Barcelona or Bust

DSC_3605“Hey Anger, you’re an @$$hole. I never invite you over. You just pop in whenever you feel like it. I ask you to leave and I do sound rude but you’re one house guest who doesn’t care if you intrude.”
We visited Barcelona a few weekends ago and busting is what I did once again in this town. I asked time and time again for my uninvited house guest to leave. He wouldn’t. I prayed, asked Jesus to help me with my attitude with an intruder called Anger who decided to visit. Unfortunately, I had an unanswered prayer in Barcelona. I asked the Holy Spirit to give me self-control over my house guest Anger, but his presence did not descend upon me or in me.DSC_3587
The first time we went to Barcelona was when we were moving from Naples, Italy to Lisbon, Portugal. Barcelona was the last city that was on our agenda to explore during that move. We’d driven from Naples and stopped in; Pisa, Cinque Terre, Milan, Belliago, drove through the Provence Region of France, stopped off in the country of Andorra, a night in Monaco and then continued our move on through Spain.DSC_3077
Madrid, Spain was our last stop but Barcelona, was the city we’d scheduled about three days in to explore. By the time we’d made it to Barcelona our banking information had been stolen, jewelry and bathroom products had been left on the road in a town near Gordes, France and by the time we hit Barcelona, I just wanted to find another house and set up our home in Portugal, so we could play house for two years.DSC_3206
I couldn’t predict that I would get bamboozled by a migraine that would put me in bed for three days altering the exploring plans my husband made. He and my son enjoyed themselves in the city while I was in bed, healing after stress had taken over my body.DSC_3097
So at almost the end of our time here in Portugal we planned a return trip to Barcelona. Now this trip was scheduled at the end, once again, a midst another move and some other life circumstances that are beyond my family’s control.DSC_3285
Did I have any idea that some unsightly news would come my way two hours before we were to leave for the airport on Friday? No.DSC_3357
Did I foresee that living in a quiet area of town, away from the city, would change me as a person the last few years? No.DSC_3326
When I enter the airport, the city, the metro and over crowded sites with lots of energy, I shut down. It’s as if a pack of energy vampires, topple me taking my strength and mood. If I were a superhero, my kryptonite would be the energy of the city. It zaps the life out of me. Literally it takes me down. On our trip to Barcelona over the weekend, I finally figured out why I get so angry, irritated and exhausted in a short amount of time.DSC_3554
The city, a place filled with people, shops and loads of energy just zaps me. Maybe it’s just Barcelona? I don’t know. I’ve heard three times a charm, but I don’t want to find out, right now. I AM a country girl and discovered the city life is not for me. After all these years of exploring, I finally have an answer. Because the minute we returned home I felt at peace and at ease.DSC_3174
I know we have to get through lines at the airport, security, plane delays and layovers to get to where we are going before we get to exploring, but exploring tourist sites and cities is no longer for me. Give me a village, a place to be with the people in their native land, I AM THERE!!! Just not the native city land.DSC_3188
Travelling and exploring will not end in our home. It’s figuring out a way to shut the door on Angry the @$$hole and Energy the Vampire during hectic and stressful circumstances. I now know why everyone wears those big headphones while walking in the city. I am going to load my I-Pod up with an abundance of relaxing tunes and tune in when busting is about to take place. Now what to put over my eyes so I don’t get overstimulated by the city???? I don’t always wear rose colored glasses and this trip to Barcelona was viewed through black lenses.DSC_3143
Thankfully, I have a husband and son who have energy like energizer bunnies. They bucked up, were strong and carried on without Debby Downer Mom. We had four days and three nights in Barcelona, Spain. It’s the last trip before the “Be Blessed” contest was posted. I’d hoped to get really great photos for the people who’ve blessed my life over the years. People I don’t know, people who encourage others around them and people who are true to themselves.DSC_3511
Well, that was one answered prayer. I did get some shots through a clear lens. I don’t know how and ended up asking my husband and son to go solo on one part of the journey. I busted up and although my boys didn’t want to leave me behind, it was best. So today on Barcelona or Bust I share with you sites I saw and didn’t see.DSC_3535
Sites that are a blessing left for all mankind to enjoy and view with their eyeballs through the screen and without the busted emotional side of me that my boys experienced.  Are you planning a trip to Barcelona, Spain? If so you won’t go hungry. Tapas, tapas, tapas are everywhere. These little bite sized bits are filling and fun. DSC_3225
They keep you going from many famous sites by Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Seven of the sites created by Gaudí are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site. They are; Crypt in Colonia Güell, Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia,DSC_3617
Casa Batlló,DSC_3209
  Casa Mila, as you can see was under construction like many sites in Europe,DSC_3197
Palacio Güell, Casa Vicens,  and Parque Güell.DSC_3099
Plaça de Catalunya, was beautiful. I think this is the place where I became overstimulated after getting off the metro.DSC_3368
There were pigeons galore, a man reading his paper, strollers with children, a bubble man creating bubbles, the cars zooming by, pedestrians dodging one another in the cross walk and an angry attitude that was impossible to shake. But I pushed through without energy, to the Palau Nacional minus the Magic Fountain.DSC_3275You’d have thought I was nine months pregnant with the loss of mojo to site see. When I saw this tree, I thought that is how I feel.DSC_3207But before I threw in the towel for the day I made it to the top of Las Arenas de Barcelona,DSC_3232
to view the Plaça d’Espanya.DSC_3255One thing that re-energized my spirit was sitting in the park with my boys watching the parrots. One parrot had this piece of bread. He or she flew up into the branches with it. DSC_3312
Nibbling, nibbling and nibbling not letting go.  It flew from tree to tree trying to shake the others off but they didn’t budge. Once it dropped to the ground, it was a party.DSC_3342I didn’t want to leave this park and could have stayed here until dusk but at this point, it was time to say good-bye to the boys. We made it back to the metro, which I highly recommend you utilize here in Barcelona or ride a bike. There is a lot of ground to explore in this city and although you can do it all by foot, I suggest the metro. It’s a great system despite over-stimulation and watching your pockets. These guys below, spend all day doing just that, well not riding the metro, but avoiding the tax police who are looking to write a ticket taking money from their pockets. Set up, sweep away, set up, sweep away, repeat…repeat…. DSC_3441
So my boys went hiking through neighborhoods, up to the top of Tibado. It’s a mountain that overlooks Barcelona. It has an amusement park at the top. DSC_3542
They decided not to bust up the bank account by spending $$$ to scream and laugh at the amusement park, I wish they had. They opted to explore the side streets, take in the architecture, and meet random animals.DSC_3572 Barcelona is a city filled with lots of energy, loads of history and gorgeous works by Antoni Gaudí a man who was known to have a short fuse. He had said that his bad temper was the only thing in his life he could not control. Maybe his anger left in his works were the energy vampires that rubbed off on me, not maybe it did, while we were in Barcelona. His works are all over the place. The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for 128 years. It finally has a completion date of 2026 or 2028.DSC_3643
Antoni Gaudí was asked before he died, when would the Sagrada Familia be completed, he responded with, “Don’t worry my client isn’t in a hurry,” referring to God. God isn’t in a hurry to finish us. We’re a creation being sculpted daily, continually learning how to deal with things that come our way.  When I say I’m flawed and far from perfect, I mean it.  It’s hard to see the blessings in life when Anger the energy vampire shows up. I’m so glad when he leaves and I can see the blessings around me. I feel there is power in weakness and sharing the good with the bad here and there has healing properties. Thankful that emotions pass, Jesus loves us just as we are and teaches us lessons even when we don’t want to listen. Barcelona or Bust……..DSC_3130

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