Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rubbish about Rubbish

This has the potential of turning into an absolute rant, but I wont. Rubbish. The bane of many a resident's life in Barcelona, and a constant battle for the council. I took the first photo below in 2010, just because it tickled my fancy and I was surprised at the lengths people would go to expecting that perhaps the person who left this here would actually get around to seeing the note (or be bothered). Chances are, withing a few hours of the note being left, your BCNeta men on those lethal electrical vans would have swept it up and taken it to the incinerators under Montjuic (I say lethal, cos you can't hear the bloody things when they approach behind you - no headphones - and I've nearly been knocked into by one on more than one occasion!).

Translation, for those of you who can't see that too clearly: "Rubbish/Trash is to be thrown in the corresponding containers "not here"." It's a fairly innocuous cardboard box, and I suspect it could be a recycling crusador on a mission rather than the general bag of rubbish you usually find dogs chewing through.

Fast forward three years, and I saw this today in exactly the same spot:

The council has bothered to waste money on silly stickers to try and educate people to drop their rubbish in the correct place. This bag of rubbish lasted about 3 minutes where it was (seriously, I went into a shop after I took the photo, and when I came out it was gone), so not sure if it serves a purpose or not. I've seen other rubbish chutes (where it's all underground) for example written in various languages (Arabic, Indian/Bagri/punjab/etc.) asking citizens to please ensure they drop their bags in the (albeit very small) doors, and not to just drop them on the floor. This sticker reads "you don't do it like this. Close the bag properly and drop it in the correct container..." along the same lines.

I said it wouldn't be a rant, so I won't go on about how the council wouldn't have to spend money on silly stickers in people were just civilised enough to care about the spaces we all share, or how it's no extra effort to open the door of the rubbish chutes, rather than dropping it on the floor, or how the council could spend its money more wisely, etc. etc. Any thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

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Roll Out the Red Carpet Again - Paso de Zebra 2013

A couple of hours ago I got stuck behind a van unloading a fair amount of what looked like felt to cover a pool table or something, but then remembered last year stumbling upon the cool Paso de Zebra festival, which celebrates fashion, design and art, and where better to stage such a jaunt than the Raval. There's nothing quite like the urban freshness and inventiveness that the Raval has for me - forgot El Borne with your daft posh galleries (I don't claim to understand anything about art), and give me the real creative edge. Occupied buildings, cool graffiti, fantastic markets and vintage clothing is all the go.
pink carpets at Paso de Zebra festival 2012 - Barcelona sights

This year the festival takes place on the 8th and 9th June in the streets around Vistalegre, Carretas, Aurora and then fashion shows at Plaça Pedró. There's a chill out area in the BBall courts at Aurora, and there's a few "pop-up stores" at the galeries on Portaferrissa too, so spread yourself around the old town and soak up the vibes.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

2 € Tapas & Beer for Tapantoni

Every now and again you get a really great little initiative to encourage people to get out and spend a bit more, but at the same time it being great for the punters - I mean a good deal for all involved. There are a few which go out throughout the year, but this one being local to me, I noticed more. So, Tapantoni is a coming together of 20 bars, cafes and breweries in the area to offer a cheap reason to get your bum down on seats. For the measly sum of 2 € (pun intended) you get a small Tapa and beer (caña). Now if there's a better reason to get to know a few more bars around the area, I'd like to know. And even if the oldest neighbourhood in Barcelona with the oldest market (OK, I know it's undergoing a massive renovation, shhh) isn't your own neighbourhood, then pop on down.
Tapantoni Tapas Tour on BarcelonaSights

You can check out the amazing new Moritz brewery on Ronda Sant Antoni, Peruvian food at Bar Radio, on Sepulveda 91, and you might be lucky enough to get the croquettes at Jabali on Ronda Sant Pau (trust me, they're bloody amazing). For a full list of the places, and the tapas and drink on offer, pick up a map in many of the shops or bars around that area, or download the pdf on the link here. It started on 6th and finishes on the 31st May (but check times and days which do apply)

Coming to Barcelona this Spring? Check out BCN Rentals apartments for groups as a great alternative for stuffy hotel rooms. And for a quick look at the best bits, see their Barcelona Guide, too.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Where to Buy FC Barcelona Tickets

This is a question I'm asked an awful lot and although I've written about it before on other people's sites, I thought a quick refresher would never do any harm. Everyone knows that you can buy tickets before you arrive from the official fc barcelona website and then collect them on arrival. That's always the best way, and tickets are released anywhere up to 48 hours before a match so it's best to check there even close to a match day, and even if you're arriving on that day, for example.

What often happens is that people arrive, find out there's a home game on during their stay, and fancy going to the match but can't be bothered to go all the way up to the stadium just in case there are any tickets left only to find the game is sold out and they've wasted a journey. Yes, so this post is for those lazy people! It's much easier to be visiting the central sights of Barcelona and be able to quickly check availability, right?

So, the good news is that there are a few ways you can check for tickets. The first one is ServiCaixa, the cashpoints or ATMs of La Caixa bank. That's right, you can buy football tickets at the cashpoint! How cool is that?! The bank has special machines with large screens where you can buy official tickets, choose your seating and print them out there and then. There are plenty of offices of La Caixa all over Barcelona city centre, so it's an easy option for those with a credit or debit card.
barcelona sights - outside of FC Barcelona Store

The next place you can try is the official FC Barcelona Store in Maremagnum. Hop over the bridge at the bootm of Las Ramblas, and you'll find the shopping mall area called Maremagnum, and there's an official store in there where you can buy tickets.

Another place to pick up tickets is the Spain Ticket Bureau Kiosk located towards the top end of Las Ramblas. The image below is from their website, and it's obviously an extremely central location, with a big map of the stadium and again let's you choose where to sit and get the tickets directly.

These are the best places I know to get tickets centrally, but if anyone has any other suggestions, please leave a comment and add to the list!

Fancy coming to watch the mighty Barça? OK, they crashed out pretty spectacularly of the Champions League this year, but they can pretty much wrap the league up tonight and are still in the frame to scoop up the Kings Cup. Rent an apartment for groups to save some money and enjoy the space and comfort an apartment offers over a small hotel room.
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