Spending 5 days in Barcelona and 4 days in Glasgow, after over 2 years without a holiday was a sweet relief. It sure helped to blow some cobwebs to the side that had been built up when a 5 week job turned into 2 years of long hours and not a lot of room for life.
Barcelona in particular had been a long held ambition of mine. For some reason Spain in general has never been on the radar for me, but since the 1988 Olympics the city of Barcelona has been drawing me in. Something about those Gaudi buildings, the streets, the football club left an imprint on my mind from a young age. Life though always had me going in other directions and destinations.
When I finally got there the city did not disappoint. The weather was every bit as good as it was in Glasgow. One morning of rain that delayed me going out as early as I could have but other than that more blue skies and warm temperatures to enjoy the city with. When I forgot to do something about my sim card before I left for Spain, I used the rain delay to spend extra time indoors to enjoy the wifi to better plan my day's iternary. Not that it worked to good effect on that particular day. I arrived at Parc Guell to enjoy the Gaudi mosaics at 12:30ish climbing up the hills and steps in 27C only to discover if I wanted to enjoy that part of the Parc I would have to wait until 8pm...well no, paitience isn't a virtue of mine when there is so much of the city to see, and so little time. The best laid plans of mice and men....I usually work better on spontanaetity when in strange cities.
One of my favourite places in Barcelona, when so many of the tourist spots seemed to be overwhelming busy was a chance discovery off Las Ramblas.
It was actually away from the hustle and bustle of this area, just up one of the side streets that I found my favourite place in the city to chill. I'm an explorer my nature, I like to get lost in strange places in order to find my way around, It was on one those let's get lost and explore, that I came across this area.
The next day you see a man the siting next to the pigeon, we were chatting away for half an hour, my Spanish was a little better by this stage, still struggling but between my bad Spanish, and his slightly better English, I was finding out a little about his life story and how he ended up coming from Morocco and settling in Barcelona. You don't get too much of that in the tube in London. Everyone is always on their phone in their own little world, not even wanting to interact with much in the way of eye contact. In this little oasis in the city of Barcelona though, noone brought their phones out. they were either just chilling in silence happy to be away from the buzz of the city, having something to eat or drink in a small restaurant to the right just out of viewpoint from this photo above. Playing chess with giant pieces on the slabwork, or chatting to old and new friends.
When in Barcelona, explore. Beyond the tourists hotspots the true city hides little gems.