know what you’re getting yourself into to. I never felt unsafe or in harms way, it’s just not what I pictured Barcelona to be like (ever since seeing the glamorous depiction in The Cheetah Girls 2). The city literally never sleeps. I don’t think my body could have handled being awake any longer.
So adiós Barcelona. Thanks for the experience, but you’re far too much for me. Meeting you was interesting, but I need my sleep now.