There’s a fleeting mystical air of romance about foreign shores; the exoticism, the food, the culture, the feeling that the normal rules of romantic etiquette have completely been discarded, and you should live in the moment because you’re not in real time. There’s something delightfully romantic about Barcelona. Romance permeates the streets as you hear the faint sounds of Latin music and the gentle taps of Flamenco dancers at 1am having drank a little too much sangria.
My friend Ronan and I went to Barca during the summer just before we went to university and boy, was it romantic. I remember one night coming back home to our overpriced hotel to discover he had even lain rose petals over our bed.
We’ve all fantasised about having a holiday romance; to be approached by a Spanish senorita (or matador if you’re that way inclined). Well this story is exactly that. On our last night, we met some people outside a jazz bar (jazz is romantic, right?). It turned out that they were from Manchester and staying in what Barcelona Monthly describes as ‘the worst hostel in Barcelona’. It’s okay, we can still make it to romance; we were in the jazz bar, our lips stained with sangria, talking about Spanish architecture: ‘Oh my god have you seen the Sagrada Família, you absolutely must go, you know it’s still being built!’ I was loving it, as was Ronan – finally some culture instead of night club after night club, which had dominated the itinerary thus far.
When the bar closed, everyone still wanted the keep the party going, so we walked to the beach. I must have lost track of time, because the sun was about to rise. I don’t think I’ve been happier- life really has never been more romantic! What else could this final day have in store? I’d been talking to one person for most of the night, we had loads of chemistry, magic and sparks. We both knew that we’ll never see each other again so we had better make this count. I’ll spare you the details but we had a good time. So good, I woke up on the beach at 12pm by myself, having lost all my things in the sea and with no way of getting back home.
I’m sure you thought this would be a more romantic story, but instead you can have cheap laughs at my expense. Later I came to learn that my friend Ronan had in fact not lain the roses on the bed for me, but had instead been sent them by his then girlfriend who had attached a note that read ‘you are dumped’- true story, which even at the time I thought was an odd choice of breakup gifts, but I digress…