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Published: March 1st 2014
When I returned to Barcelona it was time to change my living situation. I liked to mix it up especially in this diverse environment and feel the different energies. Now better because I skinned down and began to travel lighter with only a small pack. I found a hotel closer to the sea and in the old part of town called the Gothic quarter.
Back in the day they had built fortress walls to surround the city and protect its inhabitants. The streets here were super narrow and one would brush shoulders with strangers. There walking was the way to move or on a small bicycle. I would weave and wander through the meticulously beautiful stone mazes of ancient Catalan culture. The midsummer heat and humidity blazed me forward to tapas and or other tantalizing tantric titillation.
I went on a few walking tours to soak in the energy that I couldn't pin down. I would walk everywhere. There was an elusive ambience that I wanted to embrace. Just when I felt like I had her figured out and was going to capture her; she floated away. She couldn't be pinned down because of her sleek changeability and transience.
She did not want nor need to be understood. She was freedom.
The Catalans had been suppressed at a time. But the city itself always held a rich history of being open, fun and free. Pablo Picasso went to school here and this is where he opened up sexually and experimented with love and freedom. Whereas France was simply love and light the city's theme here was more encompassing and peppered with wildness, anarchy and abandon.
On one tour we went to a quiet church courtyard. There the gray walls still had chunks of stone missing. It was a monument to death. The stories of loss during World War II were heart breaking.
On another tour we walked around to find the rebel styles and alternate ways of living. The anarchy tour. There was a mural that depicted lovers on a tandem bicycle suspended in the air and pedaling into the clouds. It was like someone had painted my dreams.
It was my first glimpse into a culture that is acutely aware of its history and at the same time treasures its happiness and free time. I felt like a lot of older souls would choose Barcelona to live because of its progressive and energetic thinking.
The buzz and energy was constantly sparking electricity through myself and all around. Yes, many people enjoy it for the party scene (the clubs and pubs are incredible) but there was also a real truth to it. To being there.
I recall sitting in a taxi with a Brazilian girl on the way back to my hostel one night. We just looked at eachother and had to pinch ourselves. Are we dreaming or are we this lucky to be alive right now? Traveling through an epic metropolis like Kings and Queens enjoying the fast fleeting moments like watching glitters of sliver and gold bounce off a disco ball or float from the sky.
Yes it was the freedom. I had found it. I had to work for it; but I had found it. And it tasted so good!
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