I’m the first to admit I’m a small town girl so I was initially a little intimidated by the city’s hum, but then we walked through its ancient narrow streets, exploring the back alleys that looked like scenes out of a gothic movie, washing hanging above, little balconies with potplants on them, ancient walls and new graffiti, and I got into the rhythm.
We spent a lot of time just wandering about the back streets, behind the tourist-tat-filled ones and sitting at street cafes, drinking ice cold beer, eating tapas, watching people. One day we wound our way through a narrow alley toward Barcelona Cathedral, confused by the ever-loudening rock music. Popping into the sunshine of the cathedral square, we were met by a stage made of a double-decker bus on which a Spanish rock band were rocking to a large audience of Spanish youths. To the left, some fabulous wall art, to the right, the cathedral herself – beautiful, ancient, intricate.
We stayed and rocked for a bit and then went into the cathedral, her thick stone walls blocking out the noise, her air thick with hundreds of year’s of people’s prayers. I’m not particularly religious but here, in this cavernous building with its many beautifully decorated, gold-bedecked little chapels, I was stunned into silence. I felt like the very air I was breathing contained so many hopes and dreams, mine included. Mainly the shattered ones, although, I’m sure the fulfilled ones were there. I was overcome by sadness and I cried, big, fat tears, the kind that drip off your face and land in your lap, for all the lost souls.
I lit candles in the courtyard outside with the pretty geese and I watched their flames flicker, little lights, symbols of warmth and love and hope and I breathed again, the warm air of Barcelona. Afterwards, anyone watching would've seen three girls disappearing down the side street to find the hidden coffee shop in which to drink carajillos, write postcards and watch life pass us by.