I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

January 13th, 2011

¡Olé Barcelona!

[audio:http://www.monasmusings.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/10-Malagueña.mp3|titles=Malagueña]Listen to a little Barcelona while reading..


It only occurred to me on our last afternoon in Barcelona that my first name is of Spanish origin. The thought made me swish my skirt, click my heels, and demand a kiss. Something about this place brought out the saucy in me. It’s the drama dripping off iron balconies and lolling on luxury yachts. I could taste it in the salty food, feel it in salty air, and see it in salty people: heavy, drooping brows and deep, dark eyes. I found it intensely interesting and wished for a little Spanish blood myself. Being named after your father-who-was-named-for-a-singing-heartthrob-named-‘Ramon’ (by-a-mother-of-French-and-German-origin) doesn’t count; I longed to spice up my ancestry.

Though a bad cold confined me to “The AC” most days, my Honey brought me out into the fun and the sun after work so that feisty Barcelona could revive me. We did LaRambla right away (it’s a law) and ate our outdoor paella dinner amidst a horde of passing tourists. Our game of “does-that-couple-match?” kept us cuddled in conspiracy until a street performer set up shop on the walk just before us: his transformation from man to ‘tree’ making him one of LaRambla’s outrageous living statues.

Captivated by the vibrant nightlife, we shrugged off the late hour and headed for a 9:00 p.m. guitar concert by Pedro Javier González at Santa Maria del Pi. Always my protector, Dale negotiated pre-show passage into the church for me while he and all the other ticket-holders waited outside. I followed a funny little man who understood only one word of English: “toi-let”. He led me down a labyrinth of gloomy stone corridors; every footstep an echo. From the decrypted bathroom I texted my captain: ‘how do I get back?’

The concert consisted of six strings and a cathedral ceiling. I loved it but Dale became it. He brooded like a real Spaniard, completely engrossed in the performance, oblivious to my stare. I first learned that musicians do that (wrap themselves in a bubble opaque to everything but the music) while watching nineteen year-old Dale play his guitar thirty-three years ago. I appreciate his passion even more now than I did then.

After buying our CD and getting it autographed, we made our way through cobbled alleys going every which way off town squares, still full of activity close to midnight. I don’t think Barcelona ever goes to sleep — and no wonder – the quixotic ambiance of this Mediterranean city makes a person amorous. We strolled through shops and shadows until Dale finally shut the hotel door behind us — and smiled. I grinned back. If extending romance late into the night is what Catalonia is all about, I thought, then throw out the clock and toss off all doubt…

I gotta be Spanish… ¡Olé!


For more pictures of fascinating Barcelona visit Mona’s Musings on Facebook.

Hint of Romance

Everything in marriage tastes better with a little hot sauce on the side.

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  1. Bri Z. says:


    I looked at all your pics and read your post while listening to the musical samples of Barcelona you supplied… I was transported! It looks so WARM there! I’m glad you got to go out and LIVE Barcelona.

    I think I’ll add a little hot sauce to dinner tonight . . . ;)

  2. Love this entry, what beautiful descriptive writing! Thank you for bringing us readers along for a taste of your grand adventures!

  3. Sara Lyn says:

    It seems to me I remember some different stories of Barcelona… :) Reading your description here made me more curious about Barcelona. I’ve never had great desires to travel more than a few places, but this whets my appetite for maybe a little more. What an adventure for the two of you to travel and see all these beautiful sites. And I identify a little, I think, with what you said about watching a musician get into music. I love watching my musician. And it’s so bonding to indulge in passions that we share, like music. Now I’m hankering to go to a good concert with my husband….

  4. Heidi says:

    Lovely description. My favorite part was the bathroom escapade, as it reminded me of my descent into the darkest depths of Notre-Dame Cathedrale de Paris for my own bathroom excursion. And the guitar concert seems like it must have been lovely.

  5. Valerie M. says:

    What a fun place to be. I have some nieces in Barcelona (my ex-husband’s nieces, but they still call me “tia”/aunt) and I always wanted to get over to visit them.

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