I am very behind in keeping up with my blog. Jet lag (or I like to think of it as Jet Launch, only because I’m ahead six hours) has gotten the best of me. I also love to walk, and am making up for years of not being able to walk as much as I used to. When I lived in Denver, I walked everywhere and knew the public transportation back and forth. In Highland Mills, you can’t get by walking places, unless you’re going to Jay’s and only need a sandwich.
When I got to Las Ramblas, it was like being on 16th Street in Denver again. But very different. Highly pedestrian, street performers, mainstream shops, and vendors. Lots of tourists. It was wider, and had more trees, and of course, the buildings did not match. It was a comforting flashback to be on Las Ramblas, which quickly turned into its old annoyance of being surrounded by tourists, and tourist traps.
Before I ventured to Las Ramblas, I went to MUHBA, Museu d’Historia de Barcelona. I thought it would be best to go back in time, first. It’s funny, there was a sense of reverence after traveling below the city to see the ruins. I want to call them Roman ruins, but really, I feel confused because it seems like a lot of different people had an effect on the shaping of Barcelona. Visigoths. Visigoths makes me think of playing hours of Age of Empires.
Anyway, yes, a sense of reverence. It wasn’t crowded, but everyone spoke in whispers. I don’t mind that, of course, but it was strange. And then, the most wonderful thing happened; I started sneezing. My nose started to run. I realized I never transferred a pack of tissues to my day bag. So there I was, in the ruins of ancient Barcelona with snot falling all over my face, trying, in vain, to discreetly sniff it back in.
It was so awesome. I will never be able to tell you about the history I learned, but I can tell you that I will never forget to keep a pack of tissues in my bag.
Afterwards (meaning, I found a bathroom and grabbed a wad of toilet paper to tend to my nose) I wandered and came upon La Catedral de Barcelona. A man was making giant bubbles (he wasn’t blowing them, haha)—note the bubble in the photo below. I’m pretty sure there is a unicorn on the facade of this church. See for yourself:
Here is a generic photo. I can’t keep myself from taking these. I won’t include the awkward selfie I tried to take—NO, I will not buy a selfie stick damnit!
I didn’t go inside. I didn’t know if I needed a cover-up and I didn’t have one. Instead I wandered through a flea market in the plaza. It was hilarious. They were selling Creedence Clearwater and Bob Dylan records. A man in the plaza was playing his guitar and singing… I’m Yours. Yes, the song by Jason Mraz. Later this evening on the roof of Casa Batllo, they set the mood with Frank Sinatra.
Right now, a group of people are singing “Happy Birthday”. They are definitely from the UK because now they are singing something that sounds like “We wish you a merry Christmas.” I passed this group of people heading to my apartment. They are at the bar at the end of the street, and they are having a jolly old time.
Hysterically enough, they are now singing Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.
Now a group of American boys are talking about their food, “Dude, that shit was so bad!”
These little events just proved that there is no such thing as “alone”—it’s some stinky illusion you feel when you just want something more in your life, or something is missing. You just have to go out and do something about it. And looking at the ancient ruins, there is a connection there too—no one wanted to completely cover that up. There was a time where everyone was invested in destroying, and demolishing, and conquering and rebuilding. But then it seems we all reach a point where we want to preserve a little piece of the past. Why? Barcelona is Barcelona because of its past. The history is what shaped the culture, and the present is what continues to shape its culture. The same goes for people. We are who we are because of our past. We have reverence for our past, we have to respect what has happened to us, and see how it has changed and shaped us into what we’ve become.