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Memories of The Way We Were – Palau de la Musica, Barcelona

Author Mary Chong
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Sometimes there are memories, whether out of choice or from just plain age, that I forget but they come back to me when I least expect it.

The Palau de la Musica in Barcelona is one of those memories.

It’s like that Barbra Streisand song
“The Way We Were”
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures,
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember…
The way we were…
The way we were…

I could be walking down a street or driving by a place or eating a certain food and bang the memory is back…pulled from that dusty cob-web filled corner in my brain.

The other day I was visiting my new friend Noel’s blog www.travelphotodiscovery.com and the images of the music hall brought back memories of the wonderful and not so wonderful time I had in Barcelona.

…What’s too painful to remember…We simply choose to forget…

It was me and hubby’s first trip to Europe and our first Mediterranean cruise. The plan was to arrive in to Barcelona early, board the ship the next day, cruise the Mediterranean and then stay in Barcelona for two days post cruise and visit everything Gaudi – Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batló and then fly home. It was supposed to be a wonderful 18 day trip and it was – up until about day 12.

Not to go into great detail but hubby hurt his back somewhere between Rome and Naples and could barely stand or sit. Thankfully we were travelling with another couple and while hubby stayed on the ship I was still able to tour Pompeii etc with our friends. At the end of the cruise they helped me get hubby off of the ship (highly medicated and in a wheel chair) and into our hotel.

BarcelonaThere we were trapped in our hotel room – hubby bed-ridden and me playing nurse maid. Our friends would tour around and bring us back food/drink, share what they saw and then leave for another adventure while I figured out travel insurance, hotel doctors, flight/hotel arrangements and looked out the window at this small café in the city of Barcelona before me.

After two days, our friends had to return home on our originally scheduled flight. They gave me a run down of what was near by, handed me all their leftover Euro and off they went and we were alone.

I had never travelled on my own before – quite honestly, I’m a big chicken – but there I was actually – ALONE – hubby was useless to me laying comatose on pain killers in bed.

On the third day we ate from the room service menu. We had travel insurance so our expenses were covered. But I had to go out to the pharmacy to get more medication so I had to go outside by MYSELF (eeek!). I walked 1 block north of our hotel to the pharmacy and to my relief, I came back safe and sound with no incidents.

By day four, hubby was grumpier so I knew he was feeling a bit better. I said to myself “Girlfriend…you are a grown-ass woman. What the hell is wrong with you! Go for a walk! You can do this! Get out of here!” (my inner voice sounds a lot like Beyonce). I was going stir-crazy! I needed fresh air and so, I went out for a walk.

I left the hotel and decided I’ll walk for 1 hour, stay to my right and travel in a giant circle then I won’t get lost!

My bravery paid off because just 3 blocks north of our hotel on a street named Carrer de Sant Francesc de Paula, I came upon the most beautiful sight!

The Pálau de la Músîca

This Concert Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built between 1905 and 1908 and is covered in the most spectacular sculptures, mosiacs and stained glass. It was a real surprise because all the other buildings in the area are just plain, dull and ordinary in appearance and this is just so colourful. Even the gift shop is located in a building covered in frescos!

My photos really do not do this building justice because all I had with me at the time was my tiny point and shoot camera and the streets are so narrow and cramped in Barcelona that I had a difficult time getting everything in.

Noel has the most beautiful photos of the Palau at night as well as some photos of the interior. I urge you to check it out, the glass ceiling photo is just wonderous.

…If we had the chance to do it all again…Tell me, would we? Could we?…

I had forgotten about these photos but what I won’t ever forget is that I discovered more than just the Palau de la Musica that day I journeyed to the right. I discovered that if I’m ever alone again, I can still see something wonderful and unexpected if I am brave enough to take that first step outside the door.

I know that we’ll be back to Barcelona again. There is still unfinished business! And we may even stay in that very same hotel. BUT, we’ll create some new memories of Barcelona to replace the not so good ones that are tucked away in that corner of my mind.

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