Solo Travel No More — Sisters Take on Barcelona


Morning is tea.

It is stocking up

our stomachs on breakfast

because we are smart

but will always be poor

in the face of the lives we want to live.

We are not up at dawn.

Sitting across from each other

we are not romantic,

I don’t offer you milk.

I’m wearing the same leggings

I’ve had on all week.

You’re experimenting with natural shampoos

and not showering.

We cannot travel pretty.

Last night we fought by 9pm

searching for a hipster bar

where a foreign movie played,

and we stood in the rain.

After twenty years you’d think

we’d treat each other better.

Now, sitting side by side

on the steps of a shrine

of a saint who might save us,

we see couples kiss

in the Cathedral’s courtyard.

We wonder if we are alone.

The thunderstorm explodes

the garden there 

in galactic sprays of light,

droplets sparking off dark leaves.

Lightening bounces

off everything holy and white:

five statues, thirteen geese.

I look to you.

Sister, some god’s illuminating

the curve of your smile

and probably mine too.

A view of the city from the castle at Montjuic
We are major graffiti fans

Mikayla and I are walking our way around Barcelona for the week. We’re running on low funds and maximum sight seeing. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened so far:

1. Emormous amounts of street-gawking. Balcony! Epic dreads! Dachshund!

2. Drinking a hot chocolate that was so thick it was hard to move my spoon through it to stir.

3. Getting lost. again. and again.

4. Stumbling upon Gaudi’s strange sand castle architecture of the Sagrada de Familia.

5. Watching a violent pigeon attack on the lawn outside the Castell de Montjuic.

6. Getting caught in the Barcelona Cathedral during a giant thunderstorm. More high class bird watching of the famous 13 geese who live there.

7. Smuggling sandwiches out of the hostel every morning. Upping the sandwich count from 1 to 2.

8. Getting asked to follow promoters to “coffee shops” which don’t sell coffee. They are places where you can buy into a weed-share program and smoke there as much as you want as long as you keep paying.

major animal nerds


3 thoughts on “Solo Travel No More — Sisters Take on Barcelona

  1. I had to laugh when I saw this scene. When we were there a couple of years ago we found this so unattractive. The family we were visiting kept assuring us those yellow poles were stunning at night when they were lit up, but like you we were there in the day time.

    Wonderful city to explore. Hopefully you’ve also read Zafon so you have that powerful literary context as well.


  2. Yes, we thought those poles were so strange too! I think it’s the color that’s so offputting, but the sunset really lit them up. Felt a little Star Wars-esque. I haven’t gotten to Zafon yet and he’s on my list now. Any recommendations for a first read?


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