Am I wrong to say Barcelona hums, rather than shouts of yells, or even ticks? Only few days of knowing it made me rather sure of my opinion that this city is very different than others; its rhythm is of some unknown origin.
The world is churning elsewhere, yet somehow I was lucky enough to escape here, where we have the Santa Maria del Mar and the Picasso Museum, the three Roman Arches and little mercados with fruit tumbling out of them in bright, almost orchestrated movement. And around us people seem contented, never pushy or angry or green, but rather everything just continues on seemingly forever, like one long, perpetual sigh of pleasure.
There are little kids hanging out of strollers sideways, olive skinned and big-eyed. Teenagers making out on park benches and dogs walking, saggy-tongued, in stride with their owners. Adults that look relaxed and sure of themselves, without a phone jammed into their ear; we didn’t see so many burdens in their eyes. Perhaps I am idealizing the city like any awestruck tourist, but must that mean I am wrong?
Maybe you do not hum, Barcelona, maybe I still haven’t figured you out. But I’m starting to see that you are a steady strumming, inspiring both movement and rest; somehow a waltz and a lullaby that fulfills our needs so perfectly, we don’t want to hear anything else.
Highlight Reel for a two-day trip:
- Park Guell; where you’ll be bombarded with color and architecture, city and sea, from all sides.
- Barrio Gotico; for Roman ruins, bombed iglesias, and an inebriating amount of history.
- La Pedrera- Casa Mila; if standing in the center of Gaudi’s masterpiece and looking upward does not impress you, walk the thigh burn-inducing amount of stairs to the rooftop and stand in awe as the city glistens below you.
- Arc de Triomf; because Paris doesn’t have a monopoly on these, than you very much. Built in 1888 for the World’s Exposition, the Barcelona arc is a burnt red and stands erect in the sweet summer humidity, with time moving slower around it.
- La Sagrada Familia; Are you noticing that Gaudi runs the city? Well, for good reason. His still-incomplete basilica is a living and breathing monument that seems to interact with every element, and somehow exists in both past and present.
- Barrio Borne: With streets muy estrechas and architecture worth drooling over, this quarter seems real and relatively untouched.