Returning to Barcelona for a visit I’m reminded of why I loved to lived there and why also I left the city. It is beautiful, modern, vibrant, yes, but cars choke its corazón, noise deafens you, metro crowds unsettle you, and you flee to any corner where there is even just the muted noise of distant cars let alone pure silence.

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On a stroll through Barcelona’s central streets I found the mural shown below of two sets of lips kissing. Accompanying the image – created by thousands of images of people enacting their own ‘moments of freedom’ – are these words:

“The sounds of a kiss is not so deafening as that of a canon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer”

“El Ruido de un beso no es tan ensordecedor como el de un cañon, pero su eco es más duredador”

Barcelona was once a city of constant conflict and strife, of canon and rifle shot, but now it is a symbol of liberality, cosmopolitanism and diversity.

img_3082img_3100Be it in a game of bocce, a paseo by the water, or a botelón drinking session in the plaza, Barcelona life is lived on the street. Taking advantage of the perfect weather, the wide open streets, the beaches and boulevards, the young and old here define al fresco culture.

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