This post is also available in: Română
Because I’m getting ready for my next trip to Spain this time on the south coast, I remembered my short holiday last year in the capital of Catalonia. It was in February, and I remember how excited I was to finally see Barcelona, a city with an exit to the sea, which everyone had seen, only me, such a loving sea and sun, No.
Flying with a low-cost race, the hours we traveled to were not exactly the most normal, so we arrived at night very late or early in the morning, depending on how you like to look at things. For me it was late at night and it was a sleep of death, because I came with a bag of stress and fatigue from behind and I was hoping this holiday would bring me back to the waterline.
The first thing I saw when I got out of the airport was the palm trees. The air was lukewarmed at that very late hour, and the palm trees and the vegetation gave a lush air to the place, I felt already on vacation. On a holiday like those in magazines, at least the palm trees gave me this sensation. The hotel, although in the industrial area of the city, was a 10-minute walk from the beach and the accommodation and services from excellent upwards. Price of extremely decent accommodation. All good and beautiful, Barcelona developed to impress me pleasantly since the first hours spent there.
For the four days we spent there, we had a well-established plan and a whole list of sights to visit. When I go anywhere outside of Romania I like to go with public transport, because it helps me to feel the house, eventually that’s the feeling I’m looking for whenever I go through another part of the planet, see what it would be like if I lived , at least for a while, there.
On the first day of our wonderful incursion, I’m heading for the subway after drinking my morning coffee at a nice bistro near the hotel. I don’t get well on the platform and I notice my wallet’s gone. With the transportation subscription, money and most importantly, paperwork. From the moment I noticed I lacked my wallet, it all turned into chaos. To mention, it was the first time I’d lost my wallet like this, and I rebuilt and rethought every move so that I could figure out when I could have forgotten it somewhere or lost it. I came to the conclusion that I had no place. It was clear that it had been stolen. We immediately appealed to the Metro police which was more than kind but informed us that this is happening very frequently and statistically, thieves are the majority of Romanians. I think he meant gypsies, but he said Romanians. I’ve packed even harder. Not only did I no longer have papers, not only was the whole program messed up because I had to go to the consulate to get a travel permit instead of visiting sights, but all of this was statistically at least due to a Romanian. Yes, I know, you’re going to say I haven’t seen the thief, so I shouldn’t assume. But they do. Because if something bothers me over the size when I go on vacation to other places it’s to meet Romanians there. Especially for this I leave, not to meet Romanians on holidays, change the air, change the language, even pretend for a few days that I am not Romanian (if you want to tell me that I am racist, I confirm that it is so, and proud of it).
We lost about a day and a half to get the travel permit and that’s because we were able to convince those over there not to file a complaint with the police because it was probably going to take another half day.
After this experience of “I am in Barcelona but I feel at home”, I never managed to enjoy the city. For me, Barcelona remained the place full of Romanians, full of Moroccan, full of all the națiile you wouldn’t want to meet in a dream that steals your stuff. That town where you don’t feel safe on the street. That city where I certainly wouldn’t want to live.
Of course the rest of the time I visited the Sagrada Familia, the harbor, the wax museum, I spent even one day walking on the beach. The day spent on the beach was the most soothing of all, the one that put things in perspective, the one that made me think that maybe vacations should be lived a little differently, not in the horse’s rush, not running from one stone to another, from a historic monument to Another, getting home more tired than I left. Maybe this thing goes to pension or goes done for those who don’t necessarily want to relax. I have since taken the meaning of the word holiday more seriously, rather, make the difference between holidays and travel.
In the future
Returning to Spain and Barcelona, although the location is splendid, although I know many people who are in love with her, for me, my experience has made her mark. I’ll never know if I would have liked Barcelona under other conditions.
Not long ago, another journey awaits me, still in Spain, this time further south. I go with the hope that the experience will be different, with a different approach to that in Barcelona. I give Spain another chance because it has a beautiful coastline, a perfect climate and deadly palm trees.
This post is also available in: Română