Barcelona has been a lot of fun. It’s definitely massive and awe-inspiring and I have a lot to say about the city; but it also comes from having been to Portugal (Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, Algarve) and Madrid. I have a way of describing each city but I will save that for a future project, a travelogue of this journey that I’m on, and so I won’t just say it yet. I’ve already written an e-mail about it to a friend so I know it’s there somewhere. The foundation of that future book project is already laid out, I just have to build on it and I will. But I’m still on this journey. I’ll return to it soon.
I think the most important thing Barcelona gave to me was a chance to visit so many Gothic churches and going to so many churches gave me an opportunity to sit down on one of the pews and give thanks to whatever spirit of creation brought us here into this world. I’m not a religious person but I do believe in some higher power — be it science, fate, a particular god or gods, or something deep inside of me — and Barcelona gave me a chance to give thanks to that spirit.
In Madrid, I found myself in Monasteiro de Las Descalzas Reales in Plaza Martin and offered a similar prayer. I wrote about it last week but my trip to Madrid were mostly museums and parks. Here in Barcelona, it was church after church after church, mostly for the Gothic architecture and design but also because I’m almost a month in of my spectacular little adventure and I guess I gravitated towards a place of worship — a sacred place — so that I could find a time to reflect and go inwards so I could offer my thanks.
Barcelona has not been the most welcoming of cities, not in comparison to how I felt welcomed by Portugal and Madrid. Barcelona has kept me on my toes and always reminded me that I was a tourist and that I was here to marvel at its beauty. In there, I found a sort of humility and an eagerness to put this whole trip in proper perspective. I am just one individual on his personal little journey and means nothing to this grand and magnificent city who is home to millions and is visited by hundreds and thousands of individuals, who are on their own magnificent journey as well.
It is humbling and it puts things into perspective and I needed that.
But because of it, I also learned that I am on a journey. I am reminded that I am on an adventure and decided to take a little more risks than I did when I was in Madrid and in Portugal. They were not always successful but it came with stories. There are stories here and I found them and I am bringing them back with me and I will give them life.
If I have any say in how my life will be after this trip, I will insist that this will not be my only time to visit Barcelona. I will return, for sure. There are debts to be paid here and there are reasons to return. You can’t visit Barcelona for a week and feel like you know the city.
This is merely a first impression. There is so much more to come, for sure.
Adeu de Barcelona… for now. I will return. And let’s see what happens then.
Until then, thank you for the memories. I know exactly what to do with them.