Travel Guide and Tips to Barcelona GPF’15

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Okay, if you feel like you’ve read this travel guide somewhere, well, it’s because I actually wrote it last year =w= Now I am just posting it again to my new blog. But, hey, I guess the information provided below is still valid, at least I hope so.

日本語版は英語版の後に続きます。去年投稿したものと全く同じものです。

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Introduction:

I am a Barcelona lover, a Figure Skating fan, and I am extremely excited about the Grand Prix Final to be held the first time ever in Barcelona. I also like writing travel blogs, so last month when I went to Barcelona and paid a visit to CCIB, Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona, or Barcelona International Convention Center in English, and decided to write this article. Especially when I realized CCIB is really far away from the city center and main tourist attractions, and hence not mentioned by most of the travel guides, I decided to share my experience to CCIB, and hopefully can attract more people to come and visit the city I love. I have never lived in Barcelona, and for personal reason I spend days here every year, so I personally think that I can see things here from a tourist point of view, but can also offer some tips like a local.

So much for the long self introduction. Let’s take a look at CCIB.

Venue overview:

CCIB stands for Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona, or Barcelona International Convention Center in English. As you can judge from the name it is not a dedicated place for sports. In fact GPF this year will be the first time that CCIB hosts a sports event. According to the spaces information provided CCIB official website (http://www.ccib.es/home) and compared to Marine Messe Fukuoka which host GPF last year, I estimated a capacity of around 5,000 people. However, since it is the first time CCIB hosts a sports event, there is no past record for reference, so we really don’t think how the views will be inside.

What needs to pay more attention to is the location of CCIB, because it is quite remote for general tourists, as you can see from below map. The blue pinpoint in the upper right corner is where CCIB is located, at the very end of the famous Av. Diagonal, and you can see how far away it is from Barcelona-Sants, the main train station of Barcelona, in the red circle, or from Plaça de Catalunya in the blue circle and Passeig de Gràcia in the black circle. Moreover, because it is far from main tourist attractions, you can seldom find any map or guide board or tourist information center nearby. Therefore, if you plan to do some sightseeing besides watching the GPF, please plan your travel route in advance and reserve sufficient time.

Transportation:

Fortunately, public transportation in Barcelona is very convenient. Although it takes some time, you can easily access CCIB from everywhere in the city by metro, tram or bus, and only 1 minute walk from where you get off. Take a look at below access map from CCIB website, it is right next to the El Maresme-Forum stop of metro Line 4 (the yellow line) , the El Maresme stop or the Forum stop of Tram Line 4, the Diagonal Mar stop of Bus Line 7, and the Forum stop of Bus Line H16, all less than 100 meters away.

For general tourists, metro should be the easiest way to go, so let me introduce it first. You can find CCIB in the bule circle in below metro map, El Maresme-Forum stop of Line 4 (the yellow line), and the 3 black circles from left to right are: Barcelona-Sants, which is the main train station of Barcelona; La Ramble, which is the city center with a concentration of tourist attractions; and La Sagrada Familia. I assume most of those who plan to do sightseeing before the competition starts will be departing from these 3 places, and hence I circled it out, so that you may take a look at how to transfer.

However, I personally recommend you to take Bus Line 7 which connects Zona Universitaria and Diagonal Mar, because the bus most of the time runs on the beautiful Av. Diagonal, so that you can do sightseeing on the bus. What’s more, in the middle of the route the bus takes a turn into Passeig de Gràcia, arguably the most beautiful, exquisite street of Barcelona. So if you take this bus, you can enjoy wonderful work of Antoni Gaudí in Zona Universitaria, representative architectures of Catalan Modernisme along Passeig de Gràcia, and postmodernist architectures like Torre Agbar in the marine district at one time! Another reason to take bus is that you hardly see any notorious pick-pockets of Barcelona on the bus, because tourists usually don’t use this transportation. Therefore it is so safe on the bus that I always find myself end up with taking a sound nap.

Seats on Line 7 are interesting too, as you can see see a diagonal literally, which represents the bus route of the beautiful Av. Diagonal.

Whichever transportation you take, after you get off you shall be able to find CCIB in a minute. It looks like this (I do suck in taking photos).

