Failing a Pub Crawl

You would think that doing a pub crawl would be pretty easy, especially as a young adult. It’s a simple process of going from one bar to another, buying drink after drink throughout the night. But for me it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. For spring break, my friend Michaela and I decided to travel to Barcelona. And guess what! Saint Patrick’s Day was during our spring break! What other day could be better for a pub crawl? Spain is not Ireland but there are many Irish pubs there.


We started to plan out our route across Barcelona, sitting on our hostel-room floor, maps around us, phones out. We googled to see whether or not the pubs had good reviews and how far we would have to walk to each one, keeping in mind that we might become a bit tipsy during the night. We identified eight pubs, and determined the order in which we would go, starting with the one farthest from our hostel and ending with the one closest. We calculated the estimated travel time and found that if we started at 8:00 p.m., we should end our night around 4:00 a.m., designating one hour to each pub.

Next was outfits. Obviously we needed green incorporated somehow, therefore I chose green pants and Michaela wore a green sweater. Cute comfy shoes were also a must since there would be a lot of walking and, if we planned our outfits right, we could possibly have some guys buy us drinks. Once eight o’clock rolled by, we fastened our Saint Patrick’s Day pins to our jackets and made our way to our first pub: Michael Collins.

Michael Collins was already crowded at 8:00 p.m. People milled about on the sidewalk outside, talking loudly. At the doorway, you could feel the heat radiating from the people inside. From all the activity around the pub, it looked like we had started with the right one. Sadly, there was an entrance fee of 5 euros but hey, we got hats. The moment we stepped through the doors we could tell this was a place for adults in their mid-twenties to forties. We might have been the youngest people there. On top of that, there was absolutely no room to move about. To get to the bar we had to squeeze our way through the crowd, pressing our bodies a little too close for comfort to the people around us. Irish music was bumping and it was obvious that these people had started their night a lot earlier than we had, since more than half of the customers were already drunk.

Now this is where we started to fail. The two of us stood awkwardly by the bar, trying to wave down the bartender. It took at least twenty minutes to squeeze ourselves past the wall of drinkers anchored to the bar and order a Heineken (hint one that the night wasn’t going to go as planned). We then thought it would be a good idea to shuffle deeper into the pub towards the music, but the deeper we got, the more incapable we were of moving. Just when we realized our mistake and tried to turn around, a man stood up from his table and bumped into us, spilling my beer down my shirt (hint two that the night wasn’t going to go well).

Back at the bar, we finally found a safe standing spot off to the side. We both awkwardly sipped our beers as I tried to keep my shirt from sticking to my chest. Conversation was kept to a minimum since the bar was so loud (hint three of the night). We stood there for another ten minutes before determining that we were both too introverted to do a pub crawl by ourselves.

We put our half-finished beers on the bar and made our escape, then decided to take a trip to the market to buy candy, chips, and juice. We ended our night enjoying the quiet of our hostel while browsing through Facebook and laughing at how stupid we had been. One final clue the night was going to be a bust? I don’t even like beer.

—Ashley Tullo