I remember a summer’s night in Barcelona. Sandra and I have started our Spanish visit in Madrid. After three days in Madrid we went to Toledo for one night, then magical Granada for four glorious days, then one night in Sevilla (which was not on par with the other cities we have visited) and then … Barcelona (do you hear Freddy Mercury and Monserrat Caballé?). What a wonderful city. We stayed at the Hostal Levante (Baixada de Sant Miquel, 2) in the Gothic Quarter. Legend has it that this former brothel was visited on more than one occasion by a young artist named Picasso. We knew we would be in good company at the Levante! His painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was probably painted remembering the moments spent in this house.
The pension is conveniently located near the Ramblas, where you can do people watching for hours! The room was small but clean. It was a little noisy at night, but we came in late and were so tired that a bomb would not wake us. There was a small shop at street level and I went down to buy something for breakfast every morning. Their white wines were not cooled. I hid a bottle of wine behind bottles of juice in the fridge every morning that I would buy for our lunch of fresh bread, cheese and wonderful traditional Spanish dry-cured ham – a feast!
On our last night we visited the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Our friend André (from France) joined us in Barcelona. We started the night with tapas at a restaurant near the fountain. That turned out to be very enjoyable and it won our hearts over. We have been in love with tapas ever since we had this introduction. The small and simple dishes just kept turning up at the table and we had lovely Spanish red wine to enjoy with the tapas.
And then we were off to see the fountain or fountains. It was so much more than we have expected! First of all, the scale of the fountains (I use the plural, as there are numerous) was unexpected. It is really impressive. The play of sound, water and light were very well done. The mood was festive on this warm summer’s night. There were huge numbers of people, there were fire dancers, buskers and so much more! But watch the video and experience these magic fountains yourself. It is one of our very special memories. And Freddy and Montserrat were there, no doubt!