Hola Barcelona!

I can feel the memory slipping by, and that rawness – freshness(?) of emotions that I felt at that point in time slipping from my grip. That makes me a little sad, but I can also feel myself desperately clinging on to that bit of emotion in its raw state.

(There is a name for that flag of unity, which Laura told me, but I forgot)

This is by far my most favourite picture of a city – i might even daresay this is my favourite picture of my whole trip. Each time I look at it it stirs in me a particular fondness of sorts.
I came to Barcelona not quite noticing this flag, and I feel that when I left Barcelona this flag and its brightly pointed star held so much meaning; therein lay so much history, so much strength and so much I didn’t know and understand. Not that I completely do now (because every representation is a mis-representation, and every argument has a counter-argument, as I am aware), but I look at this flag so much more differently from before.

I took this picture on the last day, and when I did, I took it with an understanding that I didn’t have before. I guess that’s why I like it – it makes me feel like I took something away with me beyond mere images and sceneries, and that’s fulfilling in its ways.

Last Ryanair flight in a long, long while now. 
Not a bad thing, considering that sense of trepidation I get everytime I get close to the boarding gate. And those hell-annoying security checks. Ugh. Just ONE last one at Heathrow, and then.. it’ll be a long long while.

I’ve been away from Loughborough for a month now, and I must say I do miss going back ‘home’ to my comfortable bed. My bed at Loughborough is more comfortable than the one back home 😥 That precious duvet. SIGH

I have been traveling quite abit, but I must say that I’ve learnt ALOT in this one month. They say the world is an open book – I really feel so, I feel like I’ve learnt so much in days about the countries more than I’ve ever known. 

I had 4 meaningful, fulfilling encounters with strangers in Spain, which has been the most number in a single trip thus far. I feel like conversations come so readily now it doesn’t surprise me anymore, which is nice because it makes me feel like I have grown a little to be less reserved now. 
Australian lady, Pakistani man, Paco and Hinda from Somalia

4Jan 2014, 850am:
Meant to sleep over at the Barcelona airport while hunting for my name amongst the seats – treasure hunt set up by a certain childish individual – but found myself in a 5 star hotel, sleeping on the same bed as an Australian lady. Life works in mysterious ways. The thing is, I’m not even all that surprised anymore; unexpected things keep happening to me when I travel alone, and I feel like a part of me was waiting for just that to happen.

i forced her for a picture

Lee: Erm, I don’t usually do this…. like… sleep with strangers.


At one point, she did push-ups on the ground and made me watch her do it. HAHAHAH

I’m so lucky. 🙂

When I arrived in Barcelona the skies were so blue and it was sunny and it was such a huge contrast to the gloomy, rainy, literally mood-dampening weather that I immediately +500 points to this city

5jan: Barcelona is so beautiful that as the tram passes y the city I can’t help but smile at the blue(!!!!!) skies and beautiful architecture and it makes me want to capture every moment

Mood-lifting, feel-good factor
Sunshine Barcelona- another city so easy to fall in love with 🙂

I spy quirky architecture from a distance

soooo preeettyyyyy so many buildings in Barcelona had these amazing intricate details I’d walk on the streets and gape at them for abit.

Paco pointed out this sculpture to me, which was apparently titled ‘Cloud and Chair’ at the Antoni Tapies Foundation

Honestly, Paco was one of the BEST hosts ever and I can sincerely recommend him to ANYONE out there who wants to walk out filled with much knowledge. He knows SO much it’s amazing and it was precisely what I wanted – to understand the place, to look at it in a different light, and I really did, I really did.
When I walked along the streets of Barcelona on the third day I started to see so many tiny little details that Paco was pointing out to me the day before. I had so much to gain from him, and he had so much to give. It’s a pity it was only afew days, for I knew he was someone I could bombard all my questions with and he’d be happy to answer – and his answers would be exactly what I needed to feel a swell of fulfilment. Not like a one-liner, a brief polite statement for fear of boring the other – which I understand, really – but a rich detail of everything. Some might find it too ‘heavy’ listening to him the whole day, and admittedly at the end of the day I was pretty brain-saturated but I felt so fulfilled.  Like I’ve learnt so much. Which was exactly what I was looking for in a host.

And it’s one of these moments that I think – I could have missed out on all these. I could have come to Barcelona alone, visited the sights, and then left… and it would have been.. another city, and I would have walked away with so much less.
I was slightly skeptical and afraid, I mean I was a solo female traveller in Barcelona for the first time and staying in a male stranger’s apartment’s definitely worth questioning a little bit. But I chose this option rather than the other and everything turned out so wonderful and memorable for me, you know? And it’s such times that strengthens my belief in the goodness of people, of humanity. I just think that believing in the goodness of people goes a really long way, and trusting strangers can turn out so amazing. You never know, yes, but choosing to take the chance is tremendously, tremendously rewarding.

In this way, I think the lack of a paranoid, wary-bone in me is a blessing of sorts that’s drawn me to such opportunities.

That said, I have been immensely lucky, and it’s been one huge blessing that I have not gotten myself into any real trouble. I’m really lucky, and I’m really thankful for the experiences.

I took this picture because it reminded me of Italy, of its yellow walls and I think that’s one of the things my dream city should have. Coloured walls.


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