Monalia's World

Observations on a New Life in Spain

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Spring in Barcelona

31 March, 2009 (16:20) | Living in Europe | By: admin

Self Portrait at my favorite spot in Ciutadella Park

You can see my bike in the first shot, taken from my favorite corner of Ciutadella Park

I was preparing a multi-media post mid March called “A Day in the life of Monalia” which was meant to depict one perfect day in which I went out with my tek bag, on my bike, documenting the beauty of early spring in Barcelona. But then, first my NAGRA audio recorder started giving me problems (in the shop in Madrid as I write this) so all my recordings were crackly, then I found myself buying a puppy on March 20th (first day of spring) and now, puppy underfoot, I’m leading a quieter life, training the puppy, uploading loops to

So you can look forward to a future blog with the title “A day in the Life of Monalia”, and meanwhile here are some photos taken this month.


The next photos, of Tossa Del Mar, are worthy of some narrative:
Tossa del Mar


The first time Mark and I came to Barcelona, 15 years ago, our friend Rolando and his wife Sandra took us on a 1 hour car drive to a beach with the ruins of a castle or church (the memory fuzzy) on the cliffs overlooking an otherwise sandy beach. It was spring-like weather then as well. Mark, who I was not married to yet and who was in those days working at a warehouse in the San Fernando Valley by day, playing heavy metal speed guitar by night, had bought us round trip tickets for my birthday. I was already obsessed with wanting to move to Barcelona and he was curious what it was all about.

Amazingly, for Mark Barcelona was also love at first sight. We recorded sounds, took photos, videos, traipsed around with Rolando who made himself available to us. And we went to Tossa del Mar. Only until this week, we didn’t know the name of the beach he had taken us to, nor where it was. It sat for 15 years like a frozen memory – I had memorized the small town itself, the beach, had climbed all around the ruins and shared some “chocolate” with Rolo inside what I remember to be the ruins of a church or monastery. I remember climbing to the top and all around the cliffs and the village in the back, I remember having a drink at a cliffside cafe, I remember a fair going on with kids, a tent, music. I remember Sandra’s brother or friend meeting us there, and walking around the town to different galleries.

The café we stopped at 15 years ago is still there, only it is closed right now.

When we moved here I asked Rolando what beach he had taken us to 15 years go and he became confused. He had no memory at all of taking us there, and he also didn’t remember taking us to another beach called “Toxic Beach” which still remains a mystery to us.

Anyway, 2 weeks ago (before my puppy) Our new friends from the neighborhood, Sara and Ricardo,
(who I have written about in the Viladrau blog) invited us plus big dog Haka to Tossa del Mar, a lovely beach with fun restaurants and a great beach for the dogs. Of course we agreed, and as soon as we arrived there and parked the car it all came back.

“This is the place Rolo took us to 15 years ago Mark!” I exclaimed, and proceeded to the head of the pack because I knew the way to the beach. I love it when that happens – suddenly I went from thinking “where are we?'” to “Hey – I know this town”
Mark remembered the place too, but in not so much detail as I. We climbed to the top. The following photos are all dejà vu – we’ve finally connected the dots, did the same walk with Sara, Ricardo and dogs only now the area Rolo and I hung out is now cordoned off and there is a sign saying the site is under restoration.

The right 2 thumbnails are of the spot where Rolo and I hung out 15 years ago.
In the last thumbnail shot above Mark is laying on the beach, dog between his legs, iPhone in his palm on his lap…
An interesting anecdote is that much of the 1958 film The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad was filmed on the beach of Tossa del Mar.