Accommodation (and hidden agenda):

Although it is quite remote from city center, there are a number of decent hotels near CCIB because of the capacity when it holds international events. The official hotel of GPF is Hotel Barcelona Princess, No. 1 on Av. Diagonal which is literally across the street. But only the most expensive suite rooms are left during the event days, so for those who hope to catch skaters in the hotel, well, you may need to take plan B. Because it is literally across the street, I don’t think there will be bus for skaters, so I guess the skaters will most probably use the underground corridor which connects the hotel and CCIB, but I also guess it will not be accessible to fans during the event days. Most importantly, I strongly suggest to try to catch skaters after the competition.

Besides official hotels, there are several more 4/5 stars hotels nearby, e.g. Hilton, AC (a famous hotel chain in Spain, another official hotel where some of the officers will stay in), and Diagonal 0. You may refer to the access map of CCIB for the exact location, but they are all not cheap. Also, as I mentioned it again and again, CCIB is quite remote, so if you are not here only for the competition, I would like to suggest staying in somewhere close the main tourist attractions. I especially recommend to find a place close to Plaça de Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia where you can find different types and ranks of accommodations, close to main attractions and convenient transportation to CCIB.

Food & Drink (and WiFi):

Besides having your meals before you come, you can also find places to eat near CCIB. Take a look at access map again, the triangular zone on the upper left called C.C. Diagonal Mar has everything. C.C. here stands for Centre Comercial, which is to say it is a big mall with shops, entertainments and restaurants. According to the stores information on the homepage (http://www.diagonalmarcentre.es/en/stores/), you can take fast food like the McDonald’s and Subway here, or enjoy Tapas and decent Spanish cuisines in several mid-tier restaurants. You can also find some restaurants and cafe/bars on Av. Diagonal within a few minute’s walk, so you don’t have to worry about what to eat at all. What’s more, there is open free WiFi inside C.C.Diagonal Mar! Based on my own experience, there is no problem to tweet, to check emails or to go to forum. It could be a bit slow to upload some photos, but it still works. Good for those who cannot live without internet like me!

Other recommendations:

Perhaps in many people’s minds Barcelona is city of summer. However, as I’ve been there in summers, autumns and winters, I find Barcelona in early winter attractive too. Christmas illuminations in the area of Plaça de Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia are really beautiful.

If you like skating yourself, you can not miss the temporary outdoor ice skating rink in Plaça de Catalunya during this time of the year, which is the biggest one in Europe. For those of you who enjoy sports generally, I cannot miss the football clash of giants: F.C.Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain on Dec 10th 20:45, or even Barcelona derby the the previous weekend if you arrive early. The basketball team of Barça is also one of the strongest in Europe and their style is as exquisite as the football team. If you enjoy winter sports particularly, what many people don’t know is that Barça also has ice hockey team and figure skating team, their home stadium is right next to Camp nou. But honestly I’ve never watched their game, so cannot make any comment.

I must stop writing now. I sincerely wish every of you who’s going to GPF enjoy a great game and a pleasant journey in Barcelona, and hopefully you will fall in love with the city as I do. Thanks for reading!

GPF遠征組のためのバルセロナの歩き方

(この前、中国語と英語でこの「歩き方」を投稿しましたが、やっぱり日本から行く遠征組が一番多いと思いますので、直前ですが、簡略に「多分役立つだろう」tipsを日本語に訳させていただきます。完全版は当方の前の英語の投稿をご参考ください。日本語の言語力がどんどん落ちていると思いますので、変なところをご了承ください。)

自己紹介から始めますと、フィギュアスケートが好きなバルセロナ・マニアックです。趣味(旅行、スポーツ)とサッカー報道関係で毎年一週間から二ヶ月間バルセロナ滞在します。なので、現地に住んでるわけではないですが、地元の人及び観光客・スポーツ遠征組の両方の感覚で情報提供できるかと思います。ぜひ皆さんにバルセロナを好きになっていただき、また来ていただきたいです!

