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2 Timing Questions: Barcelona & Gilbralter

Going to Spain for two week in late April, early May. Two timing questions. First, flying in from Italy, can we realistically land at Barcelona airport (BCN) at 5:30 and make it to a 7:00 concert at Palau Musica? Is taking a taxi the only way to beat the clock? Second, we're not enthused about Gilbralter, but we thought we might stand on the top of the Rock on our way from Ronda to Tangier. Q: If we arrive at Gilbralter at noon, how much time would it take to get in, go to the top, see a few things on the way down, and leave? Less then 4 hours? Thanks.

Posted by
9110 posts
  1. Maybe, with a taxi. Otherwise, no. What about your junk?
  2. f you're driving, yes, four hours will work. But you can't leave the car in La Linea as is often recommended for some odd reason. Drive all the way in and use the big parking lot right at the cable car.

(It's GibraltAr.)

Posted by
1178 posts

Barcelona....It will be difficult..plane must be on time, you must get out of the airport with no delay, and hopefully the taxi will not encounter any traffic (not going to happen)...and then, as the other poster noted, what about your luggage, etc.?

Gilbrater...no knowledge...

Posted by
1130 posts

Barcelona, unlikely you will make it on time. But, there is nothing wrong with entering the concert hall late. you will just need to wait for a pause in between music to find your seats. The Palau is an excellent experience and we have attended concerts.

DUMP Gibraltar! Don't be that person! One of the most consistent places where tourist comments are "Wish I had used my time more wisely." It is also a very expensive place to visit as the British sterling is the currency.

Are you driving from Ronda?

Posted by
4948 posts

I agree with Steven. The road (for us, from Ronda) is good, but slowed down by truck traffic (well, pre Great Recession truck traffic, anyway.) Unless you are a WW II scholar or a geographic nut, Gibraltar is a wasted day in Spain. We plan to see more of Morocco if we ever go, so we skipped that Washington State counter-culture ferry ride. (No, really, I do like Rick.)

Posted by
9110 posts

What's wrong with the forum is the unsolicited advice. Especially where it's negative.

Nowhere did the OP solicit opinions of the merit of Gibraltar, only how much time it would take to make a minimal visit. None of the opposers contributed to that aspect. How much money can you spend in a few hours - - a cable car ride and a beer cost how much? And the exchange rate for sterling is what - - within ten percent of where it's been for the last seven evers? And actually the more common currency is the GIP (which trades at the same rate as Northern Ireland and BoS notes).

Also interesting is that neither opposer stated that they'd visited the Territory and wished they hadn't.

It's darn thin ice comparing places without having been to them. It's worse dismissing a place on the assumption that it's meritless - - there's no place in the world that's not worth sticking your nose into.

Posted by
14409 posts

If you are planning on renting a car to get to Gibraltar, check the fine print. I rented last year from Europcar and the agreement specifically stated that the car was not to be taken to any island.

Posted by
8293 posts

One year we booked a one day bus trip from Albufeira, Portugal, to Gibraltar. It took forever but I never regretted it. Walking across the airstrip to enter Gib from Spain, and then being in this place where the British residents seemed more British than the Queen was quite fascinating. Even if you only have 4 hours, do it. You'll get some great photos, too.

Posted by
4948 posts

Ed, I enjoy your contributions, but I think you're becoming overextended. You need to slow down and read what you're commenting on.
The OP wrote, "we're not enthused about Gilbralter," To me, that's a solicitation of an opinion. (See final note .. )
I wrote about the highway there and said that it's a wasted day. I guess in the world of the Internet (where no one can tell you're a dog .. ) that doesn't constitute an assertion that we spent a day going to Gibraltar and back, from Ronda. But we did visit Gibraltar.
I would add that this forum in particular, more than, say, TripAdvisor, is filled with people (not necessarily in the current thread) who have little or no travel experience. Again and again, I see posters who have preconceptions and ignorance, getting their eyes opened by unsolicited responses on this board. I think your position, Ed, is a mistake, and contrary to Rick's philosphy of travel. I'm not flaming you, I'm making a collegial comment about this board (not wildly unlike your comment.)
Take, for example, the two most common posts on the Europe boards: "How can I schedule a one-day runout to Normandy", and "What's the best hotel on Rue Cler". I think it's a disservice to obediently answer those questions and say no more.

"The velocity and volume on the Web are so great that nothing is forgotten and nothing is remembered. ... The Internet is like closing time in a blue-collar bar in Boston. Everyone's drunk and ugly and they're going to pass out in a few minutes." Leon Wielseltier, quoted by Maureen Dowd in the NY Times)

Posted by
9110 posts

"Enthused' was a statement of fact. A specific question followed. I was the only one who answered the specific question. I offered no opinion.

The other thread, I answered as I read it, giving how I thought the problem could be solved. I offered no opinion.

Some day when you're bored to tears, go back an read all my posts. There are no opinions unless a comparative is specifically asked for or I comment on a degree of difficulty based on my own experience (and then I explain the problems in detail).

Here's the problem with opinions:

I've spent more than half my life outside the United States, been in something over a hundred and thirty countries, lived in Europe for years, have three homes on two continents, spend well more than half of each year traveling, speak three Asian languages and four European ones (fluently, unaccented and idiomatically), and have a substantial number of posts on this forum. I also have three masters degrees (geography, international economics, and international studies) - - all from pretty good schools. Great, huh? Hogwash! My opinion is just as worthless as the next guy's. But, if I slapped that pile of junk in front of every post, people would think I knew what in the hell I was talking about and some kind of expert. The same goes for anybody else giving an opinion - - 'since the thought was expressed, it must be right, so I'm going to follow along'.

Everybody has preconceptions. Very few people are ignorant.

Brevity is no a sin. I've pushed a military historian through Normandy in a damn hard day, whirlwinded folks through Paris in a day and a half while at least showing them a dozen and a half of the highlights, left Florida for central Turkey for supper and been back in less than forty-eight hours. Anything is possible.

People want to see what they want to see. If all they can spare is one day for somewhere, good for them - - it's their time allocation. If you think differently tell them what you think they can do as well as what they'll miss. Offer a potential alternative if you have the experience to do it.

Give people facts. Let them draw their own opinions and conclusions. Anything else is a crusade.

A negative opinion really hurts without a detailed explanation of the reasoning. I've seen a good chunk of the world, some of it where I was urged not to go - - there isn't anything I regret seeing.