A Tale of Two Cities

BARE-celona:  a term coined by my very clever Uncle Nick, a wonderful wordsmith.

This was our last full day in the Spanish town by the sea where passion rules.  What a different environment from London in every way.

Barcelona is a loose party girl.  London is a proper prude.

Jeff left early this morning to return to London for a few days in the office.  He reports that the scene was still in full swing at 5:00 a.m.  Bars and beaches were filled with people unwilling to end the fun during their Barcelona Bender.

Cab drivers are wild men, racing through the streets with the latest pop tunes blaring.  Our old grizzled driver was singing at the top of his lungs to Flo Rida:  The Club Can’t Even Handle Me Right Now…. (most likely literally true)

Along the touristy shopping avenue, Las Ramblas, a hot-headed shop owner physically accosted Katie when he thought she had shoplifted a cheap bangle.  It had been misplaced on the display, and all ended well after an impassioned near-altercation.

The food is muy caliente filled with Spanish spice.

The weather is also reliably caliente with a hot fireball of sun blazing all day completely unobstructed in the clear blue sky.

Spirited dancers take to the streets on Sundays outside the old Gothic Cathedral, forming a large circle and following the age-old steps of their ancestors.

Minty mojitos and sweet sangria soften the edges of a busy day and blur the night ahead.

Chocolate molded breasts are displayed with pride among all the delectable sweets in the famous food Mercato.

On beaches, bikinis are optional.  PDA is required.

Jeff reports that he landed in Heathrow and could see his breath as he walked through the relentless rain to hail a cab.  Most likely the cab driver was reserved and calm.  The muted sun is usually completely hidden behind a thick blanket of gray clouds.  The food is mushy and bland.  The tap beer is warm.  The chocolates in Borough Market do not represent anatomical mounds.  Anyone brave enough to venture to a beach is bundled beyond recognition.  All hands remain in pockets and stiff upper lips are zipped tight.

It is a classic Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

It if fun to consider this famous sentence of Charles Dickens in the context of Barcelona vs. London.





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