Saturday, July 19, 2014

Barcelona continued and more thoughts

Without even realizing it, almost two weeks have gone by, and I find myself sitting in Paris (that wasn't even on my plans before I left) trying to figure out how to post about all my travels so far.  Since I left Barcelona, I haven't had consistent wifi or internet...a good thing so that I could properly enjoy my travels without constantly checking my phone for emails and update.  Downside: I haven't been able to blog, and I haven't even had the time to sit down and properly sort through my photos.

TLDR: I'm majorly behind.

But I've finally gotten around to having some free time to look through some photos and write, allowing me to finally share my thoughts with all of you.

However, even though I've had plenty of time to write and think, it's been done in the form of journaling and going for long strolls by myself, which isn't hard to do when I'm traveling by myself for the most part.  I can say that for the past couple weeks, I have been more physically exhausted and "busy" than I have been in awhile, while still having all the time in the world to myself to relax and unwind.  I've been learning some great lessons on the practice of being alone, and being content with it.  I wouldn't call it loneliness - I would call it solitude.  For those that are close to me, you all know that I'm quiet enough anymore.  I like to have my "alone time," in which to some people looks like locking myself in my room, or sitting in my apartment alone on a Friday night.  It's a time for me to revel in my thoughts, unload all my stresses, and just have some peace to myself.  But it doesn't happen as much as I'd like it to, especially with school and work and internships swirling around me.

During the past few weeks, I've been able to get that "alone time" without locking myself in my room - or hostel room, for that matter.  I've been doing it while walking, sitting on a bench in a park, looking up at the buildings around me, or when I'm lucky, laying on a beach.  When you don't expect anyone to be with you, you would be surprised what company you can find around you.  The joy of people watching, smelling the flowers, or an attempted conversation in a language you can't speak or understand (can somebody please teach me Catalan?).

Barcelona, the first stop of my trip, taught me all that.  Even though I was still a little bit hesitant to wander off on my own then, it becomes liberating and peaceful.  I took the time to go outside of the main tourist areas, and found a couple lesser known parks and streets along the way.

El Clot
This little park close to the apartment I was staying at was renovated from a factory of the Spanish rail system (RENFE) in the 1980s.  It's not a very large park, but I easily spent an hour just looking at the structures and how it was so beautifully redesigned.

It's astounding to me how La Sagrada Familia just kind of towers over everything else, especially with the construction that is still taking place.  I love seeing it along with Montserrat, the monastery in the distance on the very right. I didn't have time to visit Montserrat this year, but I'm making it a priority for my next visit sometime in the future!

I have a huge log of pictures to go through, and I'm not quite done with Barcelona yet.  
Stay in tuned for the next installment of photos ;)

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