Hola Barcelona!

Travel - May 12th, 2011

I arrived to cool and fresh Barcelona with a chest cold and no luggage (apparently it decided it needed a holiday in Moscow for 30 hours). It was clear that my Indian transit wear was not going to keep me warm so this weary non-shopper was forced to hit the shops to buy some of the necessary essentials. Ouch! The cost of goods in Europe had me blushing at the fact that I was negotiating (hard) with a shop owner over 30 rupees (75 cents) not more than 24 hours ago. Nevertheless, a quick cost-benefit analysis convinced me that it was cheaper to buy what I needed than face a hospital bill for treatment of exposure and pneumonia!

Barcelona is a beautiful city and I have so enjoyed walking the streets gazing skyward at the lovely architecture and “juliet” balconies. I was taken by the majesty and undeniable energy of the Santa Maria Del Mar where I rested listening to Vivaldi’s Canon in D Major being played on the organ. After months of visiting temples, mosques and monasteries it was lovely to be in such a magnificent church.

I am often asked if I experience culture shock moving between places like  India and Japan or Europe… and I have to admit that I don’t. I have wondered if  this is just the way I am or if it has been born out of nurturing practices that honour and trust that the present reality is just as it is and as it should be.

This is not to say that I fail to see the stark contrast between these places, but rather, I don’t seek to find drama in these differences. I see it as rather pointless to project a desire for the present reality to be different from what it actually is…

The reality of the present moment will be unavoidable in the coming weeks as I start a 600km pilgrimage by foot across northern Spain… El Camino de Santiago.  More from the pilgrims path…