[Hey everyone! I’m off to the mountains and won’t have internet access for a few days. In the meantime, here is a post I wrote a while back about being utterly lost on the streets of Barcelona.]
I arrived in Barcelona at 9 a.m. after a twelve hour journey across the proverbial pond. I caught a cab to our lovely little hotel right in the heart of the city. I drank cafe con leche with my husband in the sleek cafe. I tried to take a nap.
The sounds of the city beckoned from below. I opened the window, letting it all in. Car engines and horns and the never ending noise of motorcycle exhausts. At home in Colorado it was snowing but the air in Spain in October was still hot and steamy. I couldn’t wait any longer.
I studied the map closely and then stuffed it deep in my purse. I’m good with directions. My brain absorbs the patterns of streets and landmarks and one glance at a map is typically all I need. I headed out the door with stiff legs and a head that was spinning from far too many hours in a pressurized cabin.
I pointed myself towards La Rambla, the famous shopping area known for tourists and pickpockets. I never made it. Barcelona’s maze of winding narrow streets sucked me in. Everything about the city was vivid. Everything about it was loud. Not just the cars and motorcycles but also the people, standing in front of their stores, yelling to each other across the tiny roads. These were not the demure Europeans that I had known from a summer spent in the Austrian Alps. These people were on fire.
I wandered the streets for hours, getting farther and farther from my intended destination. Every fiber of my body was exhausted from the flight and the lack of sleep and the excitement of it all. I got lost. Over and over I got lost.
And I loved every moment of it. I soaked up every bit of it.
We would go on to make some pretty incredibly memories on that trip to Spain. We’d see beautiful and important places and eat our weight in seafood and tapas and sandwiches made of manchego and jambon on perfectly crusted bread. We’d drink rioja and cava and cafe con leche on rooftops and sidewalks and terraces overlooking the green countryside up the coast. We’d hike and run and wander. We’d surely end up getting lost again but nothing topped that first day, roaming the streets alone with a foggy head and the city swirling around me.
[A housekeeping note: My Facebook button is broken. I’m working on getting it fixed (the IT department is currently in Moscow …). In the meantime, you can follow along on Facebook by clicking here and liking my page. Thanks!]