*I began a very detailed diary of what’s been happening here in BCN then realised this may not be the right place for it. So have written something anew as follows…
Barcelona twice in one year. Wow, I must be doing something right, while some get by on doing wrong and it’s that pitch between good and bad, darkness and light that guides this my fourth and longest visit to my first international city.
Again I am centred in the ever enchanting Horta. I see the beauty but this time more than any other the darker underbelly of the city rises to the surface of my peripheral vision, this is quite common with cities that are visited more often, you go beyond ‘tourist eyes’ to the reality but I still love the European aspect of Barcelona, a simple cafe con leche (pr. lechay) and croissant to start the day, usually at Cafe 365.
I begin where I left off in spring, at Encants and the design museum. Inside is a library which is always good, more knowledge, more time trying to find a way forward. The area around is good for hotels, design schools and creative places. The W Hotel is finally visited but it’s a bit disappointing. That said I don’t get beyond reception to have a closer look.
This time I also discover Sarria (it feels like the north but is in fact west) and Badalona (the true north), the beginnings of the Costa Brava. It’s what Penarth is to Cardiff and Foshan is to Guangzhou, an additional feature that’s not part of BCN yet you can still use your library card there and the metro serves the place.
There’s a blend of frustration, intrigue and curiosity at play. My destiny, my unknown exactly that. A season in hell, dog days, a time to be forgotten, a time that is teaching me something but I’m unsure what. I spend so much time trying to unravel the mystery that I forget to enjoy the present. There is beauty in the darkness. Big bubbles, no troubles.
*Ellis, Beggs and Howard video for Big Bubbles, No Troubles (shot in Barcelona, late 80s)