Returning to Barcelona
November 29, 2004 1:11 PM   Subscribe

TravelFilter: How has Barcelona, or even Spain in general, changed since 1997? I studied at UB for a term then and will be returning for the first time in 8 years next February.
posted by jewishbuddha to Travel & Transportation around Barcelona, Spain (6 answers total)
ummm. Franco.
posted by xammerboy at 1:41 PM on November 29, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, but Franco was gone by the time I lived in Spain. In fact, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. So that's not really new since 1997.

I'm thinking more along the lines of new museums or recently developed areas, though general social and cultural change would also be interesting.
posted by jewishbuddha at 2:05 PM on November 29, 2004

The most noticable thing is maybe a large new skyscraper on the city's skyline - the Agbar Tower - a huge gherkinous monstrosity over in the east. Other than that, maybe not a lot.
posted by nylon at 2:27 PM on November 29, 2004

Sorry, I misread, I apologize.
posted by xammerboy at 2:39 PM on November 29, 2004

They use the Euro now.
posted by smackfu at 5:30 PM on November 29, 2004

Best answer: I've only been here for two years, but in that time:
- The Forum, an architectural and cultural monstrosity, sprung up along the beach.
- The Borne has become a tourist playground.
- The part of the Raval around the MACBA has become a hipster playground.
- The police cleaned all the drug dealers out of the Plaça de Catalunya and the Plaça George Orwell. On the other hand, this fall's marijuana harvest was exceptionally good, and half the city is stoned this month.
- Housing prices have gone up by about 40%.
- The AVE project, for high-speed trains to connect to France and Madrid, has been delayed several times. It probably won't happen before 2009.
- EasyJet, RyanAir, and other discount carriers have made it a lot cheaper to fly to the rest of Europe, but only if you book a month in advance.
- Jordi Pujol's lifetime reign ended, but Catalan nationalism is still a hot button issue. This month, they're arguing about international accreditation for the Catalan hockey team and whether or not Valenciano is the same langauge as Catalan.
- Pickpocketing has gone way down in the Casc Antic.
- The library project in the Borne was halted when they discovered old Catalan ruins, and it's been converted into a big display of a pile of rocks.
- The science museum, now called CosmoCaixa, reopened with lots of new exhibits.
- Lots of new trendy restaurants serving a mixture of Catalan and Asian food.
- More than 85% of the population opposed the Iraq war, and anti-Bushism (which occasionally veers off into general anti-Americanism) is now socially mandatory.
- The conversion to the euro provided an excuse for everyone to raise prices. People over 30 still think in pesetas.
- If you can afford the higher prices for everything, it's still a great place to live.

E-mail me if you want to do a mini-meetup here.
posted by fuzz at 7:13 AM on November 30, 2004

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