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When I was pregnant with my now two year old daughter, my mom, my five year old, and I traveled together to Spain. This was a Christmas gift to my mom as she was a Spanish teacher who had a map of Spain on her classroom wall for decades, but hadn’t yet gotten a chance to visit.
We started our time in Spain in Madrid, but within a few days we took a train over to Barcelona. The two cities were just a few hours apart by train, but the feeling and vibe of the two cities were so completely different. I loved them both, but I remember our days in Barcelona staying at the Le Meridien right in the Las Ramblas heart of the city as being vibrant, energetic, filled with fantastic food, and surrounded by history and jaw dropping architecture.
We were repeatedly warned about pick pockets in and around La Rambla, but that was it in terms of safety concerns. We were slightly worried for the well being of our cash and phones, but never about anything more serious. While out and about we were diligent about our bags and wallets and they were never touched. We had a fantastic time chatting with the vendors, admiring the architecture, buying books, maps, and jewelry, watching a parade, and taking in the sights and sounds of Barcelona. From the cab drivers, to the hotel employees, to the street vendors, to the restaurant servers, I adored the people we met in Barcelona.
At one point my daughter sat down in the middle of it all as she was feeling tired and we certainly didn’t feel like we were in any danger on this pedestrian street. I’m sure this scene was similar to what Barcelona looked like this evening when evil again struck those who were minding their own business and going about their own lives.
I obviously can’t make any of what happened in Barcelona better, but I can send warm memories of our time with the people and places of Spain out into the universe. Las Ramblas is the part of town is where we stayed. Where we ate, where we shopped, where we played, where we made many of our memories of Spain, and where my thoughts are tonight.