Two days ago I was thinking “Bloody hell, it’s a long way up these very steep five flights of stairs to my apartment”. Today I am thinking “thank goodness for the stairs” (now known as the pastry/tapas/alcohol combat zone). My self-discipline is facing its toughest challenge yet.
It’s not often I get to a place where I am instantly smitten, but Barcelona is one of those places. Wandering solo for several months straight is addictive and exciting but also gets a bit exhausting, so pausing will be a nice for a while. It’s time to unpack for a few weeks, get familiar with a neighbourhood and immerse myself in a language and culture that I can partially understand.
While Spain’s economy and employment levels are at depressing levels, it is not obvious as a visitor. The place is buzzing with colour and zing with people that have a passion for life. There are cafes tucked into every narrow alleyway, people playing opera music, beaches full of foreigners soaking up the sun, markets, buskers, beautiful art and gorgeous Gaudi architecture. It’s not too big, not too small and with sunlight until nine p.m., the evenings are just perfect for strolling, indulging in tapas or sitting in a bar overlooking the nudist beach. There are few inhibitions in Spain.
Inner city Barcelona apartment living is so different from anything I have known, but already it is intoxicating and has me feeling like I belong. My street is so narrow that I could almost pass a glass of vino to my neighbours. With the intimate views into other people’s apartments, I quickly realised that I had better stop running around in my undies and do something about creating a curtain for my balcony glass door.
I am a morning person but Barcelona is NOT a morning place, with most things not opening until ten a.m. With a typical dining pattern being lunch at two p.m. then dinner about nine p.m., I need a sleep survival strategy. I have to have a plan to get me through until the evening - I think it is time to embrace the afternoon siesta.
I could really get used to pausing.