Monday, August 10, Barcelona

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The seemingly endless narrow boulevards of Barcelona. Shops and more shops all filled with the latest fashions.

The sounds of Barcelona:

The clickety-clack of the wheeled baggage of tourists flowing up the Rambla. It is very much like the water streaming out of a spring in some mountain except that this flow is upstream from the harbor. I couldn’t figure it out at first; where were they all coming from? Then I noticed a bus stop disgorging tourists and bags. But, still, I couldn’t decipher the ultimate source, till I took a small boat out on the harbor and saw the six gigantic cruise ships tied up to the docks. The number of tourists here is astounding. They/we pack the narrow streets gazing into the thousands of restaurants and shops.

Cha-ching, the sound of money flying out of your hands into those same restaurants and shops. Barcelona is, I’d wager, the most expensive place on Earth. A typical meal begins at $20, and most are double or triple that. Dresses in the shops, hotel rooms, souvenirs, all suck the Euro’s out of pockets at an alarming rate.

And the church bells. Like most of Catholic Spain this place is bestrewn with old churches. But the bells have competition from the roiling masses of people (mostly young) who occupy the streets from noon to the wee hours. My room is on one of the main tourist streets so my landlady helpfully supplies earplugs to new guests.

I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed my time here; too lonely now at the end of my trip. Tonight I board a plane for Dublin where I’ll sit for 12 hours waiting for my connection. Then I go to Copenhagen for another layover–21 hours–before heading for Newark. As with most of my trips I’ve reached the point where I look forward to home cooking.

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Jerry Heverly

I'm a high school English teacher from San Leandro High School in California.

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