Monday was our “let’s tour Barcelona!” day. We got the chance to spend the entire day exploring the beautiful city, enjoying the atmosphere, and eating great food. We left at 10am and went right to a castle that was on top of a hill overlooking Barcelona. There was a ski-lift that went up to the castle and back down that gave us a stunning view of the city. That’s when I realized how massive the city actually was.
On my ski-lift was a woman from Ireland, Ashleen, who was part of campus crusades(a group of christian students who get together on secular campuses) here in Spain. She said there was only a total of 600 people part of the campus crusades in the totality of Spain. That’s less than the amount of people who go to LBC. Dr. Bigley was with us and he asked how she felt about the revolution that was going on in Catalonia. That’s when she talked about how there was a disconnect between the older generation and the younger. The leaders of Catalonia don’t want to make any decisions, yet, they want to talk to the leaders in Madrid. But Madrid wants them to make a decision first about independence, and then they talk. The most notable part of the conversation was when she talked about the worst possible scenario; Madrid calling forArticle 155, saying they can’t have independence, leading to a full-blown civil war. It is crazy to think about all that is happening and how we can play such a huge part in this moment in history.
After we got down at the castle, we went into Barcelona. We ate at a local college, got some time to explore, and we all joined together to take the metro (subway) to theMediterranean Sea. We walked the scenic route so we could see the old town. This included seeing the old cathedral from the 13th century and Roman columns from the 3rd century. We spent about an hour and a half at the sea and then we split up into groups, some heading back to where we are staying and some staying in the city.
I chose to stay in the city, because Spain, with a few of my friends. We decided to find dinner at one of the local restaurants. Along Las Ramblas, there are store fronts on either side but also restaurant seating areas, on street venders, and people trying to sell you things in the middle of the boulevard. We found a place in the middle that had authentic Spanish food. It was a paella and 2 tappas for $10. We all decided to get that and we shared the tappas that came out so we got to try about seven different foods. During our dinner we had several men selling roses just walk through the restaurant area and try to get us to buy roses. The restaurant didn’t care and just let it happen. It was very odd how open it all was. And how slow dinner took!
After dinner, we headed back towards the metro. Around 10pm, we heard a bell ringing non-stop. We didn’t take much notice to it though. Once we got back to where we are staying, Dr. Bigley showed us a video that he took from his room window that was just the sound of the banging of pots and pans, bells, and who knows what, that all started around 10pm. Several of the other groups that had stayed in the city talked of cars beeping their horns when there was no traffic and a woman having a normal conversation with someone but pushing her bike horn repeatedly while they talked. It turns out, several of the key members that have been essential in the call for independence had been arrested and they were protesting. Dr. Bigley had gone down to the one clerk to ask what the banging was for, and after getting that explanation, the clerk told him how he thinks it’s foolish to split from Spain. I find it very interesting how split the community is on this subject.
We are here during a big moment in history. We do not think it a coincidence that we were brought here during this time either. Everything is changing and we can be a catalyst for even more change. Pray with us for the county and the people who will be impacted by either decision that is made and pray for us as we try to be a light during this time.