As with all travel I have a bad habit of leaving things to the last-minute. This was of course the case when I was in Valencia so Blablacar time it was! See, I had to leave the next morning to Barcelona and I had no way there, but once again Blablacar came to the rescue. If you don’t know Blablacar your about to. I had the pleasure of having a most amazing journey from Valencia to Barcelona yesterday and I have Blablacar to thank. Blablacar is opening up Europe like never before and EVERY traveler out there needs to get on this while it’s still young. Blablacar is a ride sharing website that is widely available for all travel in Europe and other parts of the world. You basically type your “from” and “to” locations and there will be a list of rides available. These rides are cheaper than the bus or train, generally faster and more direct, and the best of all are the people you meet in the car on the way.

Finding a ride with Blablacar

I was sitting with a friend in Valencia just firing out a few messages for rides on Blablacar. Sure enough, as usual I got an instant response from a friendly Blablacar user and the ride was set. I would be meeting my Blablacar driver at 1pm the following day for the ride to Barcelona. I wasn’t exactly sure of the meeting spot, usually with Blablacar you will choose to meet at a train or bus stop. This is good when you know the city but for a man like myself with no Spanish or knowledge of where you are exactly, Spain can be difficult to navigate.

Because of past experiences with getting lost I left my hotel early to give more then enough time to make it to my Blablacar meeting location. Once again the Valencia metro system got the better of me, I’m sure with even the slightest bit of Spanish it would be a breeze but of course I got on the wrong train and off at the wrong stop. This resulted in a good hike with all my gear in the afternoon heat following the tracks back to the meeting point. Luckily I actually located it fairly quickly and sat down under the shade of a palm tree to relax a minute and wait for my Blablacar host.

Meeting new friends with Blablacar

I wasn’t sitting long before my three Indian Blablacar gentleman with big smiles approached me. Seeing their large grins and friendly faces lifted my spirits and all the stress from the last hour of confusion and stress floated away. I was led to the where the car was waiting and our Blablacar journey was about to begin. Let me just say that Indians are generally some of the nicest and friendliest people out there, I spent a good amount of time in India and experienced their kindness and hospitality, so it was no surprise when I was offered the front seat for the entire journey because I was the tallest. This made the Blablacar ride even more comfortable and enjoyable.

We chatted the whole 4 hour drive, it turns out they had some expertise in certain aspects of the internet business I am in and I learned A LOT from them. You really never know who you will meet when you hop in a ride with Blablacar. After a more than pleasant 4 hour Blablacar drive they very kindly dropped me off right in front of the building where I am now renting a room for the next couple days. We said our goodbyes but also made plans to get together for some beers at some point, I actually have to finish this article quick as I am meeting them in the next hour or so for lunch.

Random kindness from strangers

I was about two hours early to meet my room host so I was just chilling outside the building with a young man Italy asked what I was doing. He was on his way into the same building and I asked to use his wifi, of course he said certainly. I was shown into his apartment where himself and his friend had been staying. I hung out with them for the next couple hours while I waited. They were both 21 and from a small Italian city and had moved to Barcelona to find work, a more exciting life, and most of all, skateboarding. There belongings consisted of mainly skateboards, skateboard apparel, hats and shoes. Much like my belongings at the same age.

Chatting to these guys brought back fond memories of leaving everything behind many years ago and taking off to Calgary with some friends with nothing more than skateboards and some clothes. The plan was to find work, but of course it mainly consisted of skateboarding and partying. A return home when the money ran out wasn’t far behind. Of course I wouldn’t trade that first taste of Finding The Freedom in life for anything. I hope these boys fare better and last than I, but I have a feeling their fate is sealed.

A room with a view

Eventually I made contact with my host and was shown to my room. I have the front room with a long narrow balcony. When you stand on my balcony your eyes are just assaulted with the craziness that is the Sagrada Familia. This is an on going construction project that is taking hundreds of years to finish and is just spectacular. I am looking forward to a tour of the inside in the coming days. Its going to be a good few days here I can already tell. All these random occurrences that produced a most wonderful day happened because I hoped in a ride with Blablacar. I must be off now to meet my Indian companions for some lunch by the park. heck out the view from my balcony!

getting to Sagrada Familia with Blablacar getting to Sagrada Familia with Blablacar

Disclaimer: This post is all my own opinion, in no way did Blablacar as for it to be published nor do they even know about it.

5 Responses

  1. Dhruv

    It was a pleasure travelling with you too Alex! And yes, this trip proved that is an excellent way to travel cheaply for both the driver and the traveller, as well as to meet really interesting people!

    • Alex

      Thanks for the comment, ride and great talk! I will see you guys later tonight!

  2. Monina

    Were you couchsurfing in Barcelona? If not, can you let me know the name of the place where you stayed at or the website. The view is just awesome!

    • Alex

      Hi Monia, the place I stayed at was through couch surfing but it was paid.. Im sorry but I have no idea how to track it down again.. but if you keep messaging on couch surfing it would come up for sure!