I don’t remember how many of us went to Barcelona after our final exams but I think we were in 5 cars, 6 people in each – cramped, squeezed, sweaty but really looking forward to a good break after a week long studies! Hmm…what can I say about this city…in fact there is so much to say about it that I am confused about what I should say first.
Barcelona is a second city after Mumbai that never sleeps. Life swings high through the day and night and along with it swing people, tide and its festivals. What I remember the most is its vibrant city life and the connection it made to the city I live in called Pune that I brought back home with me. Since my title says “Tales of Barcelona”, I think I should start with them.
In the previous para, I mentioned about some connection I got back home from Barcelona. Well the connection has nothing to do with the people, neither the culture and nor the city. The connection is with the enormous amount of mopeds that Barcelona has! Mopeds seriously rule the streets and alleys of this city. They have huge parking lots and lanes for mopeds. I was quite surprised because this was the first time I ever saw any city outside India which has such a huge moped population. I got so nostalgic that I missed mine from home. Since you can own a moped after you turn 16 while you can drive only after 18 years of age, the moped suits and whole bunch of youngsters in the city. The same story is duplicated in Pune. I am not sure of its statistics about how good or bad it does to the city but for me, it was some fact that made this city stand out from the rest.
Mugged in the Sleepless City
Well since we reached Barcelona late that evening and June being high season for tourist, we had no chance of finding accommodation and that too, a cheap one since all of us were students. After a 2 hours search, we gave up the idea of finding a place and decided to party all night and crash at the beach or in our cars for the time being till we got something for the next day. Everything sailed smooth, we partied hard all night, some of us slept in the car while some hit the beach and some benches around in the area. Until morning everything looked alright till I heard some commotion around. Since I was sleeping in the car with my windows rolled up, I came to know about the incident a bit late. My friends Elena and Cherry rose early in the sluggish hours of the morning to take a walk along the beach. Before they knew, they were mugged my a few youngsters. Cherry lost her money and the most important document she could ever lose, her passport! All of us came out of our vacation and party mood and realised how serious this was and how seriously we should find a place to stay that night.
As I am writing this about Barcelona, I feel a very strong longing to visit this charming city. Not that I spent more than 3-4 days there, but just the city and the experience we had, makes me want to go back to it. I miss all the friends I travelled with, I miss how jugglers juggled on the streets in the middle of a frenzied wild night, I miss the huge serving of paella, the Red Bulls we had to keep up through the hotel-less night, the sight of the weird church Sagrada Familia…..just everything about it!