See any detour as an opportunity to experience new things. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
The people who follow WTP regularly will know that I am currently based in Barcelona, I use it as my base to travel from. I’ve been in the city for almost 2 years now so I like to think that I know it quite well. Sometimes though it can become a little too easy to feel as if you have seen it all and that there isn’t much else new to discover.
So when I got offered a photography tour of Barcelona I jumped at the chance. After all, I’ve not got any major trips planned this month as I’m working on expanding this site into new areas (more on that coming up at a later date) which is taking up a lot of my time. I’m bringing new people on board and I’m also in the process of raising WTP’s brand awareness.
So what better way to get some new content to share from a place I already know quite well?
Being completely honest with you I’m not getting paid a penny to write this, but as I said before, I got offered a free city tour from a new startup company and was told I could bring my girlfriend along too. I had a really nice morning walking around Barcelona so felt as if I should say thank you to them and our lovely tour guide by sharing my experience with you.
Okay, so one of the people at Localguddy.com sent me an email explaining what their new company was about and asked me if I would be interested in heading out with one of the guides.
The way they work is local people sign up to become tour guides, or guddys as they call them, they create a listing describing what their tour will involve, how long it will go on for, price etc.. There are all kinds of tours including walking tours of the main city sights, food tours and nightlife tours. Tourists then search for their destination, check the available tours, choose which one they like and book it.
Kind of like Airbnb, they are the platform and middle men between you and the person offering the tour. Each guide has a rating and you can read reviews left by other people who have taken their tours.
In the spirit of fairness I can’t talk about all of the positives without first talking about some of the negatives.
As Localguddy is a fairly new service they don’t have a huge selection of tours to choose from, in Barcelona there are maybe about 15 choices. Barcelona is a big and very popular city but I can imagine that in other cities there would be a lot less on offer. Although that’s to be expected from a new startup and will hopefully change as they grow and become more popular.
Also, as you are booking with local people who are doing this on the side and not as their main job, it can be hard to pin them down and confirm a tour. We originally requested tours with 2 other people and both were declined due to the guide not being available on our requested dates. Not completely unexpected though as it’s the same story on Airbnb when looking for a place to stay.
Okay so now about the tour and how we discovered things about Barcelona we didn’t know before.
We booked with a guide named Alessandra who is Italian but has lived in Barcelona for the last 10 years. Her tour was described as a walking city tour but as she is a photographer she also takes photos of her group and sends them over the next day as a gift and reminder of your time in the city. It was a nice extra touch and it makes her stand out as she’s the only guide in Barcelona on Localguddy to offer something like that.
We met at 11am for a 2 hour walking tour where she would take us to parts of the city great for photography. We started off in the Gothic Quarter where we walked through the narrow alleyways and eventually ended up at the site of some old Roman ruins, hidden inside a building that I must have walked past 20 times without knowing what was just inside.
Alessandra was full of facts and explained a lot about the history of the city that she obviously loves and is passionate about.
The next stop was a small square with a dark past. During the Spanish Civil War, we were told that this square was where people would be lined up against the wall and executed. The bullet holes in the wall have been preserved as a memorial to all those who where killed here, and as a way to never forget the tragedies that occurred.
We continued walking around the twisty alleyways of the Gothic Quarter whilst listening about it’s history and whilst I snapped away:
The last two stops were the World Trade Centre right on the waterfront where the yachts set sail from, and Rambla de Raval where a famous sculpture of a fat cat designed by Colombian artist Fernando Botero can be found.
We were taken to this amazing spot pictured above that I didn’t even know existed on one of the balconies of the World Trade Centre to enjoy the view.
All in all we had a great morning on our tour of Barcelona, seeing it from a new angle.
My thoughts about the tour..
The least I expected to get out of a tour through a city I already know fairly well was to spend a couple of hours walking around and maybe, if I’m lucky, learn something new.
What we got was a genuine surprise, learning (sometimes quite shocking) things about places I have walked past plenty of times in the past, and meeting a new friend in our guide Alessandra. Plus I will for sure be going back to that balcony overlooking the water at the World Trade Centre to watch the sunset! This time maybe with a beer or two..
So that about sums up my experience with Localguddy and my tour of Barcelona. Now back to the office I guess..
There’s lots of great articles, photos and stories from around the world on their way, not just from me but other super talented digital nomads who have some amazing stories to share. So expect to see a few new names contributing to WTP in the near future.
As always, thanks for reading!