Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barcelona, Living a Dream

      A few months ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the extraordinary city of Barcelona.  Although, I ate many of the delightful and appetizing local food, the only thing that left me in complete awe was a medieval neighborhood full of entangled, obscure streets, full with astonishing, complicated building architectures.  As I strolled through them, I found myself living a dream.  Here is my fantasy:
  No matter how many times I travel to the ancient city of Barcelona, Spain, I always find myself immersed in a magical and amazing story.  My mind wonders uncontrollably, and influenced by the fascinating architecture, it takes me back in time.  I am the protagonist of my own fictional adventure. 
      Walking through the cluttered streets of the “Barrio Gotico”, I feel like a time traveler.

The “barrio”, or neighborhood as we would call it, is a labyrinth of narrow streets, each one different than the next, each one offering a new original architecture causing amazement to the eyes of the hungry travelers that curiously roam through them.  I imagine that seen from high above, we look like little lost ants.  I keep walking.  And I keep taking pictures, lots of them, always from the ground up.  It is so much more interesting to look up than ahead.  A myriad of small balconies align themselves up and down the thousands of antique buildings that form the old neighborhood.  Some of them are beautifully decorated with multicolored flowers sprinkled here and there.  And some of them just lie there, nude, with their long, open windows welcoming the fresh breeze of the city’s late summer wind.  

    To me, they are just like silent, old witnesses of the present day and past centuries.  I wonder what they have seen.
      Just for an ethereal moment, I am transformed into a medieval damsel waiting to be rescued by her handsome knight who proudly rides in a perfectly white horse.  I feel Dulcinea in a Don Quixote novel, required reading for anybody remotely interested in Spanish culture.  An image interrupted by the incessant coming and going of annoying tourists who roam around trying to find the true Barcelona.
     At night, the neighborhood changes.  It suffers a metamorphosis, and the ancient buildings witness how the night creatures come out.  People, natives and foreigners, turn to alcohol to have a good time.  Hundreds of immigrants come out of the shadows looking to make a couple of easy Euros by selling products, most of them illegal. The Barrio Gotico changes its innocent semblance, and the multicolor version of the daylight gives way to the lugubrious color of the night.  And for the first time, I was afraid.  I did not like what I experienced.  Personally, I prefer being Dulcinea in medieval Catalunya, accompanied by her brave knight.  And it is here where my memories of Barcelona lie.  



pilar creus said...


Medifast Side Effects said...

You sure took some great pictures, thanks for sharing them.

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