Here Are My Memories of Plaza Real – Barcelona
Here’s what I love about the Plaza Real Barcelona. The palm trees swayed silently, and the sky was pink. The mountains were as pale as clouds in the distance, whilst the spires of ancient churches were silhouetted against the rising sun. The arched colonnades lent an elegant ambiance to the café restaurants surrounding the open square. And a lone guitarist plucked a tune at the base of the central fountain. It was after all around 5.30 a.m. and we were after all still a wee bit drunk. This city has seen me excited, broken-hearted, in love, out of love, scared, thrilled, angry, broke, and prosperous.
I’ve seen the stunning Sagrada Familia cathedral double its towers; I’ve seen new Gaudi houses open to the public; I’ve seen Barceloneta go from slum to fashionable, the Born fill with restaurants, bars, shops and expats, great modern buildings rise from previously empty spaces, and Nou Camp become known throughout the footballing world.
Yet not so many people talk about the Plaza Real. I wonder why. The square is surely filled with secrets and gossip. I can imagine clandestine meetings taking place under the arches, forbidden rendezvous by the fountain, drugs changing hands under the café tables, and dangerous messages being whispered under the palms. All the while the nonchalant Barceloneses stroll by holding hands or chatter in strident Catalan.
Ah, Barcelona – no wonder my colleague and I took to the early morning street to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to soak up the soul of this thrilling city.