Meeting Myself | My Family Travels
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If you haven’t seen Barcelona at twilight, you will never really understand the true meaning of the word “beautiful.” I toured Barcelona on a cold, yet refreshing December day. The weather was perfect and the Spanish air was crisp as I strolled along the busy shopping street of Barcelona and thought about time I had in this wonderful city. I remembered how I walked inside the Gothic giant named the Sagrada Familia, with its pointy towers reaching up high into the heavens, with stained glass windows that add calm, religious flavor to the ragged edges of the cathedral. I remembered how I bought myself an FC Barcelona soccer ball, and spent hours playing with it in the Parc Guell. 

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I remembered my dinner at Les Quinze Nits in the scenic Placa Reial, where they prepared me soft, tender pasta with warm and chunky meat sauce, that all came together in a tremendous tingle of taste. Now I thought I’d go out and find a place to watch the soccer match.  

 I stepped inside one small tavern and glanced around. The bar smelled strongly of Brandy and lemon scented rum. Men were enjoying their time: drinking, watching the soccer game, and munching on pigs ears. The unified voices of the people in the bar seemed to be controlled by the game: whenever Barcelona got close to the net, everyone’s eyes were glued directly on the TV, and the fans raised their voices, ready to cheer. And as soon as opposing defense knocked the ball away, the crowd sighed and proceeded on to their conversations. The man sitting to my right was a Barcelona native. He was very elegantly dressed, in a spotless Armani suit that had not one blemish on it. He spoke some English, so I began to chat with him about the game. Through hand motions, facial expressions and smiling we understood each other perfectly. It appeared that words weren’t necessary for our unique interaction!.

 And suddenly, the fans jumped around and yelled “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL,” and the entire city was yet again in high spirits of utter satisfaction. After the immense joy settled down, I returned to the conversation with my newly acquainted amigo. Our talk strayed from the topic of soccer to a more personal level. He told of his life because I was curious to know what life an average Barcelona native leads. He spoke about how he wakes up every morning in a sea of art, culture, and centuries of rich history. His life sounded like the ideal one, and I wanted it. I too wanted to wake up every morning, drink tea with a churro in a nearby local cafe, walk to work past the Sagrada Familia and Montjuic, and go out every evening to a small and cozy bar to drink something refreshing and watch a good old match of futbol. Then my mother came by and picked me up. I waved adieu to my new friend and entered the enchanting Barcelona again.

As I was slowly strolling back to my hotel, I realized that even though these magnificent and unique adventures had only happened hours ago, I already felt nostalgic to them. I remembered each building, statue, fountain and plaza that I saw. I remembered smell of air and sound of city noise. I remembered the man at the bar, who opened a window to a new life for me. And although this happened only a few minutes ago, I remember how away from the main avenue, in an aura of reminiscence, I slipped away to one of Europe’s famous narrow alleyways. 

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