Europe

Hostels Just Aren’t What They Used To Be…

Or maybe we just got the sh*t end of the hostel stick, I am not sure, but either way we are really happy to be heading to an Airbnb in Valencia. We paid double what we normally pay for the hostel but it was the only place in the heart of Barcelona so that’s why we decided on a hostel this time. Everything was within walking distance and we were very close to a lot of the main sights such as La Ramblas, Passieg de Gracia and Sagrada Famila. But it seemed like the major downfalls were what stuck out most for us. Here’s a comparison and you can tell me what is better:

                        Hostel                                                                                               Airbnb

Mostly central and usually close to main transportations like transit

Mostly outskirts (some central but tend to cost more – maybe up to 10$ more a night) less central options
Full kitchen and items for cooking (not always available during peak meal times)

Must search for kitchen availability – not all hosts offer it

Sharing a room with up to 12 or more people

Private room

Common rooms/tv rooms

You’re usually living in someone’s home so if you want to relax and watch tv you are doing so in someone’s living room

Not always the friendliest of staff/or willing to help

So far friendly locals with great tips and advice on sight seeing

Meeting new people from all over the world under one roof

Less likely to meet fellow travelers

Getting woken up by inconsiderate guests staying in your room

Private room

Waiting for the bathroom to shower or brush you teeth

Private/shared bathroom in someone’s home -not usually a long wait

Not always full access to fridges so you may have to wait around times to get to your stored food

Sometimes food storage has been offered to us

20-30$ per night per bed (50-60$ for two people per night)

25-40$ for two people per night

 

The thing is – I remember all this stuff from the hostels. I remember being irritated by a girl taking an hour and a half in the bathroom and I couldn’t shower before work. Someone stealing my eggs and milk from the fridge even though I had labelled it. I recall listening to people make weird noises in their sleep and being kept up all night until it occurred to me to buy ear plugs. Someone coming into the room in the middle of the night and turning on the light and waking everyone up. (Although that may have been me a time or two) All of this comes back to me when I think about my time spent in hostels, but it seemed that the good outweighed the bad at these times.  Drinking in the common rooms, meeting so many people, making such great friends, hanging out on the patio with randoms, sitting in those old beanbag chairs watching a crappy movie from the 80s sometimes in another language with subtitles. Maybe I’m older and cynical now (Shut up Sherry Penney, don’t even say it) Maybe I’ve kind of grown out of that lifestyle. I don’t know, but what I did notice as we sat in the common room, the rooftop terrace and the kitchen was everyone on their phones. I think that is what has changed for the most part. This is less inviting, there is less of a chance to be able to just walk up to someone and strike up a conversation. You’re really not forced to interact. I don’t recall this living in Australia. I had a blackberry and I’m pretty sure Iphones had just kind of come out. I had to goto a library to pay for a computer to use the internet and wifi was definitely not as easily accessible as it is today. Its amazing how much has changed in only 7 short years but all I can say is I’ve definitely felt a difference and maybe the next hostel is better but until then I think we’ll enjoy our private rooms until that day comes. I’ll enjoy the free wifi to facetime my Mom or update my blog free of charge and add photos to Facebook. I’m definitely not complaining but I have felt the shift in change for sure.

Well, we spent our last day in Barcelona walking around La Boqueria and tried some of their aged meat with cheese, bought the most delicious mango, so fresh it tasted like candy and some Rambutan for Mark to try, one of my favourite fruits from Asia. They make a delicious shake! We headed up to Park Guell knowing full well we weren’t paying to go see Gaudis work but had read that the park surrounding was free and quite beautiful. Long winding trails weaving through the green lush trees and bushes constantly climbing towards the top to a lookout with an amazing view of Barcelona. The trails were lined with locals selling souvenir’s and water. Musicians playing beautiful walking music with didgeridoo’s, guitars and drums. It was a little slice of heaven. The weather was sunny and warm, glad we checked it out. We had decided to purchase tickets to Sagrada Familia as we were told you would be stupid to go to Barcelona and NOT see it. Cost us 23$ to go which doesn’t sound like a lot but keep in mind our accommodation was double so it hit us hard in the leisure money department. I am very glad we decided to go though. Words don’t do this cathedral justice. When I said when you see one cathedral you’ve seen them all…well little did I know this place existed. Building began in 1822 and it is the longest ongoing construction project in the world, meaning it is under construction until its expected completion date in 2026. Although the cranes and scaffolding took away from the feel of the outside and definitely stood out in my pictures it was still an amazing sight. His work is quite stunning. The pillars inside are made to look like trees that branch out at the roof. The lights on the roof are shaped almost like leaves and the stained glass windows at the top are light yellow and orange and closer to the floor the windows are darker blues and greens. All of this was designed to give you a feel of walking under trees with the light from the sun shining through a forest and he succeeded in giving it this feel. We spent around an hour inside walking around in awe. I had moments where I just had to put my camera down, sit and take it all in. The size and detail in this piece of artwork is something that cannot be missed if you’re visiting Barcelona. You will regret it and I will chirp you hard for not going.  As much as I’ve enjoyed Barcelona we are onto the next stop, Valencia. Our rail passes have officially been activated! Woop woop! We have 3 months to use these as much as we want. Travel now gets much easier from here on. Thanks for reading guys, I know this was a long one. Love you all. Please comment and share ❤

DSC04767.JPGDSC04731.JPGDSC04737.JPGSagrada Familia

 

4 thoughts on “Hostels Just Aren’t What They Used To Be…”

  1. Interesting is your observations about how there is less social interaction among people today mostly due to social media. Look forward to your rail pass venture and will stay tuned.

    Liked by 1 person

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