By this time last year I was back home in London. Yesterday was the first anniversary of my return and I spent most of it in a tiny B&B room here in Barcelona …
Yes, there really about 50cm between the foot of the bed and that thin chest of drawers and there’s about a metre between the bed and the other chest of drawers and 1.5m to the doorway, in which I’m standing to take that. The staff here (http://barcino147.com/) are lovely and it’s very central in Barcelona. I think I’d recommend it as a place to stay but it’s not cheap. Fortunately, I think my two host organisations here will pay.
It’s the Barcino staff’s fault that I finally succumbed to a horrible cold virus on the, equally horrible, flight out here on Tuesday. Vueling airways somehow counted the wrong number of passengers onto the plane so we were held on the taxiway at Gatwick for over three hours, finally disembarked, the plane frisked, and we were all (minus one who gave up by then) re-embarked. The ‘photos below show the plane corralled by buses for the disembarkation and, hoping that no-one’s feet will complain at the breach of confidentiality, captures the resignation all our feet showed as we were herded into those buses…
… and a few minutes later, but not without one of those yellow men ranting at a poor woman who ill advisedly lit a cigarette in her desperation, … were herded back onto the plane again.
I think the quite extraodinary mix of utter, mind numbing boredom, and excitement, finally broke my immune system and the virii cried “yippee” and colonised my nasal mucosa like … well, like cold virii do I suppose.
That explains why spent the damn day here yesterday instead of walking around Barcelona in the glorious sun and commemorating the first anniversary of the end of the pelerinage2016.
So odd being back in Spain a year on. Much, much to blog about, including the whole question of Catalan independence, but the virii really do have me on the ropes so I will stop as I must sleep and get up early to finish a talk for tomorrow. I leave you with some images from walking the streets back to B&B to my first work hosts here this afternoon. How’s this for a door handle?
A street animal:
Love the cool pose!
I ought to know what that building is, not least because it’s clearly quite an important Barcelona or Catalan service, but I confess I don’t.
This next I do know: Gaudí’s glorious Casa Milà, a.k.a. “la pedrera“, “the open quarry”. This does it no justice at all but my heart lifts to see it, and I hadn’t realised that my route would take me right past it.
I walked up under rather overcast skies in really sweaty heat, probably not helped by the virii. These were taken on the way back when the sun was breaking through and it created another truly terrible ‘photo when I rounded the corner of Casa Milà and looked back. It really does Gaudì no favours, but I still like the curves of the stonework and the amazing decorative ironwork contrasting with the trees.
More modernist glory, this time not Gaudí (as far as I know).
And a friendly feline on the floor below the B&B:
So, so much else has happened in the last few days, and in the last year since my return from the joys, and challenges, of the pilgrimage. I’m still digesting it all psychologically, and trying to assimilate the new viewpoint on my life that doing a secular pilgrimage gave me. All of that gives so much material for future, time dislocated, blog posts, as and when I can find the time and the energy.
OK virii, I’m done here, please let me sleep OK tonight!