After we had had our lunch we went back to the plaza where no matter what time of day it was, there’s always a party going on and we met up with Aidan – a plucky little Scottish lad who led us on a 2 hour walking tour of the old part of the city.
Aidan had a University degree in European history and it was clear that this was his jam. He led us through narrow streets where it seems that every time we turned a corner, we ran smack into another cathedral.
We learned about the religious wars and even stood in the courtyard where, for kicks and giggles, the infidels would be trotted out on Sunday mornings to be hung for not converting to Christianity. Oh those, charming Christians of yore.
Aidan rattled off kings and queens’ name with the ease of me, as a child, saying the names of my siblings in my nightly prayers.
*inhale* “God bless, mommy-daddy-Peggy-Patty-Jackie-Jay-Larry-Toby-Wendy-Cathy” *inhale again*
(As an aside, in hind-site, I find it interesting that the dog; Toby came before both me and my sister.)
Suffice it to say that there was a lot of royalty making many political moves with their children. Spain certainly had an exciting history.
Aidan took us to the government square and explained the flags. Spain has its own flag. Catalonia is a part of Spain. It has a red and orange flag. The red stripes represents when Wilfred I the Hairy (he’s big over there) was fatally injured and someone stuck his fingers in the wound and drew them across Willie’s yellow shield. Yup. The Catalan flag represents gore on a platter.
Barcelona is a city within Catalonia. Their flag combines the blood stripes of Catalonia with the red crosses of St. George (who slew a dragon! Serious Game of Thrones stuff going on. )
Lastly there is a political movement to have Catalonia essentially succeed from Spain. The flag for this political movement puts a single star in a triangle of blue on the Catalan flag (take that!). It’s a symbolic merger combining the spirit of the Cuban flag with the Catalan flag.
Looks like not being happy with the current government and its administration is a world-wide occurrence. I certainly felt their pain.
We walked down a street and Aidan told us to look up. The entire façade of a building was a painting by Picasso.
Picasso. Down a street. On a building.
It was like everything I had ever learned about art and world history was coming to life.
Aidan then led us to a public fountain where it is believed that if you drink from one of the fountains in Barcelona that you will fall in love with the city and will need to return again and again. Both Rosemarie and I drank deeply.
Here it was, our first day in Spain and we had already heard so many stories about its history and seen so many new things. We were definitely not in Kansas anymore.
If you ever have a chance to take a walking tour do yourself a favor and go on one. The tour we went on was “free” – you tipped the guide at the end *if* you wanted to – everyone wanted to. But even if we had had to pay, it would have been worth it. It turned out there was no better way to get the big picture of Barcelona than to hear it from a red-headed, Scottish-accented, history buff, who clearly loved to spin his stories in front of a captive audience.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.
Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.