Category Archives: Barcelona

Death by International Relations Theory

I should be studying the Gramscian strain of historical materialism, but I’m having fun with photos instead!


Tibidabo: The Most Overrated Place in Barcelona

All the guidebooks for Barcelona say that “The mountain of Tibidabo is the best vantage point for views of the city.” Those guidebooks are either wrong, or just plain lying. If you like tourist traps then by golly this is the place for you. The whole point of this place is the church with Jesus on top looking over the city, yet someone came up with the great idea of putting a carnival there too.

On top of the carnival, you have to pay two euro for a ten second elevator ride and the only place with food will charge you six euro for a sandwich that appears to be made by little five year olds with grimy hands. If you want an authentic view of the city go to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya near the Parc de Montjuïc. You can sit on the steps in front of the Museum and there are guys that play the guitar and flute (apparently these guys have played there every night for years). The whole ambiance is a lot more relaxing and enjoyable than Tibidabo, and it’s free.

This is a bit shaky, but you get the point!

City Views a video by AmyLSchaaf on Flickr.

You Can Do Anything in Your Steve Madden Flats– Welcome to Montserrat!

He may be in prison for embezzlement, but man does he make a nice shoe! -AP

This is not the first occasion that I have found myself without proper footwear (or attire for that matter) and I hardly doubt that it will be the last. You see, I don’t generally tend to think of Europe as having mountains. In England, whenever someone says that we’re going to be around mountains it generally means a small hill. So, when we decided to hike up this “mountain” I generally assumed I would be fine. Four hours later I admitted defeat.

“Lauren, she’s in the same predicament as you… wearing tiny black flats. And did you see her big leather bag?!” Lauren: “Yeah, well at least she looks cute.” Why thank you Lauren, a girl after my own heart indeed! These American girls were coming down as we were coming up, but I’m doubtful that they went all the way to the top. As we got farther up the mountain human contact became rare, even though the cable car to the bottom monastery was jam packed. It seems like most people go for the monastery, not the mountain hiking.

The funicular, which is supposed to take you half way up, had been broken for several weeks so we had to hoof it all the way to the top. If you want to get a taste of the first half, get on a stair master and go for two hours. Oh and make sure you’re in the sun so that your neck gets nice and burnt. The rest of the way is pebbles and rocky trails which is just great when you can feel every.little.thing through your quickly wearing out soles.

Nonetheless, I made it!

Review: Biutiful

I saw this film a couple of weeks before I went to Barcelona and it left me slightly disturbed. Uxbal is played by Javier Bardem who is a single father, dying of cancer, whose job is obtaining documents for Chinese immigrants.

This isn’t going to be a proper review because this is going to be one of those films you have to just see, but I did give me something to look out for when I went to Barcelona a few weeks later: the exploitation of immigrants.

There are Chinese women that wander up and down the beaches in Barcelona asking everyone “¿Quieres masaje?” Here in London a quick walk through Chinatown will bring you into numerous, ominous stairways leading up to brothels.

(Stephanie Sadler, Little London Observationist)

Just something to keep your eye out for.

Planning Barcelona

1. La Sagrada Família, but only the outside. I happen to be of the vehement belief that if you’ve been in one church (or palace/castle) then you’ve been in them all. I’ll keep my 9€ thank you very much.

2. La Rambla for a stroll and people watching.

3. Montjuïc because it has a nice name, ‘hill of the Jews,’ and is also the spot of the ’92 Olympics.

4. Tibidabo for amazing views and a big Jesus.

5. Bus tour. I LOVE open-top bus tours. Once you’re too tired to take one more step you can just hop on and still see the city.

6. The beach. Any beach. I’m a Londoner that needs sunshine!