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Old 20th April 2011, 00:36   #1
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Default the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

Having come to Toulouse for a short period, I had more places and lesser weekends to explore. I was pondering on what all places to go. the first name that comes to anybody's mind is 'Paris'. Paris symbolizes entire France. visiting France and not going to Paris is considered crime. and I committed that crime!

The last weekend in Europe was dedicated to this mesmerizing city called Barcelona. First of all, things about Spain. They have one of the best football clubs, best tennis players, F1, sea-sailing, best weather, best beaches and what not. the crazy sports like bull fighting and the never-ending party culture. Spain got it all! And Barcelona is just the epitome of all these things. This city sleeps never sleeps. If Paris is the favorite destination of lovers (as they say, its city of love), Barcelona is the place anybody would want to go 'stag'!! Barcelona had hosted the 1992 Olympics and being a kid, somehow it got into my mind that I should go to Barcelona some day.

The plan was as simple as hiring a car, booking an economy youth hostel and roam around. we shortlisted some tourist attraction before starting and then pin down later after discussing it with hostel receptionist. After reading about Barcelona from popular sources like wikitravel, tripadvisor and spain tourism, we came to know more about this city.

The most important thing one needs to worry about is the pick-pocketing business that goes around in here. It is considered to be the most notorious city when it comes to these types of scams. pick-pocketing, snitching the bag, is a primary source of earning for the youngster. we were already aware of it, thanks to the internet, and we took utmost care to face any loss.
but nevertheless, they are not as skill-full as Indian pick-pocketers. so, it requires perfection to trap an Indian!! I was about to become a victim two times and both the times I could make out what is happening. their main targets are the wallet in the hip pocket and waist bags or hand bags.
1st incidence: while boarding the metro, 3-4 guys surrounded me and one of them got ahead of me just at the door. then he pretended to be checking the inside route map and thus blocking my way to get in. and his other team mates who have already lined up behind me, started pushing me inside the train. This behavior made me suspicious and i realized their intentions.. i immediately pushed the front guy away, move ahead and pulled my waist bag. one of them had already opened the zip. when they realized that i have understood their plan, all of them got down of metro and dispersed away.
2nd incidence: while climbing up the metro escalators, one guy came close to me from behind. i realized this and moved sideways to give him the way thinking he might be in hurry. but he was following my movement which obviously will alert anybody. i turned around and saw his attempt to open my camera bag. i gave an angry stare and he went the other way.

similar incidences happened to my friend as well. I thought its worth mentioning it here.
Now, enough of story, let me start the actual travelogue.
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Old 20th April 2011, 00:55   #2
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-map.jpg
There are two routes to go Barcelona. The longer route is faster than the shorted route but the shorter route is more scenic. so, while going to Barcelona, we took the shorter one and while returning, we took the longer route.

We hired a car from SIXT car rental and this time we got VW POLO 1.6 TDI. The hiring charges including insurance were 87euros and the expected fuel and toll charges were around 120euros with more than half towards the tolls.

we started at 5am on Saturday for this much eventful journey to Barcelona.
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Old 20th April 2011, 19:21   #3
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

the beginning of drive was smooth. There was a typical morning silence in the car with nice soothing hindi music and the cozy feeling inside.

But we were unaware of what was waiting for us down the journey. We were heading south-east on the motorway at around 5:30am at the speed limit of 130kmph, where we started spotting fresh blood patches on the tarmac. I was discussing with my friend that this could be some boar trying to cross the motorway. We saw three such patches and one of it had tire skid marks showing the sign of vehicle loosing control after hitting some animal. after some distance, the marks suggested that the vehicle gained the control and was on its way.

as we were busy deducing this, the unwanted thing happened. I saw a deer right in front of my car hardly 50m ahead of me. I couldn't have foreseen it as I was in low beam. and "THUMP"!!! before I could realize anything, we hit a full sized adult deer. It hit the left portion of bonnet, got tossed over and landed somewhere on the motorway. The sound made my heart skip a beat before I could realize what has just happened. My instant quick reaction was to hold on steering to avoid loosing control as vehicle did try to swerve a bit. The shock of hitting something loosened my force on the accelerator pedal and I was down to 110kmph. I checked the IRVM and saw a speeding car. I regained my thought process and saw another truck in the right lane so I accelerated back to 130kmph. I guess, the deer had fallen behind my car. Also, the car driver behind me may have seen a deer being tossed in the air, so he/she steered to left and overtook me to avoid colliding with me. After things became normal, I took the feel of car for any major problem and to decide if I should stop somewhere. Fortunately, all seem to be well!

