Monday, May 30, 2011

Everyday living in Barcelona: Transportation (Spain)

Alas, we said farewell to my Honda Civic in North Carolina... and pretty much all forms of personal transportation. Considering the rising gas prices, this makes us ahead of the game.

The public transportation in Barcelona is fairly good, and since our apartment is centrally located, very convenient. Even the shuttle bus to the airport is only a 10 minute walk away. The old part of the city, where we live, is predominantly a pedestrian zone anyway, and mostly we pity those who try in vain to maneuver their cars down the narrow streets and alleys. Traffic is legendary, and parking can set you back 30 euros a day. This is enough to convince many to opt for motorbikes, which can be left on the sidewalks. Getting a subscription to Bicing, a company which maintains red bicycles in locations all over Barcelona, is another popular choice. Skateboards and microscooters - much to Richard's dismay- also abound.

Since he doesn't feel comfortable risking his neck in this traffic, Richard leaves the longboard at home, and instead, chooses to walk the pleasant 40 minutes to his office listening to BBC podcasts. Most days I commute via the Metro (the underground train system) or the Ferrocarils (the commuter train system). There are specific areas in the tunnels designated by the Barcelona City Council for street musicians to play for change although you will still feel cursed if you accidentally step into a car with the odd accordion player singing "La Vie en Rose."
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