Erasmus+

You Know You’re In Barcelona When…

As I’m coming towards the last few weeks of my stay in Barcelona, I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect on a few things I’ve learnt whilst living here for the past few months.  Hopefully, these will inspire you to visit the city if you ever have the opportunity or just give you an insight into what daily life is like out here.

So here goes..

You know you’re in Barcelona when:

  • You wake up to the sound of your neighbours playing salsa music at breakfast.  This has happened to me more times than I can remember, and depending on my mood, has either made me want to join in, or made me want to bang on the wall and then curl up back to sleep.
  • You try to buy a toaster for breakfast, only to find that they’re few and far between. Breakfast is not such a big deal here in Spain, so people either tend to go without, or just grab something from a bakery on their way to work. Fortunately these are easy to find!
  • People having beer with breakfast is viewed as totally normal. Unlike back home, this happens at pretty much every cafe and is not just done by alcoholics.  A bit of a step up from the guy propping up the Wetherspoons’ bar at 9am.
  • The temperature stays comfortably around 20 degrees until November. It’s weird to wander around in a T-shirt in mid-October when you’re used to being wrapped up warm whenever you go anywhere in Cardiff at this time.

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    Just a typical October day

  • The entire road system is one-way (or at least it seems).  This caught me out on a few occasions when I was taking the bus. As it turns out, it’s actually quicker to get to some places on foot than by bus, as you don’t have to worry about the maze of a road network in the centre of town.
  • Everything shuts on Sundays. And by everything, I mean, EVERYTHING. Best to do your shopping late on Saturday than try to find somewhere on Sunday. There are places, but again, they’re few and far between and are only open for a limited time. Alternatively, just get takeaway.
  • You end up photobombing about 20,000 people completely by accident just by trying to walk past the Sagrada Familia on your way to work. That, or you almost lose an eye to a tourist’s misplaced selfie stick.
  • Everyone Spanish disappears between 1pm and 3pm. This is the siesta. That’s right, it’s not just a joke, it’s real. You will get nothing done in this time, so don’t even try. Just go for lunch somewhere.
  • The temperature stays comfortably around 20 degrees until November. It’s weird to wander around in a T-shirt in mid-October when you’re used to being wrapped up warm whenever you go anywhere in Cardiff at this time.
  • It’s easy to get spectacular views of the city without paying a penny (cent?) for entry. Just head up to Parc Guell and see for yourself.

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    Typical view from the top of Parc Guell

So there you have it. A pretty comprehensive run down of all Barcelona’s little quirks, of which I’m sure I have many yet to discover.

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