This might have gone wrongly as well. Me loosing control of the vehicle, the deer landing on windscreen and making it opaque, the horns piercing inside through the windscreen. Thanks to God, none of this happened! and we were all safe. I felt sad about the deer, and I still remember those innocent eyes completely dazzled, before it took the hit. After a while, we found a place to stop and analyze the damage.

the VW logo gone:
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb1.jpg

the fog lights were intact but the highbeam was going in the sky
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb2.jpg
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb3.jpg
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb4.jpg

from this angle, it wasnt bad though
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb5.jpg

side view:
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb6.jpg
closeup: notice the skin remains? (please tell me if this picture makes you sick)
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb7.jpg

Last edited by unicorn_i20 : 22nd April 2011 at 00:22. Reason: Pictures added
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Old 22nd April 2011, 00:58   #4
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

I was all shaking while taking the above pictures. not the shock of accident, but it was chilled outside whereas I was dressed up for warm day of Barcelona. Somehow, i managed to take few not-shaken shots.

the terrain to Barcelona was first to cross Pyrenees which is around 2500m above sea level. the roads we were travelling on were around 1600m ASL with freezing condition outside. it was the same route till Andorra, which I had driven few weeks back (Find the travelogue here (1000km, 2days, Ford Fiesta, across France)). The onset of Spring has already molten the snow. these roads were needing snow chains last time but this time only the mountain peaks had snow. I was looking for some place to stop and take some pictures, but this ghat section had narrow roads and couldnt locate safe place to stop the vehicle.

after crossing the Andorra, we stopped to enjoy this serene beauty.
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb8.jpg

the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb9.jpg

the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb10.jpg

I own i20 (my true love), but i always liked the beauty of POLO (my soutan). but the dent was making it look ugly.
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb11.jpg

the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb12.jpg

the road ahead:
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb13.jpg

after hitting the deer, we were like 'oh-no!!-not-this' after seeing this sign. good that we were here during the daylight.
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb14.jpg

Pyrenees left behind:
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb15.jpg

as we were loosing the altitude, we were seeing clouds.
the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb16.jpg

the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!-tb17.jpg
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Old 12th May 2011, 20:45   #5
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

The deer thud! it must have given you jitters! I remember some couple of decades ago hitting a stray dog like that on the highway! At time, I still feel guilty.

I hope Barcelona city photos are coming soon!
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Old 18th May 2011, 15:49   #6
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by unicorn_i20 View Post
.
1st incidence: while boarding the metro, 3-4 guys surrounded me and one of them got ahead of me just at the door. then he pretended to be checking the inside route map and thus blocking my way to get in. and his other team mates who have already lined up behind me, started pushing me inside the train. This behavior made me suspicious and i realized their intentions.. i immediately pushed the front guy away, move ahead and pulled my waist bag. one of them had already opened the zip. when they realized that i have understood their plan, all of them got down of metro and dispersed away.
2nd incidence: while climbing up the metro escalators, one guy came close to me from behind. i realized this and moved sideways to give him the way thinking he might be in hurry. but he was following my movement which obviously will alert anybody. i turned around and saw his attempt to open my camera bag. i gave an angry stare and he went the other way.

similar incidences happened to my friend as well. I thought its worth mentioning it here.
.
but there ought to be some reason for this in a city like barcelona right? is the unemployment very high or is it something else?
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Old 18th May 2011, 16:38   #7
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

"as we were busy deducing this, the unwanted thing happened. I saw a deer right in front of my car hardly 50m ahead of me. I couldn't have foreseen it as I was in low beam. and "THUMP"!!! before I could realize anything, we hit a full sized adult deer. It hit the left portion of bonnet, got tossed over and landed somewhere on the motorway. The sound made my heart skip a beat before I could realize what has just happened. My instant quick reaction was to hold on steering to avoid loosing control as vehicle did try to swerve a bit. The shock of hitting something loosened my force on the accelerator pedal and I was down to 110kmph. I checked the IRVM and saw a speeding car. I regained my thought process and saw another truck in the right lane so I accelerated back to 130kmph. I guess, the deer had fallen behind my car. Also, the car driver behind me may have seen a deer being tossed in the air, so he/she steered to left and overtook me to avoid colliding with me. After things became normal, I took the feel of car for any major problem and to decide if I should stop somewhere. Fortunately, all seem to be well!"

