Friday, 15 November 2013

Exploring BARCELONA - Day 1

My first morning in Barcelona, Friday the 5th of Sept.  I got ready with my host Silvia to visit the place which for an Indian can be nothing short of a shocker.  Just as a westerner getting a cultural shock when landing in any Indian metro city, this place in Barcelona too surely would give anyone from the Indian sub-continent a cultural shock.  "Marbella" beach in Barcelona is quiet famous as the nude beach.  And being nude at this beach is not at all uncommon here.  My host and friend Silvia had this thing in her mind since the time I told her that I'll be visiting Barcelona.  The thing was to take me to the nude beach where she has been quite a regular visitor.

The thought of visiting a nude beach with your host friend is not at all something that ignites the sexual part of yours.  For me it was something very overwhelming and I didn't think of it much before landing in Barcelona. Surely I had my set of anxious queries which were I must say, very well handled by Silvia.  We left in the morning so as to return by noon before it became too hot under the sun.  Silvia was really enjoying the part to know how an Indian would handle being on the nude beach.

We got down at the bus stop and after a 5 minute walk we reached the beach.  Silvia had explained me some basic rules when you are at a nude beach which were quite obvious.  The beach was starting to get crowded by the time we had reached.  People of all different ages, men, women, couples, singles were seen. Also there were some asian and african guys selling Cerveza (beer) on the beach.  Silvia had told me about them and to sell beer like this was illegal in Barcelona. The sight of Marbella beach was really really overwhelming for me.  And as I earlier mentioned there is nothing sexual about being at a nude beach. Rather it's a self liberating experience.  Of course one can't imagine in the wildest of dream to have such a place in India ;) or for that matter in most of the beaches in the world.  We left after a spending some nice few hours at the beach and by the time it got really crowded we left for home.

Tapas & Cerveza 
When we reached home we both were quiet hungry.  And as I had heard of 'Tapas' the very local and common stuff, I was quiet eager to try it. So we went to a nice restaurant nearby and not at all expensive.  Had my first Tapas (Bread with potatoes, cheese and mayonnaise) and Cerveza.

The dance troupe

Also I had received one invitation  to a flamenco dance show from a flamenco dancer (who also was a couch surfer and it was on that evening itself in a bar called 'Gracia Latina' in the area called 'Garcia'. How could I have missed a flamenco concert and that too when it was having free entry? ;)  No way.

The dancer
Silvia told me that Gracia was one area where the streets are so narrow that no buses go.  So we had to walk quite a bit which was ok. ;)  Wow I had never ever been to a flamenco concert and I was pretty eager to see it.  We were the first guests and so we had our seats right in front.  The troupe had 2 singers, 1 dancer and 1 anchor.  By the time the one hour concert which was fantastic, got over the bar was packed.  The flamenco dancer as for me       was extremely gracious and fabulous. The music was fantastic and I could say so as the crowd really cheered them and appreciated the dance a lot. The anchor was quite comic and he knew perfectly how to keep a grip on the audience. 

Day 1 was pretty exciting and in my next few days I was really getting more eager to explore more of Barcelona.