Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Memories on Leaving Barcelona ...

Perhaps the best thing about this trip, besides seeing Mary Lou and meeting Salgrada Familia for the first time, was I finally understood that for me, travel is all about the people I meet on the way ... like the lovely New Jersey family I shared breakfast with before leaving or the Finns who shared breakfast conversations with me on the previous days. It was about talking with the lovely young men on reception duty at AC Marie Hotel while we waited for my taxi, the hotel where Mary Lou stayed with Al, a hotel I would recommend if you're looking for some place easy to stay in Barcelona.

It's about kind taxi drivers and interesting travelers, it's about finding a really excellent book I've wanted forever written in English in a city where English is the language of the foreigner. It's about cafes and restaurants with staff who are friendly and who make a space for the stranger in their world for a while.

It is about photography and the buildings that invite you to fall truly madly deeply in love with them, and it's about having the chance to observe other cultures while recognising that you too are another.

It's apologising for my New Zealand English while being happy that I am from New Zealand, and it's about bringing back stories that make other people want to travel ... or sharing with those who can't, won't or no longer travel.

Sitting here in an airport cafe, having arrived far too early but prepared for it with my huge book, my laptop and a head full of words ... these are my thoughts on leaving Barcelona.


Stella Stopfer said...

Once you strip Barcelona from all circumstances, then you really get to enjoy it. The atmosphere, the people, the architecture...whatever makes your heart beat faster. I love Barcelona and hope to come back next summer. It's true, in the end I always return to Spain because of the people.
And, I just have to say that I like the way you write and your work as a photographer. Great job!

Di Mackey said...

Thanks Stella. Lovely to find your comment here.