A March 2001 trip
to Barcelona by silverbelle
Quote: Barcelona is one of my favorite cities around, mainly because of the rich culture it has within urban surroundings. There are few peoples as passionate and energetic as the Spanish, and Barcelona is the perfect place to witness this spirit.
If you're looking for a hostel in the middle of it all, Kabul is the place to be. I was led there by Stray Travel, which had some dealings with the hostel. Though the hostel doesn't usually take reservations, Stray was able to secure accommodations with them and get every member of the group a bed. Others have to sign up on a list and hope for an empty spot.
The best way to describe Kabul is busy; people wander to and fro, and the dining room seating is always filled with people waiting, meeting, talking, or playing games. The one problem is that it is so busy, security can sometimes be compromised. Though you have to be buzzed in to enter, the hostel keepers have a hard time keeping track of who is staying there, so many people who aren't guests get in and hang around. Most of them are harmless, just looking for a place to meet other backpackers; however, there are occasionally sketchy dealings. While I was there, there were numerous people reporting missing items from their lockers (which are operated by electronic locks with key card access). It was said that a master key floated around. I personally didn't have any problems, but there were certainly enough stories around to cause suspicion.
The staff at the hostel are nice enough, though they do get a short fuse when too many people are making demands of them. I wouldn't suggest asking them for directions or suggestions around Barcelona unless it's not busy AND you have a good rapport with them.
Most of the rooms are filled with bunks of four to eight people. They are neat enough but pretty bare-bones. Some have balconies that overlook the busy plaza below. Rooms are cleaned thoroughly daily, by an overzealous cleaning staff who are not afraid of moving your possessions if they are in the way. The bathrooms are okay, but they can get pretty disgusting if you get up late and have to shower after everyone else. Flip flops are definitely necessary.
Kabul, being at the center of everything, can be noisy at night. It is popular among kings and queens of the nightlife, and it is located in a square that has plenty of action. Being woken up at 4am by fellow hostel-goers and then again at 7am by street cleaners is not unheard of. It is also the site for celebrations and street performers, so you're never without something to do.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 9, 2004
Placa Reial 17
Barcelona, Spain 08002
(34) 93 318 54 90
Attraction | "Barri Gotic"
Warning: keep your feet, knees, and shoulders covered when entering the cathedral, as it is considered disrespectful to wear revealing clothing in a sacred place. Plenty of tourists walk in with their sandals, shorts, and tank tops, but who wants to be the ugly tourist?
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 9, 2004
Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter)
La Rambla To Via Laietana
Barcelona, Spain 08002
Attraction | "Park Guell"
From afar, one would think they were looking upon an amusement park, but once you get close enough, you'll find that the level of detail that was put into Park Guell is astounding. Each multi-colored mosaic was carefully crafted and shows the obsessive nature of Anton Gaudi. You can even take a tour of his home for a small entrance fee, though many seem to opt for the gift shop instead. Even if you don't go inside, there is plenty to admire, and it is a nice place for a stroll or a picnic. It's definitely worth the trip if you have time and want to get away from busy Las Ramblas.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2005
Park Guell (Parc Güell)
Montana Pelada, Gracia District