ではでは、会場の紹介をしていきたいと思います。CCIB (Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona、日本語で言うとバルセロナ国際会議センター)はとにかく遠いです!バルセロナの南北を横断するAv. Diagonalの端っこです!街の中心部と主な観光場所からとりあえず距離があります。下の地図を見ると、赤い丸がバルセロナのメインターミナルSants駅、青い丸がPlaça de Catalunyaカタルーニャ広場、黒い丸がPasseig de Gràciaグラシア大通りとなっています。遠いですよね。しかも、主な観光場所から離れてて、観光客があんまり行かないとこなので、地図やガイドボード、InfoCenterが殆ど無いんです。なので、もし昼間にどっか観光に行ってから会場に向かおうとしたら、前もっとルートを計画し、時間を確保したほうが無難だと思います。

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次はアクセスについてですが、遠いけどわりと便利です。地下鉄4号線(黄色い線)、路面電車4号線、バス7号とH16号で行けて、降りたすぐです。詳しくは下のアクセス図を参考してください。

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初めての観光客にとって、恐らく地下鉄が一番無難だと思います。では、下のメトロ路線図で黒い丸で観光客が一番集まるSants駅、カタルーニャ広場周辺とサグラダ・ファミリアを示しましたので、乗り換えをお調べください。一駅2分、乗り換え5-10分を目安にしていいと思います。

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でも個人的なお勧めはバス7号線で行くことです。いい景色が見られると安全であるからです。下の路線図からわかるように、基本Av. Diagonalを横断し、途中でバルセロナ一と思われる美しいPasseig de Gràciaグラシア大通りに入るルートとなります。スタートのZona Universitariaでガウディの建築があり、途中で幾つかのCatalan Modernisme (カタルーニャ現代主義芸術)の傑作も見られ、Marine Districtに入るとTorre Agbarなどpostmodernistの代表作も目に入るので、観戦でなかなか町を回りきれない方にとっては最高だと思います。しかも、盗難が絶えないスペインですが、観光客があんまり乗らないバスは意外と安全です。何度も爆睡したがことありますが、何もなかったです!(というか、何年もバルセロナに行っていますが、一度も盗難に遭ったことがないので、もちろん注意する必要がありますが、心配で心配で結局観光を楽しめないほど必要以上に注意する必要はないと思います。)

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バスや路面電車を降りるとすぐCCIBが見えます。こんな感じです。

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もう直前なので、皆さんすでにホテルを確保したと思いますので、ホテルの部分を飛ばします。

次は食事とネット環境です。CCIBの隣にC.C. Diagonal Marという大きなショッピングモールがあります。(アクセス図の左上を見てください)このモールの中にマクドナルドやサブウエイなどのファーストフードもあれば、ちゃんとしたタパス・スペイン料理が食べられる中級レストランも入っています。詳しくはこちらのページで(http://www.diagonalmarcentre.es/en/stores/)。しかも、モールのあちこちで無料なWi-Fiが使えます!写真のアップは若干遅いんですが、普通にTwitter,Facebookとeメールが使えます。行かれる方にぜひ利用し、現地、大会の最新情報をアップしていただければと思います。他に、会場の周辺にもいくつかのカフェ/バルがありますので、軽食は普通に撮れます。

最後に、他の観光のおすすめといいますと、カタルーニャ広場周りのクリスマス・イルミネーションを見逃しなく!

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後、カタルーニャ広場に毎冬、ヨーロッパ最大級の露天スケートリンクが作ってあります。GPFで選手の素晴らしいスケートを楽しんだ後、ここで自分でもスケートを楽しめますよ。

ではでは、ぜひバルセロナをご堪能ください。いってらっしゃい!logo-ca

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About fswei

My name is Wei, I have multiple identities, one being a freelance figure skating reporter. I don't work as a full-time reporter/writer, neither am I dedicated to figure skating. I've been reporting and writing on sports for different media since almost 10 years ago, but I only started to go to figure skating events as press from 2014, so I am new in this area. I speak native Chinese, fluent English and Japanese, and so-so Spanish, and that's why I started to receive offers from media to go to figure skating events in Asia. You can find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/pandaatlarge for English/Japanese figure skating related tweets. You may also drop me a question on http://ask.fm/pandaatlarge :)

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