You are calling it "all well"!! you should have stopped at once on the shoulder with warning lights, call the police, registered your case, call the rental company informed them about this. asked for a replacement car. I wonder you were allowed to travel/drive with that car on highway(or i think you didn't go to highway and stuck to state highways). I hope you did that all only not mentioning it here!
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Old 19th May 2011, 20:54   #8
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

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Originally Posted by Suess View Post
you should have stopped at once on the shoulder with warning lights, call the police, registered your case, call the rental company informed them about this. asked for a replacement car. I wonder you were allowed to travel/drive with that car on highway(or i think you didn't go to highway and stuck to state highways). I hope you did that all only not mentioning it here!
I agree with Suess on this. Best thing was to report this matter to the Police/Gendarmerie. I also live in Toulouse, and I could imagine how mesmerising it would have been to drive on Autoroute at that time of the day. Drive carefully mate....
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Old 20th May 2011, 10:29   #9
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stopped at once on the shoulder with warning lights, call the police, registered your case, call the rental company informed them about this. asked for a replacement car. (or i think you didn't go to highway and stuck to state highways).
we informed the car rental company, they told me to report in their Barcelona office as the vehicle damage wasn't intensive and replacement was really not essential. and yes, you are right, we were travelling through the state highways later.

in terms of informing the police, i guess its pretty normal to hit deers on these motorways. after coming back from the trip, i consulted some colleagues on legal matters and they said its quite common. in fact, many times it is encouraged to take away the animal to cook/eat/stuff it

something interesting and weird:
Roadkill cuisine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:Roadkill cafe.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 20th May 2011, 13:18   #10
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

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in terms of informing the police, i guess its pretty normal to hit deers on these motorways. after coming back from the trip, i consulted some colleagues on legal matters and they said its quite common. in fact, many times it is encouraged to take away the animal to cook/eat/stuff it
HAHAHA!! coming from a carnivorous area of India, I am sure I would have loved to take the animal (if it was killed) and bring it home. Deer meat is excellent! I would dry it, roast it and enjoy a full deer for almost 6 months. Yummy!!

Seriously, did you know if the deer survived? Looking at the damage to the car, it looks like the animal would have survived. Was there a way of finding out? Poor deer!

More pictures and faster upload please.
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Old 20th May 2011, 14:32   #11
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

I had hit a elk and had the same skin remnants in the front area while returning the car in the U.S !
Didn't bother about the police either. They said I was fortunate that it didn't hit the windshield.
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Old 20th May 2011, 15:51   #12
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

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we informed the car rental company, they told me to report in their Barcelona office as the vehicle damage wasn't intensive and replacement was really not essential. and yes, you are right, we were travelling through the state highways later.

in terms of informing the police, i guess its pretty normal to hit deers on these motorways. after coming back from the trip, i consulted some colleagues on legal matters and they said its quite common. in fact, many times it is encouraged to take away the animal to cook/eat/stuff it

something interesting and weird:
Roadkill cuisine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:Roadkill cafe.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Good for you, if rental said it's nothing to bother about. what did they say when you returned the car? how much did you pay for repair? or it was 100% covered by Isurance?
it might me common hitting them but leaving them on road?..i don't think it's safe. at 120kmph a samll bump can make you airborne. that's why the poilce has to be informed.
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Old 21st May 2011, 00:27   #13
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i consulted some colleagues on legal matters and they said its quite common. in fact, many times it is encouraged to take away the animal to cook/eat/stuff it

so? what prevented from eating it? i guess the big size? i am sure had it been a chicken it would have been a different story
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Old 21st May 2011, 10:50   #14
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

I wish people used the Assembly Line feature to compose long travelogues! Now we have to wait for unicorn to finish his story as we wait impatiently!

The deer collision was scary. Our Qualis hit a dog running alongside the road that suddenly darted in our pathin Ladakh and we were barely doing 50 kmph, but it still jarred a bit!

I would not advise driving with a damaged car on highways like you did. Hope you got a replacement car at least in Barcelona!
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Old 21st May 2011, 13:16   #15
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Default Re: the vibrant and lively city of Europe, BARCELONA!!!

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I wish people used the Assembly Line feature to compose long travelogues! Now we have to wait for unicorn to finish his story as we wait impatiently!
!
+1000000,

there is no update on this travelogue at all and its.....

keep waiting!!
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