The experience of renting (and living in) an apartment in Barcelona for a week was both fantastic and frustrating. We booked the place online (of course) and had plenty of contact with the guy in charge of managing the apartment before we arrived. He knew in advance that we didn’t have a cell phone and that we would only call him if our plans had changed or we were running late. We got to the appointed spot a few minutes early but after waiting for almost half an hour, I was worried he was never going to show up!
So I went to the internet cafe next door and called him, he apologized, saying he thought we had a cell phone and was beginning to wonder why he hadn’t heard from us. (sigh) Anyway, after this he was there in a flash and the rest of the check-in process went smoothly.
The apartment itself was fine, relatively clean, and had enough space for us to spread out for the week. The stairwell leading up to the fourth floor (no lift!) was rundown, with many broken floor tiles, but thankfully there was a light at the entrance to the street and our apartment, so we never had to navigate in the pitch dark.
Perhaps it was because we were tired, but we never checked to make sure we had a wine bottle opener while he was checking us in. Once I discovered this a day later, I emailed him to ask about it and he promised to drop one off later that day.
Never. Saw. Him. Again.
We also had many problems with heat in the apartment. For one, the on-demand gas water heat pilot light went out at least five times during our week-long stay, usually right before Eric wanted to take his shower. To relight it involved the slow and tedious process of holding in the button and “very very slowly” (according to the directions) releasing the button to keep the flame lit. Additionally, there were no matches anywhere in the apartment to light the gas stove that didn’t have a built-in igniter.
Finally, we had agreed on a 8am “prompt-check-out-time” (his wording) when we left and two women (we had never met) showed up over 15 minutes late to check us out and give us our deposit back. Thankfully we still made the train we needed to get to the airport on time, but it was certainly not how I wanted to start my last morning in Barcelona.
Despite all of these inconveniences, there was plenty of good, so check back to find out how we got around some of these obstacles!