Barcelona, Spain (November 2021)

Lessons learned from traveling with a friend for fourteen days in Barcelona, Spain

Carol Kubota
6 min readJan 20, 2022


“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

– Mark Twain

My friend Ruth Ann and I are still friends. We were together for fifteen days in Barcelona and never left each other’s side. There are changes I will make the next time I travel with a friend.

My friend Ruth Ann

I usually travel alone but this time a friend wanted to join me. She had a taste of Barcelona on a cruise she took a couple of years ago and wanted more. I was the unintended travel guide.

We arrived in Barcelona and waited one hour for our driver to pick us up at the airport. I booked a driver through He arrived and with a brisk “Hola”, grabbed my bag and started walking at breakneck speed. My friend who is ten years older than me was rolling her suitcase along at a brisk pace

I called him and asked him to take my friend’s bag. He grabbed her bag with a huff and continued walking ahead of us. We sprinted about fifteen minutes to a vacant parking lot away from the airport. There sat two black SUVs. We were going to be kidnapped. He loaded our bags and we let ourselves into the car. After exchanging unwelcoming glances we were off.

The driver never engaged in conversation with us. His answers to my comments were terse.

How far is it from the hotel?

Thirty minutes

I later learned from an official taxi driver That he was an uber driver and was operating illegally. He was not allowed to park in front of the airport as the taxi drivers were.

Lesson learned: Take the black and yellow taxis in Barcelona. They are legal and cheaper. The drivers are friendlier. When the green light is flashing you can flag the driver with your hand. If the light is red, the taxi is not available for hire. Support the local taxi drivers.



Carol Kubota

Life happens when you take chances.