Barcelona; without the Soccer or the Bull-Stabbing

I think of soccer and bull testicles when I think of this city.

I got into a taxi and did a visual tour of the city. Like many historic European cities, Barcelona exhibited a bevy of scenic architecture along the boulevards. It reminded me of Paris, but with one exception: People paraded Cataluña flags as if they were a local sports team. There was flag after flag, as if they were hosting the Super Bowl that weekend. I was wondering why those red-and-yellow striped flags had some variation of triangles. It turns out that some citizens love Barcelona so much that they want to be their own country. It’s like they wanted to be like Canada or something! (Good luck with that.) The local language is not even remotely close to “normal” Spanish. It resembles a mix between Spanish and Portuguese, with a few words cut shorter. That’s the best description I can come up with.

Montserrat Pit-Stop

Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of religious sites. I heard about Montserrat’s historical background and I couldn’t resist taking a quick day trip over there. In the entrance of the Cathedral, there stood four trees brought over from other nations. The palm tree represents martyrdom. The Cyprus tree represents eternal life. The Olive tree represents peace. The Laurel tree represents victory. I like cool symbolism. And whoever monk/abbot/president that bought those trees enjoyed it too.

Four Plants of Montserrat.

When this place was discovered, they found a BLACK MARY! (Or “The Black Madonna”) Nobody could move it from where it stood because it was well-mounted. They tried bulldozing it but it wouldn’t budge. Therefore, they thought long and hard for a solution: they built a Cathedral around it. I guess that’s easier.

The Virgin of Montserrat

Trying New Things in Barcelona

All I wished to do was take up some flamenco lessons and read more fiction novels. I’ve been too black & white in my expressions of  art & literature. Since I have the privilege of being in NYC on a regular basis, I feel as if I should take time to meet more tourists rather than scoff at them. Why? Because they can sometimes add some cool insight about where they came from.  The tourists of Barcelona are the best…perhaps because I knew where to look. Basically, I looked anywhere but La Rambla.

Maya and Matthias are the owners of “The Box,” a bar in the Barri Gotìc district. I merrily consumed a Colombian dish called “patacones,” with melted cheese and guacamole. It was out of this world and everybody should go to Barcelona to try it. They served it with a carajillo! (And if you read my Madrid post, you would know I love carajillos.)

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Colombians & Carajillos. What more can I ask for?

“In Barcelona, our language is a remix,” said Maya the bartender. For instance, one can say mercí instead of gracias. Maya described Barcelona as a relaxing place with a slow pace–this is totally opposite to my tastes, but hey, I’ll make an exception for the land of my colonizers!

Diversity is pretty damn beautiful. ♣

Photo Highlights:

Pre-gamers drinking wine in the subway train.

A bike rally in the Barri Gotíc.

A bike rally in the Barri Gotíc.

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Sagrada Familia. The weirdest thing I have ever seen.

Yeah, that.

Yeah, that.

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