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Come to Barcelona!

Please bear with me, as I am not an English speaker...

I was not born in Barcelona. In fact, I was born in the other end of the world, and still have my family in beautiful Montevideo.

I moved when I was nine and it was not easy. It was not easy at all. I spent my teenage years in an existential angst, sure that this was not my place and that my parents had made the ultimate mistake in bringing me here. But then, again, I'm sure all teenagers feel more or less the same.

However, with time and a really open mind, I've come to love this city. A city that surprises me and enchants me every single day. A city that hides so many misteries and surprises that sometimes it's just impossible to keep up.

For instance, some years back, while they where working on the market in one of the most hip neighborhoods (El Born), they suddenly discovered ruins underneath the market. A whole set of houses and wonderful tools and toys buried under the busy streets where we bought meat, and fish and fresh fruit. Can you imagine? A set of houses they unearthed and you can visit, walking the streets as they did back in the XVI century. Isn't that amazing?

Not a year ago, while my cousin was visiting, we joined a kids activity around the center of the city and I discovered roman ruins I had never seen. Roman columns in the middle of the city, hidden in plain sight in the labyrinth of streets of the beautiful old town, full of riddles and games and secret messages, that make you feel as if you're in a novel.

Barcelona is culture, and that cannot be denied. We have parks and buildings that defy gravity and sight. How else could you describe the wonderful Pedrera or the astounding Parc Güell? Have you ever seen an organic building full of curves and wonderful archways that challenge all the ideas about architecture?

And then again you can just unplug and sit by the sea, either on the sandy beach or on the stony harbor and look at the boats that are leaving for exotic places, or watch the fishermen sitting lazily under the sun or the moon while they wait. Because that's how we live life here, you know? Slowly, enjoying every single minute. Silently, because that's who the Catalans are.

Yes, don't expect noisy Spaniards here... although I'm sure you could find some. Catalans are quiet and considered, helpful, but contained, happy, but always trying not to make you feel uncomfortable. Win a Catalan heart and you'll have a friend for life.

And then we have food. Food so fresh and delicate and original and plentiful. Food so colorful and delicious. All kinds of food, but especially fruit and vegetables and some cured meat to die for.

Barcelona is here and it's waiting for you. Waiting to leave an impression in your heart forever. Once you set foot on this city, you will be in love with it forever.

Come, we're waiting for you.

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