Europe 2016 Day 6: La Roca Village

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
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Bus stops location

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. 🙄

Anyway…

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The ticket, good for return (pergi balik)

Forty five minutes later…

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Hola, La Roca Village!

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,

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And you’ll have to walk across the car park

Other than that, business as usual. La Roca Village looks exactly like how any other premium outlets all over the world look like…

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La Roca Village
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La Roca Village
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A fancy fountain that wasn’t working on that day
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I love their shops architecture
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There’s also a playground for the kids

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…

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These are a new collection, I think
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I told her I’m buying for my wife, so she tested the bag on herself

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…

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Yeah…
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Still bought some stuff anyway, otherwise the 14€ bust ticket would seems to be wasted

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.

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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… 😉

22 Comments

  1. I love the ambiance of the outlets too. Neat and pleasant designed architecture.

    I agree that those outlets in US are very cheap and my friends told me too, that US is cheapest actually… as they traveled frequently globally. The bag designs didn;t look like latest but not old either. I am shy to confess that I am well informed with the trends of ladies fashion since I have to shop all my wife’s dresses from top to toe. I actually observed for tips from Korean dramas and made comparisons with the Paris websites.

    You are so kind to shop for them all. I would scream instead as my friends often gave me unreasonable requests.

    • I agree with your friends, after comparing, I’m pretty sure US is the cheapest…

      I never entertain unreasonable requests hahaha. If my friends need me to buy, they would have to go to the website and give me the item number + color + size + their expected price. I will then save the requirements in my phone, go to the shop and just show it to the shopkeeper. Any requirements not met means no buy.

  2. It sounded like a very relaxing day. That Northface backpack is very nice. Now I want it 😀 I would expect Levi’s jeans to be cheaper over there. The other day I was at an outlet shop in Melbourne and the Levi’s jeans cost around AUD$60 per pair 🙁

    Chinese tourists will be Chinese tourists. Hogging the way, all the way, back and forth 🙄

    • That backpack is probably too big for you. There’s 3 different models in the outlet which I prefer to call 3 different sizes. I got the large one. You could probably take the small one. 🙄 😛

      You want to know how much a pair of Levi’s jeans cost in La Roca? 60 also, but it is 60€ and not AUD$60. When I was in the US, I could get a pair for US$40 in the outlet. If they have what I want in the Clearance Bin, then US$20. Can you see why I was dejected and decided why Mavi is my new best “jeans” friend? I could get 2 pairs of Mavis in Istanbul for 160 TL (52€).

      • TOO BIG FOR ME? Lol, it looks small in your photo. If it fits a 13″ laptop just nice, then it’s the bag for me. And I really suka that colour.

        That is expensive Levi’s over there 🙁 Don’t blame you for being a tight arse shopping at La Roca Village. That reminds me: last year, some friends from Singapore visited Australia. We went to a Levi’s outlet and one of the friends found a $5 Levi’s jeans in the clearance bin. Perfect fit for him. No joke 🙄

        • LOL! Photos can be deceiving. This is a large one, large enough to fit a 17″. The small one is the one that fits 13″/14″. 😉

          $5 for a pair of Levi’s is dirt cheap! Now that’s what premium outlet shopping should be! O.o

  3. I wonder how these Chinese tourists behave at the makan table or buffets…probably shoving other people and piling their food sky high on their plates! Who says Day 6 is not exciting? When got shopping, it’s always exciting. Only half a day for shopping? For us ladies, not enough! 😀 I think in US you get those retail shops and factory outlets, that could be why the prices are cheaper?

    • Neh, like that video that recently went viral on Facebook. I believe not all Chinese are like that lah, just a handful of those which lack manners. But one bad sheep is enough to destroy the whole flock(‘s reputation in this case)…

      Yes, in US you get the retail shops and outlets. Same here, there are stores inside Barcelona, and La Roca Village is the outlet. Well the prices here are cheaper, but only slightly cheaper instead of insanely cheaper. If you shop in the US outlets, you will definitely go speechless at how cheap they can go…

    • Yeah, I go shopping because there are some specific items that I need to buy in Europe. Like, next year’s CNY clothes. I am frustrated with the clothes in Malaysia, the XXXL size here is smaller than a European or American XL. It’s real…

  4. Ehhh, I laughing la.. Actually when you mentioned you were waiting for the bus, I can imagine already what the cina-mari will do.. At least they formed a line between you guys and merempit into the bus, and NOT stampede you guys to go into the bus.. Ehhh, the cina-mari memang like bosses, “lau pan” here, “lau pan” there, they buy a lot of El-Lou-Vee this that ga..

    • Hahahaha El-Lou-Vee…

      I wonder if they have conquered the KL malls or not lately. Or maybe Malaysia is not really a shopping paradise after all. 🙄

  5. I m speechless over the Chinese tourist…Just because their group is bigger they think they can ‘bully’ the smaller group. Sigh! so kiasu mentality! Anyway, I dun tink I can shop for a day..I’m that kinda person who prefers sight-seeing & eating rather than shopping. 2 hours of shopping already make me zZZZzzZZ unless the prices are very very cheap (i would be excited then).

    • I went because I thought things would be very cheap compared to normal stores. That’s what a premium OUTLET is supposed to be. Tell you, next time try to visit JPO in Johor, then you know what I mean.. 🙄 😛

      Sigh… I don’t know whether it was because of wanting to bully that made them do what they do. Maybe there is some unknown factor which is alien to our culture but totally acceptable in China. 🙄

      • People in China moves very fast. When I went to Beijing and Shanghai in 2003, I was surprised at their speed. When the metro train arrived before I could finish blinking my eyes all of them have boarded the train and sat down already. I think being in a country with that many people, in order to survive they had to act fast and make their moves fast without considering others or else they will lose out. Very competitive!

        • I think at least in the few big cities, the competitiveness to survive exceeds those of us in KL. After all, almost the entire China’s young generation is trying to flock to these cities. But I don’t think this competitiveness is the reason behind the obnoxious behavior of some of the tourists. If anything, they should relax instead of fight to win during vacation. The rude tourist bunch is not from the highly educated bunch in the big cities, I think.. 🙄

  6. Hahaha, to think you a guy allocated a full day for shopping. So nice of you to be buyer for your friends.

    So did you walk from your hotel to Sagales bus stop?

    I guess those tourists want to select their seats before the 5 of you.

    One whole day, you ate so little food only and walk so much so you should be thinner when you came back, right?

    • Yeah, walked to the bus stop. It was not very far. 1 kilometer is considered a very walk-able distance in Barcelona..

      The bus was big enough to accommodate double our numbers. And it was only 5 of us. Select what seats? @.@

      Hahaha, I don’t know about thinner, but at least I didn’t get fatter, I think.. 🙄

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