Today’s post is going to be somewhat short, I think. Because today I’m going to talk about Day 6.
Why is Day 6 short? Because… I was pre-occupied with something else rather than sightseeing. I was pre-occupied with shopping, at La Roca Village Premium Outlets!
This place is NOT inside Barcelona. To get here, you have a few different options, I’m going to specify two of the more commonly used options.
- Bus – Most websites will tell you that the bus to La Roca Village is called the Shopping Express. They will also tell you that the bus stop in Barcelona is on Passeig de Gracia, and it costs 20€ (return). The bus departs once per hour (9.00 AM – 7.00 PM) from both Barcelona and La Roca Village. Each journey takes about 45 minutes.
- Bus – What most websites do not tell you (which my hotel’s concierge did), is that there’s another type of bus operated by Sagales that also goes to La Roca Village. This one’s cheaper at 14€ (return), and the bus stop is on Carrer de Casp. The schedule is the same as the Shopping Express.
- Car – If you have money and a valid driver’s license, this is the most recommended option. Rent a car, and drive there. This way, you will not be limited by the carrying capacity of your two hands. You can buy, load into the car, and then go back and buy some more. Shop till you drop!
I really don’t want to do this, but at this point, it is time to badmouth some Chinese tourists yet again >.< …
So I was at the Sagales bus stop by 8.45 AM, as I wanted to catch the first bus out. When I arrived, there was already another couple in front of me. Judging from their Mandarin’s slang, I think they must be Taiwanese. Shortly after I arrived, another two European ladies arrived as well. So the five of us were queuing and waiting for the bus.
And then… and then… just as the bus was turning the corner and approaching, the Chinese arrived. I did not count but I was pretty sure there must have been more than 10 of them. Guess what happened? The moment the bus was properly parked and the doors were opened, this bunch of jokers conveniently formed a new line between us and the bus, and the five of us in queue were mercilessly shoved aside as they boarded the bus first, like bosses.
I don’t understand why they did what they did. I guess I never will. The bus had a seating capacity of 40. There were only 5 of us “outsiders” and probably 20 or 25 of us combined. Absolutely no need to behave like barbarians to ensure seats. 🙄
Forty five minutes later…
One thing I don’t like is that the bus stop of this premium outlets village is located outside the shops cluster, right next to the main road. If you are a less attentive person, you might be wondering if you got to the right place. Also, there’s no signboards to lead you to the entrance. You kind of have to guess the right direction to go,
Other than that, business as usual. La Roca Village looks exactly like how any other premium outlets all over the world look like…
And then I kind of got busy going back and forth between shops… I had to buy stuff for myself, my family, and also try to fulfill some “orders” from friends…
I did not even bring my camera with me. After all, when one goes on a shopping trip, the camera is not needed at all.
I shopped until around 2 PM, then I had fideua for lunch in one of the restaurants here, then caught the 3 PM bus back to Barcelona.
To be honest, I was not very satisfied with La Roca Village. First, there’s a lot of Chinese tourists here. By a lot, I mean A LOT! I should have expected that, if they can flood Barcelona, then it is most likely that they will flood this place. It was like hell shopping with them. They were mostly very loud, very obnoxious, and very demanding. I had to maneuver around them, as in when they enter a certain shop that I was in, I would leave and come back later.
Also, the prices here were not as “cheap” as I expected. I used to shop in the premium outlets in the US. The benchmark was: for every item you buy in Malaysia, you can buy 3 or 4 pieces of the same in one of those US outlets. And you can frequently see 80% or even 90% discounts in US outlets, stuff like [Was $50, Then $15, Now $5]. But here in La Roca Village, no such “good deals” could be found. I wanted to get some Levi’s jeans and some Tommy shirts, but they were all only on 10% or 20% discounts. The final prices were more than double of what I could expect to pay in the US outlets. Made me quite dejected throughout the shopping trip…
Be that as it may…
Not all in the picture are for myself, of course. The two paper bags on the sides, one is for my mom, one is for a friend (who paid me to buy them). The backpack, watch, wallet and two t-shirts, well… they’re not very cheap, but still cheaper than buying in Malaysia, and I needed them anyway, so… 🙄
Anyway, I got back to Barcelona, and made it back to the hotel by 5 PM. Could have been earlier, but I was attracted by what seemed like an open piano concert going on in a plaza near the hotel.
It was amazing! One person played a couple of songs, and then suddenly, someone from among the crowd stepped forward to take over, and two songs later another person from the crowd stepped forward, and so on. And all of them played very well! I remained rooted for more than 30 minutes there.
Then I kind of went back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, came back out for a McD dinner, then went back to the hotel and fell asleep… That’s how exciting my Day 6 was… 😉