The escalating tension between the Spanish and Catalan governments wasn't the only dark cloud dimming the bright sun of Barcelona. I had planned three weeks of travel that would start in Portugal and end in Spain. However, the universe had other ideas and I missed not only one but two flights in two days. The first was definitely my fault, I woke up in my bed just as my plane to Lisbon was taking off. My body had muffled the numerous alarms I had set. The second, however, was a sign that I was never meant to make it to Portugal in the first place. I arrived in the airport with plenty of time to spare only to be told once I got to the check-in counter that there was a problem with my ticket that couldn't be resolved before the gate closed. My body was shaking when I left the airport and made the hour and a half long journey back to my bed.
So even though my first day in Barcelona was a success when I woke up the next I was still sad about all that I had missed. Moping wasn't going to solve my problem so I packed up my bags and spent the next two days navigating the Gothic Quarter's serpentine streets. I hadn't wandered down streets this maze-like since my time in Amsterdam. Tiny streets would split in two one of which would often end in a dead end. You would round a corner only to end up in a massive square filled with people drinking. But I had no qualms about getting lost because everything was so beautiful.
Exploring the Gothic Quarter started the process of getting me out of my funk but after a couple hours, I was starving. There was only one thing I wanted and that was paella, but with so many options and limited data on my phone I had no clue what was the best option. I found a street with a paella spot on every corner and choose the place with the best lunch deal. I got a series of small tapas and a medium size dish of paella. The rice was so succulent with just the right amount of crunch on the bottom. The seafood was a delight and I ate the whole thing faster than the time it took to make it.
I rolled myself out of the restaurant and as the itis began to take over I knew nap time was imminentt. Before I could curl up in bed I stumbled upon an LGBT bookstore tucked away on a small street. Inside I found some local gay photography zines and added them to my personal archive.
The Gothic Quarter is such a vibrant heart of the city of Barcelona. I can't wait to go back and see everything that I missed and have a cute photoshoot in the medieval cobblestoned streets.
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