It’s time to continue our adventure story. The last time, we told you about our experience with the ferry from Italy to Barcelona. Now we have arrived in Barcelona and the nervosity is mixed with a feeling of happiness.
We have earlier mentioned why we were nervous. Because of the restrictions of Shanty. Don’t you know? Then you can read To travel with a killer dog. What we haven’t told you is our relationship to Barcelona. What this amazing city means to us.
We both have been to Barcelona earlier before we even met. And both of us love Barcelona. The city, the atmosphere, the people. Everything is amazing there and as soon as we drove off the ferry and started to see “signs” of Barcelona we both got butterflies in our stomach. You know, as when you have a crush on a certain person and the dopamine is rushing through your brain and gives you the feeling that you can concur the world.
That was the feeling when we arrived in Barcelona. But still, we had our dog with us which also created problems already the first night. It’s important for us to find a place to sleep before the sun goes down and the dark kicks in. Therefore, we did our research before we left the ferry to find a campsite to stay at directly when we got off the boat. We drove to Camping Barcelona, where we learned that they didn’t except our “type of dog”. Thank you… We had to keep on driving, and to notice is, that we already had been driving for 30 minutes outside of Barcelona, to find another place to stay.
We drove back and found a campsite called El Masnou. El Masnou is a little village in the municipality Barcelona and it was the nicest campsite we have found so far. It was a place where so many mixed people lived. Retired people, backpackers, hippies and you can keep on counting. They excepted us and our dog and we found a perfect spot beside our great neighbors, the cats! Many people gave us the advice us to not free camp in Barcelona. Because we wanted to do that in the beginning. If you’re going to Barcelona and you want to stay at a safe campsite you should definitely stay at this place. It’s 500 m from the train station and it takes 20 minutes into the city center. The train drives every 9th minute. Definitely worth it. You can check the campsite here.
Yeah, so we are in Spain. In Spain, we need to have a license to have Shanty with us anywhere. Before this, I had the honor to get to know my hummus loving friend Seb Alex (earlier mentioned in the Vegan guide) that was going to help us to get the license for Shanty. The papers, that we were waiting for in Italy, was at Sebs place. Melvin and I decided that I was going to Barcelona by myself to get the license for Shanty and he will wait at the campsite in El Masnou with Shanty.
I went to Barcelona with the train and met Seb for the first time in reality. And this guy is amazing. I think we met at 10.30 that day and we went to the Barcelona consulate to get all the papers that we need. Check that we got all the instructions that we needed and then we were supposed to head back to the consulate later that day. So we went home to Sebs apartment, that was amazing. If you have been to Barcelona and visited an apartment there, this one does NOT look like them.
Needed for the license:
We got home and started to check the papers to see what we needed to do.
- Register the dog in the municipality
- Have the clean criminal record with us
- Evidence for the insurance that covers third part damage on an amount of 120 000 euro
- A signed paper that the dog is not dangerous or aggressive
- Passport of the dog and proof that she has a microchip
- A psychological test for the owner (to prove that the human can take care of the dog)
This was it and I think we sat in 3 hours to check every step and the last call was about the receipt of the payment for the license. And the lady says to Seb on the phone.
All the papers need to be in Spanish or Catalan
So, we have all the papers that we need to get this license but it needs to be in Spanish. Even though all the words are almost the same they can’t accept it. And we are all a part of EU, right? Sigh… To get all the papers in Spanish we needed a translator that could translate all the papers. And it also needed to be a juridical translator, which costs a fortune if you need it translated fast. The fee for not having the license is from 3000 Euro up to 6000 Euro.
Anyway, we decided to stay the weekend and then leave Spain. But the job Seb put down to help us was amazing. For two persons that he didn’t really know. But now when I know him, I know he did it for the dog 😉
Barcelona – The city
Everything happens for a reason and because of this, we made such a great friends. Seb offered himself to be a dog sitter on Friday to let us go all touristy in Barcelona that day. Which we really appreciated. The day started with hanging out in the flat and get some amazing smoothie from Brenda. And too, later on, visit the city a whole day… without Shanty! Now okay, we don’t have kids BUT I can imagine. This was almost like going on a date without having to think about another being than our selves.
We walked around in the city, ate some good vegan food and walked a little bit more. Watched street artists, talked about life, talked about the bad things that happened in Barcelona which is clear when you come to La Rambla. No street artists and the military force is standing at the beginning of the street. But apparently, they have been standing there before the terror attack. But that’s another story.
We love this city and we walked around with a smile on our faces the whole day. Even when we didn’t have food in our stomachs. This is a place where we actually could spend some more time for a longer period. If we just could get the license for Shanty.
The day got to its end and we headed back to Sebs flat late that evening. And we met another amazing person with a lot of attitudes. Bronwyn (happy birthday Bron). The girl that actually went back home earlier from work to see Shanty. Shanty liked her so much that she sat on her face that evening. Isn’t that nice thank you? Many laughters later we headed back home to the campsite and closed our eyes for the night.
The anonymous for the voiceless
By now you all know that both Melvin and I are vegans. And all our friends that we met in Barcelona is also vegans. Seb is an organizer for the vegan activist organization Anonymous for the voiceless. The organization is a friendly way to enlighten people about the exploitation of animals in slaughterhouses, for fur-making and also the treatment of animals in general. The best thing about this organization is that don’t use shaming as their way to enlighten people. They use great rhetoric and the power of words.
However, Melvin and I wanted to lose our virginity for vegan activism, a type of activism we actually can stand for, so we decided to join Seb and his crew on this adventure the last day we were going to stay in Barcelona. And this was quite an experience both emotionally and also physically. Because I had sore arms the day after.
It all started with that everybody met at Sebs place. And there we got to know another person named Mia. Mia is coming from London and has actually moved to Barcelona to study law for animal rights. Which is so cool in my opinion. We fixed everything and headed towards the metro to join the rest of the group. In the middle of Barcelona we stood in a cube for four hours, showing off footage from the industry, talked to people to enlighten them about the topic.
The most amazing thing to witness was the expression of peoples faces when they saw the footage. Often, the first expression was laughter because we were standing with masks on us. And then to see the faces change in an instance was quite powerful. People were asking questions, we answered. People were screaming powerful things towards us in their way passing by. And there were also people screaming bad things against us while passing by. All kinds of people were there but Melvin and I had a great time, we had fun and I walked away with a feeling of power. The best happening was the lady in her 80’s or 90’s who came up towards us and formed a heart with her hands. Beautiful lady!
Time flies when you have an amazing time right? The day after we left for Portugal and that meant a drive for 12 hours. We didn’t want to stay in Spain in case of the police but we had to sleep one night otherwise we were playing with our lives on the road.
We had a blast in Barcelona and will come back later during this trip to actually explore more of Spain. We will get the license and feel safe to be there with Shanty.
This was it at this time and I hope you enjoyed our adventure story from Barcelona.
Until next time, spread love
– Vicky & Melvin