Friday, May 15, 2009
A Morning Ramble
Today all Barcelonans should be smiling, because not only did they win an important football match, but the sun has returned as well. Blue skies greeted me this morning as I headed out to La Rambla for a morning stroll.
The famous street was relatively quiet before nine. The flower shops were carting in their wares, and the many street performers were meticulously applying makeup and arranging their props, oblivious to any passersby. One couple sat serenely before a pair of enormous wings spray-painted gold and black, the man with his head on the woman's lap, turned away from the foot traffic as they caught a few last moments for themselves before the day's work began. On the return trip up from the waterfront, the woman was nowhere to be seen, but the man's face was still hidden, this time under the collar of a shirt and tie, while he held his new head - one oozing plastic blood from where it had been supposedly severed - serenely on his lap.
Even at this time, La Rambla, named for the Arabic word meaning stream, is a never-ending river of people, although later in the day the flow will become slower as crowds through around the performers and kiosks, making a trip down this street a maze through the throngs. And if FC Barcelona wins again, you can bet their fans will be celebrating by the fountain at the top of the path no matter what the hour. But I prefer the openness of a morning ramble, and this morning was the perfect occasion.