Oh, where to begin? I feel like there are words swimming around inside and I don’t know how to get them out. I’m inspired and overwhelmed. Barcelona is a wonderful city and I’m falling in love with it. A little bit sad that I haven’t seen much and that I’m leaving in two days. I feel like there is still so much to see, and yet, I’m completely okay with how I’ve chosen to spend my time. Yesterday, I was able to navigate my way from the airport to the area that my hostel was in, with no complications. No beds were available for last night, so I left, disappointed but not defeated. I ended up finding a cafe, where I enjoyed some free wifi, cafe con leche, and a croissant. I found a hostel with a bed available on eurocheapo.com and then headed that way to drop off my stuff. I was struck by how easily I was navigating my way through the city on the metro, but then it occurred to me that I’ve been on public transit in a lot of cities now, and should be able to read a map and find my way. My, how we change. There was a time when I relied on those around me to help me find the way. I think it took me a good solid three years to be comfortable finding my way around Chicago. That wasn’t that long ago, either. Strange. These days I’m pretty comfortable finding my way in new cities, which is a blessing and I’m thankful for that comfort on days like today. Anyway, found my way to my new hostel, dropped off my bag, and set off on an adventure.
I don’t know what I imagined this trip to be like. Well, actually, I imagined that everywhere I would go people would find me interesting and want to spend time with me. I pictured myself rolling up at the hostel and making friends immediately. Not the case. My hostel was empty when I arrived, and so I spent an afternoon by myself. Later than evening, I did have a good conversation with the girl working the reception desk. She gave me some insight on what to expect on my first night in Barcelona and did her best to point me in the right direction. It was pouring when I left my hostel, but I found an umbrella pretty quickly, and made a friend moments later. I spent the evening following him around, not really doing much of anything, besides laughing at each other’s attempts to speak one another’s language. We parted ways, with the promise of meeting up the following night, but I’m not going to try and meet up with him and I doubt he’ll be there either.
My first thought this morning when I woke was of my friends back home and I began to miss people, so I went to where I know I’ll always have a friend. I found a Big Book meeting ten minutes from my hostel and found other travelers like myself, but from Sweden. Also, several locals and a dose of serenity. Just what I needed. We went for fellowship afterward, which I’m so grateful for, because I made a friend, and we spent several hours this afternoon exploring. She encouraged me to rent a bicycle and we headed over to Las Ramblas to explore it’s many secret passageways. It was wonderfully sunny for a bit, but the clouds came in and the rain came down, and so we tucked ourselves away in a cafe and enjoyed some tapas and conversation. It was a lovely day and it gave me the strength that I needed to make it through another night alone in this city. Also, it was SO awesome to ride a bike in Barcelona. I want to ride one in every city I go to on this trip and I would not have rented one here, had it not been for my new friend.
I moved hostels today and now I’m staying at a hostel that is the exact opposite of the one I was at last night. There are 150 beds in this hostel, an indoor pool, a gym, an outdoor pool, and a terrace with a bird’s eye view of La Sagrada Familia. There is a bar, a pool table, and lots of rowdy foreigners. I’m guessing it gets pretty crazy in here at night, so I’m sure tonight will be an interesting experience. Hopefully I’ll make a friend or two.
So far the worst part of this trip has been my packing job. I did not pack nearly enough warm clothes and I wish I had packed my damn tennis shoes. There is a gym at this hostel and for some reason a run sounds amazing right now. Oh well. I’m gonna drink coffee and eat chocolate instead. What a life.