Valencia – Barcelona – home

This was a weekend of travel.  Of packing up and leaving my temporary home in Valencia and catching a coach to Barcelona (there was some kind of disruption on the rail network which I was keen to avoid).

A view from the coach

I was a little anxious about Barcelona.  Every day for a fortnight, I’d watched the evening news on TV with my hostess.  Every day for a fortnight the situation in Catalonia had been top of the agenda, for a good twenty minutes or so.  There were pictures of massed placards, of disaffected locals chuntering volubly into microphones, of city fountains running in Catalonia’s colour of yellow.

Yes! It’s time.

I arrived in a city where everyone was enjoying a normal sunny Saturday, Spanish style.  There were flags and posters certainly, but mainly concentrated in various hotspots.  Catalonia’s been keen on nationalist flags for years in any case. What was (not) going on?  ‘You’ve been watching Telecinco?’ howled Emily and Miquel, leaving me in little doubt that this less-than-even-handed commercial channel is the Daily Mail of the Spanish airwaves.

I don’t feel qualified to comment on what’s going on in Catalonia.  But it does seem an awful lot like Brexit.  Nobody is going to be happy whatever happens.  Families and friends are divided.  Hatred is legitimised.  It’s a mess.

Still, I was there just to catch up with Emily and Miquel before flying home.  To join the crowds of locals enjoying the warm autumn weather, calling in for a drink at a bar every now and then, before later, much later, having a convivial meal in a thoroughly convivial restaurant.

Dancing in the street in Gràcia on Saturday evening.

On Sunday, a bit more of the same, with Miquel’s family this time, before flying back to a windy Leeds, where the temperature was a mere 23 degrees colder than it had been in Valencia in the middle of the week.

Barcelona skyline from Miquel and Emily’s flat, Can you spot la Sagrada Familia?

And this week?  I’m doing as little as possible.  Exhaustion has set in.

15 thoughts on “Valencia – Barcelona – home”

  1. There was already much talk about the Spanish Brexit when I was in Barcelona three years ago for a choral week. It’s true, the pro & contra sides were VERY animated, to say the least. But since we literally understood nothing and our partners’ English wasn’t the best either (their French wasn’t up to much non plus), we all decided to agree to maybe disagree… since we didn’t know!
    Here is to a weekend of doing absolutely nothing at all…. Enjoy – you deserve it!

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  2. I bet you’re exhausted! What an epic trip, and so much accomplished. I was struck by this–“Families and friends are divided. Hatred is legitimised. It’s a mess.” You could, of course, be talking about the US, too–these are times that try our souls . . .

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  3. It really is soul-destroying, isn’t it? Hard to look forward to more positive times. I however, have indeed accomplished. And my lazy week didn’t work out to be quite as lazy as I’d hoped. Ah well …..

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