Sunday, December 21, 2008

Days 109-110: Barcelona, Spain

I was disappointed with Barcelona.

True, the city does have many whacky statues and other types of architecture thanks to Gaudi, the luny architect of much of the city. And they were very admirable.

Likewise, the temperature was great, and quite a contrast with the freezing temperature I had experienced in previous weeks. At some 19 degrees Celcius (about 65 farenheit), it was a welcome change.

But the city was too costly, especially for Spain, which is not exactly a super-rich country. And, for some reason, I was expecting so much more excitement than I got. Barcelona is a great city, don't get me wrong, but it fell far short of my expectations, which I now in retrospect realize were set too high due to things I've heard about the city from others.

What upset me the most, though, is the aquarium. I was contemplating going there, since students were not offered a discount and there were many other things to do. However, after having accidentally stumbled upon it, I decided to give it a go at 17 euros (about $22). This was the second largest aquarium in Europe, in fact, but it turned out to be much, much smaller than I expected. So, coming out of it about forty-five minutes and 17 euros later, I was left thinking how much better, in my opinion, the local Shedd Aquarium in Chicago was.

Perhaps the women weren't as good-looking their Eastern European or Swedish counterparts, either.

It is a still a city that must be visited by everyone at least once in their lives. That goes without saying. But, probably for the reasons outlined above, I felt that I didn't see what I came to expect.

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