First Days In Barcelona
How I spent my first days in Barcelona
I spent the plane ride from Amsterdam with two Dutch men, one of whom spoke English. They were taking that KLM 737 to Barcelona for a little holiday. The F1 race was in town. The English speaker said he actually liked American cars. The flight attendant showed no expression as I asked for a beer at 9 a.m. local time. I’m from the states, so for my internal clock it was just past closing time. The first days in Barcelona were going to be hard.
On the descent into El Prat I found myself glued to the airplane window. I was yearning to see the city again. It comes last, on the final approach, and I was almost afraid I’d miss it. Of course, it’s unmistakable. A motley collection of buildings in colors I don’t think you can find anywhere else, but if you can, write me. It goes by rather quick at just under 200 mph.
Been here once before. Last year I took the train from Oviedo and sat next to a nun. I never worked up the courage to ask her why in hell a nun was making her way to a party mecca. She eventually told me there’s a convent outside the city. But even she had to admit: The city’s beautiful.
That it is. The First days in Barcelona I took a little run up Montjuïc one evening, something to get the blood flowing after sleeping off the jetlag and a nice evening of Moritz on the balcony with a roommate. I speed through museums, find art displays dull, but as I reached a vista and looked down on the city, that view demanded pause. And I relented.
Last time, I came with some study abroad friends. I don’t think any other city brought us together more. Some of us were leaving soon, very likely parting forever. We couldn’t have found a better place to share some booze and a heart to heart. Barceloneta Beach is so inviting after dark. And there’s something about sneaking up to the top floor of the W building together and crashing a wedding reception for a hot minute that makes you proud to call someone your friend.
Seriously, though. Try the beach. The planes roll in off the sea and their landing lights point right at you like spot beams for a few seconds when they bank. The Mediterranean laps at the shore like it means no harm. You’ve got to make the company good, but the wine will always be cheap. Saki will come up on the beach. That’s his full title. Saki. No surname. He sells Aurum beer by the can. Buy him one. It’s only a euro. This man’s from Pakistan but he speaks Greek, Spanish and some English, too. He hopped the world and now he’s here and this is how he makes his living. Saki love you, he’ll say. Saki love you. And I’m sure he does. I don’t know if this only happens in Barcelona. I hope it doesn’t.