I had a pretty close shave with death on the way home from work tonight, well maybe death is a small exaggeration, but I did nearly come off my Bicing bike and graze a knee. For once it wasn't my fault, it was actually the person coming the other way who lost all sense of space and time as his eyes followed a girl walking along the path. Then the other day on my way back from the beach I was very close to being the meat in a big bus sandwich. I'm sure I have come close to worse injuries riding home on a Friday or Saturday night and I know for a fact that my friends have sustained (self-inflicted) worse injuries. But still I would never stop using Bicing, it has served me well so far. There are of course other alternatives, and some would suggest safer, modes of transport in Barcelona.
The most well used public transport here is the Metro, which is actually a guilty obsession of mine, and I pride myself on knowing which station is on which colour line...by the way hello ladies I know you love this chat. On one occasion not so long ago a whole night out was ruined for me because I gave the wrong colour line to someone who was meeting up with my friends, I was reminded about it all night. My favourite metro line if you are asking (I bet some of you don't even have a favourite line do you?) has to be the red line, the reliable workhouse going through the heart of the city. Ok I think that's probably enough of all that.
On just a slightly less nerdy point, the metro here is ridiculously cheap, clean and runs almost without delay on a daily basis. You also have air conditioning and good phone coverage. Compare all this with London's tube and you realise we are spoilt here.
There is also the bus service here, which again is brilliantly run. I know a few people who use this but I am always put off using it firstly because the maps on the bus stops look like a 5 year old has been let loose with a crayon and blank sheet of paper. Secondly, and I realise this may just be my stupidity, but the timetables seem to make no sense. A certain bus will go every 25 minutes, whether that means from that actual bus stop or the original stop is always unclear, it results in guesswork.
Talking of guesswork, and this is probably the reason I am really put off using the bus, my brother and I once ended up in deepest depths of Catalonia. After a night out in Castelldefels, we jumped on to the bus purely because it was going vaguely in the same direction as where my brother's flat. Turns out the bus was on some convoluted route around the countryside and then HAD to stop at a certain stop in the middle of nowhere at a crazy hour. When we got home at a much later time than planned, we couldn't decide what was best for my brother to tell his wife, either we had stayed out drinking or that two grown men had got lost on the bus.
The overground train in Barcelona is also cheap and well run, and if you want to listen to live ‘music’ or buy tissues you are on to a winner. I have to admit I only use these trains on the way home from work, which can sometimes be quite late, and there are some characters on there around this time. None are threatening, it's usually just groups of college kids with their bottles of vodka and limon. If anything they just leave you with a sense of jealousy!