My Journey to Barcelona

Plaza Cataluña (xixerone.comPlaza Cataluña (

When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.

I’d decided to go to Barcelona in search of the meaning of life. Who am I kidding? It was because I’d spotted this beautiful girl in London two weeks earlier: Sun-bleached hair, sky-blue eyes. I’d walked cockily up to her, and said, “California, right?”

“Perdona?” she’d replied.

Once I’d suavely removed my foot from my mouth, I discovered Gabriella was, 1) from Barcelona, and 2) delighted to meet an American (go figure). She invited me to visit her in sunny España (which, in fact, looks a lot like sunny SoCal). We were obviously soul mates. There might or might not be a God in heaven, but there definitely was a Gabriella in Barcelona.

It was impossible hitching a ride out of Lyons amid a thousand other outstretched thumbs. So I stopped trying, and gave all my raisins and Bonbel cheese to some skinny Krishna kids who were flat broke and chanted out. We talked about God, or, well, I did. They mostly just ate. Then I found a bus depot, and bought a ticket to Barcelona.

I sat next to a Spanish kid named Daniel, and his grandpa Tito across the aisle. Daniel and I talked a lot at first because it was exciting to be going somewhere, anywhere. But then after an hour, they cut the lights inside and it was dark outside, so we drifted off into, as I cleverly put it, an “eslumber.” To which Daniel replied, “That does not mean anything en español, señor Mitch.”

I doubt if I could ever have so thoroughly mastered Spanish if it hadn’t been for Daniel. The moment we awoke, we began to teach me Spanish. I wrote in my journal:

For ten hours we spoke!

We spoke till we were hoarse

nay, till we were furry

and feathers clung to our throats

and grandpa had to laugh.

And when we stopped we stole

big blue handfuls of grapes

in the south of France.

Then we ate some more Spanish

while the Pyrenees came up and washed over us

carrying us deep into the

castle-dotted seas of Cataluña.

And all the while the autobús

burped and hollered

and punched its way down

the skinny isles of Spanish villages,

through city lanes of verdant green

on walls of powdering stone,

where there were balconies and dresses

and wet undershirts strung overhead

like a festival in the sun.

We finally arrive in Barcelona, the land of la chica bonita


To read the next episode, click here.


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to My Journey to Barcelona

      • I just watched your “Healing River” this morning. I still have fibromyalgia symptoms (2 decades of it) and was wiped out by giving a program at a library last evening about Grandma Leora, who lost three of her five sons during WWII and was widowed about a year after the war. So I watched “Healing River” with that still in my head. Very compelling–the actors, the story, the music. Even enjoyed finding the author at the end. lump in throat

        Liked by 2 people

      • mitchteemley says:

        Joy, so sorry to hear about your issues with fibro (one of my daughters has had it for about ten years now, so we know how painful and disruptive it can be).
        On a different note, I’m so glad you enjoyed and were moved by Healing River! May I encourage you, if you feel so led, to share about it on Facebook, and to leave a brief review at Amazon? (The more reviews it gets, the more they recommend it). Also, you can rate it from 1 to 10 stars on IMDb (link below). Note: IMDb only recognizes the rating if you rate a few other movies, as well. Thanks and blessings. Have a wonderful, healing weekend.


  1. Russell Brown says:

    What a great story! I can’t wait to read the next installment. I’ll bet your Spanish got “muy better” by the end of the trip, no?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hannahtk says:

    Haha, that’s a delightful read! I was chugging and bumping along with you and Daniel…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M.B. Henry says:

    🙂 🙂 That’s one way to learn Spanish!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really love this one, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. haoyando says:

    What a nice journey. Wish I were there to listen to your vivacious talk. And “eslumber” sounds like a word. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The question is, did Spain and la chica bonita live up to expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Zina Hermez says:

    Some great writing, per usual!👍 Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. BBYCGN says:

    How lovely! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    I can’t wait to see where this goes.

    Liked by 1 person

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