I arrived in Barcelona around 4pm and immediately realised I was wearing too many clothes.
It is that Spring-time feeling!
Barcelona streets were full of people in shorts and teeshirts. I was wearing boots, a jumper and my black winter coat. I wondered why I had thought it OK to leave the house wearing so much black? Gradually I realised that most if not all of the summery people were tourists. You don’t get so many of them in Granollers!
First stop was the Venus cafe in Carrer Avinyo in the Barrio Gotico
Very nice waitress gave me a menu in English but then spoke in Castellano. Saturday is one of my Spanish days and I needed to practise before going to the tango workshop. I try to speak Catalan on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Castellano on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays. It is hard and it does confuse me but I can’t see any other way to keep both languages on the go. And people here are adept at switching mid conversation so I also need the skill of making rapid changes.
The tango workshop was good. It was wonderful to dance again after a year. When I was learning Lindy Hop I found it frustrating how little attention was given to making the ‘connection’ between leader and follower. They do talk about it but you need a tango class to really go in depth into how this communication is central to the dance, and to life.
Gisela and Alejandro in Sala Arditi ….. lovely teachers
In between classes we went to a little bar called Bodega La Palma, near my first flat in Barcelona
We got back to my friends flat around 3am – very late for me these days. She lives in the famous Plaça de George Orwell otherwise known as Plaça del Trippi or Trippy Square. It is very noisy and the mixture of drunk tourists and out of their heads locals make this a difficult place for people to live. I read that this is now on the tourist map as somewhere exciting to visit but coming home everyday to screaming groups of half naked teenagers, red-eyed staggering zombies and having to step over vomit and piss as you open your door is no fun for locals. There are police cameras and the odd police van but nothing really has changed the atmosphere in the years I have known the place. The shouting and screeching went on till nearly dawn but I slept through it, tired by city energy.
Only a few streets away it is quieter and calmer
I have favourite places in this barrio of Barcelona and they always draw me with magnetic force even when I don’t intend to visit them.
One of these is the Church of Sant Just i Pastor
Today when I went in there was a Sunday service taking place. I stood at the back and listened to the priest speaking in Catalan. I understood much of it and noticed for the first time how similar it is to Latin. For a few moments I could imagine how it might be to be in Rome and hear Latin spoken as a living language all around me
I am not part of any Christian religion but I love this church and often came here seeking peace when I first was staying here.
It is very rare for me to visit this part of Barcelona and not come into the church.
The square outside is very pretty too
Walking up to Placa Catalunya there were human castles rising and falling – not literally falling, fortunately I have never seen one collapse although I know it happens and I can’t watch without worrying that this will be the day. One of the towers wobbled a lot but remained strong
‘Born to make a pine-cone’ It means lots of people coming together to make something strong. When some human castles are created, the surrounding people will all form a pinya to help support the structure. I’ve never seen one that big but I’ve heard they can fill a square.
Last goodbye to the Barcelona skyline just before I go down into the station
On Sunday there are fewer trains going to our nearby station so I had to get off at Granollers Centre and walk home, carrying again my hot coat and jumper. but at least it meant I could stop off for a cooling drink of Orxata with a dollop of coconut icecream. The first of the season
Sign seen at the rail station in Passeig de Gracia.
This is the sort of confusion my brain has to deal with!