Have you ever been somewhere outside of home that you actually felt at home? I am not talking about just because of great hospitality or because you are loving the city. I am talking about feeling at home because the things going on in this place are as if you were at home? I have no clue if I am making sense or not. Let me try to explain. After backpacking around the world for 8 months you get the routine (yes routine) of booking hostels and staying at hostels down pretty much spot on, but every once in a while you are thrown a curve ball. I have had a few thrown at me like staying with a friend I met in Guatemala in Paris, or staying at one of my readers home in Hamburg. Both of those instances were very special and will always hold a special place in my heart, but then I made it to Barcelona and wow was I blown away yet again.
If you have been following my blog I think you may have an idea of what is going on and can skip this paragraph if not here is a recap. You see about a month ago in Fez yes the city I still hate and just when I was about to call it quits and go home I met 4 people on the terrace of my hostel. 3 girls (Meri, Virginia & Laura) and 1 guy (Carlos) all of them from Barcelona we chatted a bit and well the guy was going home after a few days, but the girls were going to be traveling for much longer. We made plans to visit the Sahara Desert and left it at that. When we met up again little did I know I would be making friendships of a lifetime (I mean it). We ended up spending over a week together and in that time we visited the Sahara Desert (see the expedition in photos here) and I ended up writing an open letter to the Sahara Desert. Then we made our way too Essaouria and still had a grand time… then the time to say goodbye came, but this was a bit different because they let me know that when I made it to Barcelona I had a place to stay with each of them. So it was a see you later.
I finally arrived in Barcelona and from the moment I got there I felt at home. I was going to be spending 2 weeks there and staying with each of them for some time through out the 2 weeks. They let me know that during the day I was free to do all the touristy stuff I wanted to do (since they worked) and that I would probably see more of the city then they have ever seen and they live there. Nights though they let me know that they had most of them planed for us to do great dinners or hang out with friends and even a house party for Halloween. I can go into great details about everything I/we did during the two weeks there but instead I will give a snippet of the highlights.
I of course did a lot of touristy things during the day, I walked down La Ramblas, visited Placa Catalunya, Placa Espana, El Palau Nacional, many of Gaudi’s master pieces Park Guell, Casa Batlo, La Pedrera and most importantly La Sagrada Familia (more on Gaudi in another post). Along with visiting the main highlights I also spent many days wondering around the city and getting to know it’s many neighborhoods. I completely understand why so many people fall in love with Barcelona it’s a very unique city with a very unique personality.
Then came the nights the 1st night I was there Meri & Laura were both free so they planned for us to have dinner at an authentic Catalonian restaurant. Dinner was bread smeared with tomato and then so many different types of cheeses and hams and meats. It was good and I loved that it was nothing but locals in the place and loved that they weren’t speaking Spanish they were speaking Catalan. The next day was Saturday Meri had the day off so she took me to enjoy a walk along the coast of Barcelona and showed me some of the beaches and neighborhoods. Then Virginia met us up for lunch we enjoyed some paella. Later that night she took me to a local gay club she enjoys going to because it is a mixed crowd. We met up with a friend of hers and Laura. We had a grand time and drank a bit to much the next day we did nothing. I loved being able to stay in on a couch and watching TV. Something you can’t really do at a hostel with out a million people judging you.
The following nights were spent at Meri’s house very chill & mellow then Thursday rolled around and things picked up again. Thursday night we celebrated Laura’s birthday at a bar. Then Friday night was the big night all 5 of us from Fez were going out for a nice dinner and then to have drinks! It was amazing… I seriously felt at home at this moment. I loved it that I was having dinner with friends not someone I had just met a minute ago or alone. I loved that we were able to reminisce about things. That’s something me and my friends at home love to do. I loved every second of it and that was also the night I tried RABBIT for the first time ever. It actually didn’t tast bad and actually tasted like chicken. Then we went out for drinks and called it a night. Saturday night we all got together again this time for a cheap dinner and drinks and were out till about 3am and they all called it a night, but I continued on to a gay club and made it 4 for 4. Sunday morning & afternoon we spent it recovering and then had a mellow night strolling around Barcelona and seeing some amazing views of the city. The next day was finally the Halloween party at Meri’s apartment. Oh man it was a blast… I loved hanging out with people I knew and meeting new people. We had a great time drinking and dancing until the cops came and asked to please bring it down or go to a club. So we went to a club where I for some reason thought it would be a great idea to buy people Tequila shots… yeah drunk Jaime is a mess. The next night I found out I got kicked out, left my jacket there and a few other things (more on that some other time).
Then like that it all came to an end… with tears in my eyes we had our last dinner (until I get back from Ibiza & then we have our real last dinner). The 4 of us arranged to have dinner at Laura’s apartment the last night and each bring a dish. I of course brought chips with Philadelphia cheese and some wine. They had never had it and loved it. If you haven’t tried it you should… so damn good! As we were getting the table ready and chatting away I got tears. Even right now I am getting tears… I couldn’t believe it just a month ago I didn’t know these girls then met them in Morocco and was now in Barcelona having a nice dinner with them. It’s moments like this that make me love even more than I already do what I am doing. As we had dinner we chatted about a million things, love, men, life, travel, future plans and many other things. We also made plans to hopefully spend New Years together in ISTANBUL, TURKEY. It was the perfect way to wrap up my two weeks in Barcelona. As we said our good byes I fought hard to keep the tears behind. Now I’m in Ibiza and well hasn’t been as great, but will write all about that soon.
Many things made me feel at home through out my stay in Barcelona. I think the biggest thing was for a while I felt like a normal person again. It wasn’t about seeing all the sights or meeting new people or finding out what to do next. It was two weeks that I enjoyed with people I already knew and with plans of social things among us. It was as if I was at home with my girl friends… and that’s why I will also call Meri, Virginia & Laura “My Girls”. So now I ask you… Have you ever had an experience like this where you end up hanging out in other city with people you met on the road else where in the world? After being on the road have you enjoyed feeling at home somewhere? What are your thoughts on my two weeks in Barcelona?
Y antes de ir me les dejo un mensaje corto a “Mis Chikas” Meri, Laura y Virginia. No se como darles las gracias por todo lo que me an dado esas dos semanas que pase en Barcelona. Me la pase de maravilla y me encanto todo. Las amo un chingo y se que las voy ver en unos dias antes de ir me a Italia perro las extranare mucho. Estas dos semanas quedaran en mi corazon como unas de las mejores de mi viaje. Y pues bueno “pinche weys” jaja… aqui me despido con un bezo y un abrazo.