Bienvenido a Barcelona!

Barcelona is one thing, if it is nothing else, and that is: laid back. We heard almost no car honks, hardly any tire screeches and a whole lot of quiet laughter and chatter along the winding warren of streets in The Born (the neighborhood we are staying in).

We were picked up at the airport by one of my former students, Vivi, whose bright sunshine of a personality makes even more sense to me now that I’ve spent a few hours in her city. Barcelona’s sun shines with a warmth that feels like a hug. The shadows cast by the Castilian style architecture are inviting, not cold like they can feel in New York. Here, the multitude of tourists walk hand in hand, slowly, observing the strangely pear shaped trees and swaying palms that dot the flower-tiled streets.

We walked down to a marina and stared at the beautiful boats, monuments dotting the boardwalk and yellow spanish mansions. I love the colors here, although they are not as bright as India’s homes can be, there are still bold splashes of yellow and blue that I find so refreshing from the endless brick and concrete of Manhattan. We stopped in a small restaurant called “Casa Tomasa” and had baby squid, pesto tortellini, and spanish ham over a cervesa (beer) and a Rioja Rose. The food was good, but not mind blowing. I think we parked there for lunch because it was convenient.

We’re staying in a small apartment with a single window that opens out onto a small balcony overlooking Carrer Dels Assaonadors (the street). Our host, Monica (a dark haired, bright eyed Uruguayan-Barcelona resident via The Netherlands), told us that the stalls now housing small shops and Peluquerias (hair salons) used to be where the Spaniards would keep┬átheir horses. I tried to imagine horses and carriages squeezing down these tiny streets. Didn’t seem possible.

Everything is tiny where we are. Our doorway is small, the staircase to our one room flat is small, the kitchen is small, and the beds are small; yet all of it is charming, different, and wonderful. There are doorknobs in the center of the doors! What a treat! There’s always music drifting in from the one window, too.

Although we’ve only been here less than a day, I really feel comfortable here. I’m excited to see what more is to come.

 

April 21, 2015 at 4:23 pm by Natalie Allen