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In my travel plan, that one I made in June and almost immediately abandoned, I had thought to return to Spain after three months in South America. I wanted to spend some time there. At least a month, hopefully three, longer if that damned visa didn't exist. I first went to Spain in 2011, a month into what turned into my 15-month, or three year, depending on how you look at it, 'round the world trip. Spain was a turning point. ...

In all honesty, I did a pretty pathetic job of eating in Barcelona. I ended up making a lot of salads in my kitchen because, after two months of almost exclusively eating out, it was just nice to have some nice crisp light vegetables. And I was just tired of trying to figure out where to eat and try to get a place for one. I did a lot of eating in markets. Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria in the center of town was a life saver for a quick bite to eat and some fresh juice. I...

I've liked Barcelona. It's a very Chicago-esque place which, in a way, helped me feel at home here the past four weeks. I can't really explain what it is. I joked that it's pretty but dirty and everyone speaks Spanish. Which, in reality, is only partially a joke. Maybe it's the Metro system that can get you anywhere. Or the beaches that are nice but don't feel quite right. Or the mid rises and high rises. Whatever the case, I've liked Barcelona....

When I decided to spend my September in Barcelona, I didn't even know I would be here for La Mercè. Actually, I didn't even know what La Mercè was until just before I came. Everywhere in Spain they celebrate a festa major, or annual festival. Barcelona celebrates their patron saint at the end of September with a multi-day extravaganza full of events and activities. And thus, I spent the last four days here in Barcelona wandering about and getting a taste of some crazy Catalan customs...

Adam (another blogger I met at TBEX this summer) and his wife Megan also happened to be traveling in Barcelona. So I met up with them and others one night for beers at a pizza place. It was good to catch up with someone else I've met before, especially someone who once took a similar trip to mine. And to watch a little doggy beg for food… ...

After many days of sitting around the apartment doing nothing but watching downloaded movies and episodes of the Simpsons I was finally feeling better. Lo and behold the penicillin seemed to cure me of the "viral infection" I'd been suffering with for the let 6 weeks. My cough is even almost completely gone....

It's weird how small the world can be. As I said before, I picked a great time to be in Barcelona because I know a lot of people passing through. Like Ian, who's an ex-coworker of my friend Emily and who I've met a few times before. He took a couple of weeks vacation to travel through Portugal and Spain and ended his trip this weekend in Barcelona. ...