When heading to Europe we checked visa requirements and learned that in certain areas we could go visa-less but only for three months. Spain, France and Italy, among others, are in the Schengen zone so we had to limit our stay to one month in each of these countries. Barcelona was our first destination in Europe.
We caught a direct flight there for $137 per person on Level Airlines which took approximately twelve hours. Prior to our arrival, we had secured our thirty day accommodation via Spotahome.com, which is the European version of Airbnb. We have learned that when traveling to different cities it is less expensive to rent an apartment for one month or longer at a time. During the month of March our studio apartment was €800 in a quiet neighborhood.
There were many stores in the neighborhood where we purchased our groceries so we did not need to go out for lunch or dinner. However, on occasion we would go to a cafe for a change of pace. There were a lot of holiday and siesta hours that controlled when businesses were closed in Barcelona. It was often difficult to adjust to their schedule having come from the US where siestas are not commonplace.
In Barcelona, La Rambla is a popular area for tourists to visit although we did not focus on tourist objectives during our visit. Instead we moved around the city taking candid consideration of the local people and landscapes around us. The photos below show a variety of scenes that were captured as we went about the business of living a month in Barcelona.
There is an overview of downtown from the rooftop of El Corte Ingles, which is a multilevel department store that will have anything you will ever want. There are motorbikes all over the city, though it seems the drivers believe they have the right away over pedestrians when crossing the street. However, the use of a motorbike is a fitting way to move through the streets since there are a lot of narrowly designed common ways.
All over Europe the use of large rubbish containers is the norm for disposal of all trash from apartments to businesses. Food and beverages are sold in large machines in the metro stations and naked genital advertisements hang like art there also. Smoked dried ham legs are popular in markets throughout Spain with window store displays on nearly every corner.
The buildings in Barcelona are beautiful although the landscapes are similar all over Europe. In fact, there must be a blue print on how to build a European city. The buildings are effectuated using both concrete or marble on a very narrow street space throughout the cities. The design is perfectly indistinguishable from country to country in Europe.