Comprising a population of over 1.5 million lispy-tongued souls, the city of Barcelona (also commonly known as Bar-the-lona to those utilizing the “local lingo”) is widely considered more of a culture, than an actual city itself. As the official capital of Catalonia, a Vatican-esque society within a society, the pride and glory of this habitually-frequented city is the people by which it is inhabited, and the “way of life” which they so passionately promote. From the delicious food, to the incomprehensible Catalan language. From the never-ending siestas, to the ever-present fiestas, it is no surprise this exotic lifestyle attracts millions to its shores each and every year.
For Julie and myself, joined by our temporary travel companions Ben “The Shape of a Bean is a Perfect Shape for a Head,” Katie “Estoy Embarassada,” & Gabe “We Don’t Need Clothes Where We’re Going,” our 5 days in Barcelona, while unforgettable, amazing & whatever other adjective you would like to impart on our time, resembled nothing of the descriptions about which we heard so often in reference to our destination of choice.
Yes, the food was delicious. Yes, the sights were remarkable. And yes, the people were unbelievably friendly. They just weren’t Catalan. Or even Spanish. Or possibly even from the continent of Europe. They were us. Tourists. Compatriots from other nations. Expatriates. Wide-eyed souls with a desire to experience the infamous Catalan culture, but surrounded by a world delivering nothing of the sort.
As my original introduction to this blog has now developed into a semi-depressing post of its own (coming soon cynicists!), I leave you instead with a more-uplifting/light-hearted/time-focused summary of the comings and goings of our time in this Catalan-But-Where-Is-Any-Semblance-Of-Catalan city:
9AM – Wakeup, devour a breakfast inclusive of fresh fruit, fresh baguettes, and some of the most inedible jam since the invention of marmite (or if you prefer a worse death to your taste buds, vegemite).
9:30AM – The Official Julie Soskolne Introduction to Intelligible Spanish
10AM – Join the masses for a late-morning/early-afternoon exploration of “sights to be seen”:
5PM – “Hora de Siesta” (aka “Hora de Euchre y Sangria”) – A multi-hour, nightly event hosted on our “luxury” AirBNB terrace, involving several games of Euchre (feel free to look it up non-Michiganders), in addition to several pitchers of home-made Sangria (a Gabe-concocted combination of red wine & the delicious sweet nectar of Coca Cola). Participants involved Skones, Carpenters and an uninterested Gabe on hold with American Airlines searching for his permanently-misplaced luggage.
9PM – Dinner – Usually delicious, most often shared, generally amazing.
11PM – TBD – Andrew W.K-Esque Partying – May have only occurred on one evening, and may not have involved the “gals,” but still proved that from wherever one may originate, Jessie’s Girl should always be shouted in a louder-than-normal volume. On a side note, if you happen to pass an Indian man holding a 6-pack of “cheap beers” in a dark/remote alley, any inquiries will automatically result in subsequent “Marijuana shhhhhh” offers.
Eat, sleep, repeat.
Before departing to the visual-based memories of our time, I first leave you first with a Katie-inspired section of superlatives:
Onto the pics: