Why I love living in Barcelona. Because on any given evening I can walk out of the house with camera in hand, stroll aimlessly and feel inspired. And feel exploring. And feel love.
Last week I went out for a stroll to a neighborhood, not far from mine, called Sant Andreu. Sant Andreu looks like a little pueblo, a village of its own. And it is has the truth in it, because it used to be a separate village before being integrated in the city of Barcelona. Sant Andreu is full of narrow streets shaded by orange trees, cobblestone walks and sweet little houses. But this text is not going to be about it. Neither the photos (well, some are but not exclusively).
Walking in those narrow streets, I breathed in and realized that the air I breathe in – is love. The love for a place. Barcelona at that moment reminded me of three places I love so much: Kiev, Malaga and Rovinj.
Kiev – because the spring evenings here are just the same as in my home country. I forgot how warm and romantic a spring evening can be after twelve years living in the North. Rovinj – because it was also all about cobblestone walks, narrow streets with tables on them, happy people by those tables and happy me. And Malaga – because Malaga 🙂 Because it was my first Spanish romance with a city.
I forgot this feeling. Or better say – I never lived with it. I always joked that I see myself like married to the boring and stable guy, this city Oslo, which gives me peace and comfort – but I constantly keep on falling madly in love and having affairs with all these other places. Paris, Egypt, Rovinj… And now, in this season of my life, I suddenly discovered that I live with a guy, I mean a place, that I have passion for. Maybe, this is pure luck. Or maybe, this is getting older and wiser :))
With all its noise, and moving, and overstimulation at times – I feel love for this place. When I stand on my balcony at night and watch a tram waiting at the stop, full of cold light and some figures moving inside. When I walk the streets that have flower print pavement. When I see palm tree shadows on the ground. I smile, I breathe in slowly and feel so lucky to be here.
And for the first time in my life I don’t want to travel out. We are going to a wedding in Italy soon, and I just don’t feel for leaving town like before. Before I used to count days. Now I am like: “Why again are we going? Do we really have to?” :))
It is strange that after eleven years in Oslo I never felt really at home. Coming back to Oslo felt like coming back to some place familiar – but not home. However, surprise surprise, it seems I will be going to Oslo for a month or two this summer. And guess what, for the first time I feel a true excitement about it. When every Oslonian looks forward to leave the city in summer – I am looking forward to get back there. So there must be some love in my heart for this boring stable guy too, no? :))
I already made a mental list of places I want to go to. Neighborhoods of Frogner, Grunerløkka, Torshov, St. Hanshaugen… To eat ice-cream by the waterfront. To go dancing salsa. Ironically enough, I miss salsa in Oslo, because the community there is not so big and I know so many people there. In Barcelona I am still in process, and community is way bigger, if there is a ONE community (maybe, not).
So this is a pleasant turn to my old story. Now I live with this dynamic and passionate romance of a city – and I can go back to my old and charming husband in the North. And nobody is jealous! This happens once in a lifetime, no? And this is a reason for celebration (which are quite numerous here) Viva la vida! :))
What are your relationships to your places? Romantic, boring, safe, exciting? Where do you feel like falling in love?
And may you walk in beauty!