Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

What Was So Unexpected About The Capital Of Catalunya?

We arrived pretty late Monday afternoon after an unbelievably wonderful visit to Rome, where I think Sherry left her heart . . . The trip was 4 train-rides long; 3 on the Eurail system and then one on the local Barcelona system. 

Now, before I go too much further, I need to say that I had some massive expectations for Spain in general and for Barcelona in particular. I’ve tried to discern what the origin of those expectations was, and keep coming up pretty empty. Had I just heard about how beautiful Spain was? Or, because I speak a bit of the language, was I just enamored with the idea of being in a place where we could actually communicate with the people?  Anne of Green Gables, speaking to Marilla, says, “Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them. . . You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them.” I’m gonna tell you right here and now . . . Looking forward to this leg of the trip was the ONLY fun of it. 

The walk from the train to the apartment was a short one – maybe 10 minutes or so. The name of the place we’re staying sounds so magical: Cabrera De Mar. The name actually means “goatherd by the sea.” Beautiful, right? As we walked to the apartment though, we started to wonder if we weren’t the goats in this story. It wasn’t anything like what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, the location is great . . . 5-minute walk to the beach. But even the beach didn’t wow me. The sand was brown, more like dirt compared to what we see at home. 

I can’t remember if it was me or Sherry that talked about some places just have a “feel” to them. This was the case here, too. But the “feel” wasn’t what I wanted to “feel” about a place I was visiting for pleasure. Speaking of “feeling,” we were there for 5 days; we visited the city once (I’ll get to the “why” in a moment). We arrived Monday night to an apartment that might be called “one of the projects” in LA or NY. 4 stories high, clothes hanging on most balconies, a shower that only gave hot water occasionally (and sometimes only in short bursts), furniture that was old and maybe a bit skanky. But the internet was good, so we were able to stream some Hallmark movies!

After getting all checked in and receiving our keys, we headed out to the nearby market to get some supplies for food. It was too late to cook, so we ate some raw veggies, cheese and hummus. Excited to get to the city in the morning, we headed to bed early. Then it hit. At about 1 AM, the bellies started screaming and by 5 AM I was doing laps to the toilet and back to bed. What’s crazy is that when I woke at 1, I asked Sherry if her belly was hurting too; she just moaned her “Yes! 

Up most of the night and in bed all day Tuesday. I thought the rest would make it all better, so we did head into Barcelona Wednesday. By the time we headed back to the apartment, I wished I’d never got out of bed, and barely noticed anything about one of the (supposedly) most beautiful cities in Spain! Thursday was round 2 of the toilet trials. The AirBnB hosts are going to wonder how 2 people could possibly use so much toilet paper in 5 days! Friday I was completely spent and literally, empty; I had no energy and just wanted to leave. And we did. Saturday morning at 6:30 AM we were on the train back to the main train station at Barcelona, thankful to have this visit, along with our horrific belly-bombing visit behind us. And if you’re wondering, Sherry was visited by the same virus or bacterial guests, but fortunately, they didn’t like her as much as they did me, and she was spared the brunt of the brute-force attack!

4 thoughts on “What Was So Unexpected About The Capital Of Catalunya?”

  1. OH-MY-WORD! That is SO awful! However I didn’t find your description of it as humorous as Sherry’s! I guess her experience still left her humor intact whereas yours not so much! I have to say I totally understand why you were ready to say adios to Spain! You 2 are amazing the way you push through and just keep on movin! Thanks for these blogs! It so awesome to feel a bit of connection to all that you are experiencing!

  2. Buddy….I am so sorry to hear about your guys “trips” in Spain. You shouldn’t have to go half way around the world to have that experience when you can just go 100 miles south of your home to encounter those “trips”. It was obvious how bad things must have been for you guys when I hear you complain there was no HOT water to shower with ……. Considering you guys prefer cold water showers. Hopefully, your next destination will more than make up for your unfortunate experience. Sometimes the fondness memories of our trips come from the most unfortunate circumstances…… like taking a panel van with no AC across a hot desert😂.

    We continue to pray for you’re guys health and safety….. although maybe I should be more specific with God regarding the health part of my prayers……

    1. Thanks, Steve! All good as of yesterday. We’re in Paris now and saw the Eiffel Tower and the Arc d’Triomphe today. By the way, I never said I prefer cold showers . . . just showering outside 🙂

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