we left in the dark, our plane ascending until the city became nothing more than a collection of tiny amber lights. everyone around me, including Froggy, dozed as we slid across the sky, but even though i’d slept fewer than four hours the night before, i was too excited to close my eyes.
soon the plane filled with a rosy glow. sunshine at last. in what felt like minutes, a familiar coastline came into view:
this time around, i didn’t cry when i spotted Sagrada Familia from the air. i was practically buzzing with eagerness (or possibly sleep deprivation).
our appointment went well….so well that i left with a grin on my face and a new kind of hope shimmering through me. but i don’t want to write about that now. instead, i will share a little bit of the day that Froggy and i spent in that sun-filled city.
first, we attended to the essential, my long-awaited and much-needed cup of café con leche.
Froggy got fresh-squeezed orange juice, and we shared some of my favorite pasteries, ensaïmadas.
after our mid-morning snack, we went out to wander. as is nearly always the case when Froggy and i travel, we had no real plan. we just let our feet and eyes lead the way. the forecast had called for partly cloudy skies, but instead we got nothing but sun.
here is a bit of what we saw in our nearly five hours of walking:
by the time we’d walked the more than six kilometers to Gaudi’s famed basilica, our legs were aching and our lips dry from dehydration. we found Sagrada Familia still under construction, and i found myself thinking that it was an apt metaphor for our own little “familia”.
i’d wanted to go inside and light a candle for little sun, but the line was long, our throats parched and our bellies rumbling, so we decided to save that for the next trip.
after (far too much) more walking, we finally found a place that served Froggy’s favorite, platos combinados. when our drinks came, there was a lovely little surprise on her can:
here in France, the cans and bottles from that company have lots of different names on them, but we’d never seen one like that. if only i still believed in signs….
finally, we dragged our weary bodies towards Plaça de Catalunya to catch our bus back to the airport. on the way we passed more gorgeousness:
hope, beauty and delight….those are the words i would use to sum up our day there. everyone we encountered was friendly, smiling and helpful. it was such a different world from the grumpy, gray Paris we came back to. Froggy kept commenting on how different i seemed in Barcelona, and i could feel it, too…the at-homeness, the ease. just writing this evokes such longing, the desire to return and never again leave.
it felt as if the city itself understood our feelings…as if it, too, had missed us:
we’ll be back soon, my dear old friend.
(and just a small note for those of you who read here regularly. i’m planning on making most of my future posts and some of my old ones password protected. if you’d like access, just email me. <3)