Groggily stepping off the plane in the middle of the night, I was shocked to find Barcelona awake. So awake in fact that when I checked in to my accommodations, the desk clerk asked me if I wanted to have my luggage stored behind the desk until I came back from dinner. Where am I? I thought as I checked my cell phone and saw that it was already well into the next day. Needless to say, I never forgo a local travel tip and I headed out with my travel partners.
If you’ve never been out in Barcelona you need to be prepared for the joie de vivre that is Barcelona at night. Every café we went to was packed, literally to the brim with people that seemed to be enjoying a happy hour like atmosphere at midnight. Musicians strolled the boulevards, stopping at tables of unsuspecting tourists and lovers, serenading the entire café with music before moving off into the darkness to the next café. A large extended family sat next to us at a café, their joy and laughter was infectious and even with my very limited Spanish and even less Catalan we soon found ourselves sharing mystery liquor from a clear bottle. I was exhausted and yet enthralled by the scene. It was like a dream you never wanted to wake up from.
Like dreams, there are some places and some experiences that you just can’t recreate. The next time I search out the dream hopefully it will be from the interior of one of the terrific Barcelona apartments dotted across the city. That way when I wake up and look out across the city, I’ll still feel like I’m in a dream.
Photo Credit: Flickr user dweekly via a creative commons license.