You open the Tripadvisor Barcelona app (you downloaded it at the hotel immediately after you landed in Barcelona, right?) and follow the compass as you venture outside the familiar promenade at Las Ramblas and into the quaint windy alleys of Ciutat Vella. You have allowed yourself 15 extra minutes to be among the first in line to catch their fabled Flamenco night. Unfortunately, you make a wrong turn a few times, perhaps even walk past the venue from a block away, and almost bump into strangers as you puzzle through your next alley choices… but its your first time in Barcelona, and you are allowed that in the old quarters.
You arrive at 8:35 now, 20 minutes later than planned, and there is a huge line outside. You see locals, travelers, expats, couples, and family… You pay 9 euros, get yourself a beer, and realize that all the seats are long gone, upstairs and downstairs. People have started sitting on the walkway upstairs, their legs dangling, and the last good seats for you and your wife together is the stairs. You both sit single file, find a nook for your beer, and marvel at this beautiful club that must have so much history and human spirit behind it. Soon, the place is completely packed.
For the next two hours, you are mesmerized by the extraordinary talent in front of you. Your Spanish vocabulary is extremely limited, but the tender wailing of the singer and the strum of that classical guitar reminds you of the Urdu Ballads you loved growing up, and you may even reminisce with a tear or two. The dancer is absolutely perfect, and you turn off the smartphone flash before you snap a few pictures.
During the break, one of you saves your seats while the other gets one of those awesome potato dishes and a refill. You make small talk with those crammed around you.
As you leave the venue with the crowd two hours later, your soul has been soothed, and Flamenco has initiated your lovely summer Friday evening in this beautiful town.
"Mucho, mucho gracias, Senora", you say to the lady who handed you your tickets at the beginning, and she finally smiles at you. You promise yourself you’ll be back here, again and again, and next time, you won’t need that compass, and you will still sit on those stairs again – because that is your “spot” on this very special place. 6 stars out of 5.
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