Barcelona was like a fisherman´s fresh catch to me. It is not a different city at all. A feel of Mumbai, Paris and what not, but it has a sensational side to it. It is not tempting, yet derives a persona of its own and a fashion unit of its own. It is not the best party place to be in, yet the night life pulls you and cuddles you tightly with the fantastic fairy lights and elegant illuminations that adorn the city. One city that was a paradox in its own worth. It is not the crown of Spain, but a prince for sure. History has its place embarked in the center of the city, yet the maiden city center of Cataluña has something in store for everyone, from young to old, from locals to travelers, from citizens to immigrants everyone seems to be busy and engaged. Partying is a celebration as well as a source of livelihood in Barcelona. So many outsiders have made this little entertainment package as their bread earner for extra income. This is the good side of Barcelona, there is also a flip side, being a celebrity port, also one of the oldest in Europe, and a cosmopolitan city, Barcelona is a haven for crime as well. Mobile phones, wallets, sling bags might get stolen the moment your eyes may find some interesting view and you ignore your belongings even for a single moment.
Barcelona was one crazy affair with Shreya, Mahesh, Praveen and Quack. This will remain surprising too because I came here to party in Hard Rock Café on my first night hoping to meet a handsome, young man called Raol who I befriended through a common friend, and who was supposed to take me and my friends out for a crazy party, but I ended up meeting and getting mad on the streets of Barcelona, screeching loudly and jumping weirdly after I saw that Raol was none other than my very own Mahesh Prasad, who should be well deserving for a nomination of online Oscar, where you can make two girls believe that a Spanish guy was going to give you the time of your life. He emerged from the bush, like a shock and I lost my senses, because this was totally unexpected. So the adventure began. Our place to stay was unknowingly booked on a hill top where the air was cold and dry, the climb tiring and seemed like a trek, the area like a deep jungle, the trees whispering and the twigs crunching, a haunted path with dim lights, leading up to a restaurant, and a roundabout through a farmhouse, inside which our rooms were situated, next to a stairway, where an old, gigantic and dusty piano held its place, but whose sound was so loud that it might wake up the whole house. The night at Barcelona we spent at the Port, with high class and elegant restaurants, a lit up porch way, ships lined up like soldiers along the dockyard, the luxurious yachts of the celebrities floating on the torrential sea that reflected the lights and little bulbs of the restaurant. The most hilarious part was eating a samosa at the realm of a bridge. I was tempted to buy one, we relaxed at the port with a smoke and a beer, and also sneaking in some weed from a nearby seller, who was kind enough to sell it a bit cheaper than normal. After we purchased some, shit scared that we were possessing something not right, we smoked up along the sea, finished our samosas and got going again through the alleys and wide, expanded roadways of Barcelona. One street bore exact resemblance to Dubai where both the sides of the road were covered with palm trees. It looked artificial yet enchanting. We saw the night life and the night view of some important buildings and got back to our hotel, where the guys smoked up again! Crazy youth life.
A blend of modern design and honored traditions, Barcelona is the vibrant capital of Catalonia in northeastern Spain. Its Mediterranean sunshine, high-quality food, unique architecture and buzzing nightlife make it one of Europe’s most popular destinations. The compact Ciutat Vella (Old City) has some of Europe’s best-preserved Gothic architecture, and Antoni Gaudi’s Art Nouveau buildings have now become icons of Barcelona. From Gaudi’s famous cathedral and the street performers on La Ramblas to the beautiful beaches, there’s more than enough to see and do to fill up a long weekend here. Vibrant and cosmopolitan with a distinctly Mediterranean twist, Barcelona’s energetic vibe is simply contagious. The next day was spend in feeding the pigeons which Quack enjoys, clicking unwanted selfies and travelling crazy with the metro from one point to another, from one station to another, looking for directions on Google maps, finding the essence of the old city, wanting to try street food, limited shopping because of the terror and wrath of Mahesh, the silence and maturity of Praveen, and the cute yet funny Quack being hilarious at every stage and a gentleman who was busy in his own world, like a little mouse, searching for food, noticing the girls and also taking care of the group. I love these trips with groups, time and again it has been proved how company and the journey mattered more than the destination.
The best evening in all these days was spent at the Barcelona beach which is a treasure of breezes, ravishing sea waves and lots of fresh air that filled the space in abundance. Snow white waves splashed on the sun kissed skin colored sands, and turned the air moist, yet rejuvenating. You just had to stand on the podium with wine in one hand and chips in the other, and shout to the wide blue sea to embrace you with full arms. For that one moment I could only hear my heartbeats and breathing sensations. Such positive vibrations filled the empty space around me, making me aware of my existence. We all had so much to do and live. Living each moment to the fullest, this is the learning that I always take away from the beach. We had so much going on inside us, so many sounds and processes, the empty calm space makes us aware of this. Para sailing was being practiced a stone´s throw away, and we watched in wonder as the para-sailors conquered the sea.
The next day we were whirling around the city, our flights got delayed and we had a few more hours to discover some remaining churches, stadiums and the so called tourist attractions in Barcelona. In the morning we covered the essence and then for the whole afternoon it was food afternoon. Shreya and I went crazy hopping from one stop to another, one little alley to another, trying out amazing fishes and delicious slices of roasted meat, ending with scrumptious and creamy English desserts, muffins to go with it, walnut cakes, ham toasts, and chili cutlets, and then the cherry on the cake was fruit punches. At the food festival I got to taste some of the best handmade cheese, honey and meat quarks that we use on bread, spicy and lip smacking. It left me wanting for more. After wards we thought of shopping for must have stuff from Barcelona, like some football souvenirs and porcelain cutlery. This is the specialty here. Football is a definition of crazy and porcelain is the definition of Catalonian art.
Barcelona city life and the hill station feel of Spain due to the accommodation location were two extremes in one trip, but worth remembering, as winter approached, I bade goodbye to Barcelona to surely visit Spain again on another adventure, because #YeZindagiNaMilegiDobara.
Next time with another exciting trip.
Keep travelling, it leaves you amazed.
Picture Credits – Shreya Patwardhan and Rucha Khot
Rucha Sudhir Khot