Place Del Sol, a friendly center in the neighborhood where everyone gets to hang out by local restaurants

Sometimes when you want to learn more about a person or in this case, a neighborhood, you might need to walk the extra mile and get into their personal space. Walking Barcelona was a great exercise, both as an assignment and a mental exercise. Walking for a few miles on Monday and Wednesday were interesting, especially if you are looking to compare the two days. Monday I walked with a group of five, we walked a few miles through the city. On Wednesday, I only had one other partner to walk with and explore a different part of the city. Monday, we gathered photos from our route which started from a popular tourist area and ending in smaller neighborhoods with a bit more locals than tourists. On Wednesday, Eddie and I explored the deeper part of the city, where there are neighborhoods with many locals and little-to-none tourists.

 

Local grocery store on Carrer Del Torrent De I’Olla. The community is very supportive and shops locally

On our tour Monday, I still felt like a tourist, but on Wednesday I felt as if I were invading the locals personal space. Walking through the small old-fashioned neighborhood, I had mixed emotions such as peaceful, I felt like I belong there; also, nervous because I thought I was seen a tourist.

Anti-tourism sticker in near Dreta De L’Eixample.

The reason I felt nervous was because I saw stickers of anti-tourist sentiment, which made me feel as the center of attention. Relating this experience to when I lived in Jerusalem, we had similar types of neighborhoods. Watching little kids play in smaller neighborhoods reminded me how I was one of the little kids playing with what little we had. Also, walking through the smaller street watching how the locals interact with their local stores felt heartwarming. Even though we walked a lot on Wednesday, the peaceful feeling kept me going and not giving in to how tired I was.

“Refugees Welcome, Bring Your Families”
Such a powerful message and this sticker was very close to the anti-tourism sticker. It is mind-blowing to see that the community would welcome the people in need and not tourists, this is amazing!