Those of you who have been in New York know the feeling: you go to places you have never been, but still for some reason everything feels familiar as if you had been walking on those streets for your whole short life. That is normally caused by seeing all those two trillion movies taking place in the city. This time, however, we are not talking about New York or a movie, but Barcelona and a book.
The Shadow of The Wind (La sombra del viento) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a book that does two things. If you haven’t been to Barcelona yet, it makes you really want to go there. If you have been to Barcelona it brings back memories, sights, feelings and the general “Barcelona set of mind”. It is a story of a boy who is taken to a mysterious place called the cemetery of books by his father. The boy finds a book called the shadow of the wind and the book starts to play a big part in his life. The book will walk you through the foggy streets, mystical houses and dark basements of Barcelona but still at the same time it makes all this sound like a must-see destination. It also gives you an idea how life in this part of Europe and Spain was in the 1950s and before that.
If you are one of those tourists who want to see Rambla and nothing but Rambla, this book is a must for you. It is a good key for you to open your mind to “the other” Barcelona that is still there if you bother to look. Maybe everything here doesn’t have such a sinister vibe surrounding it as in the book but it is easy to imagine it in the old parts of the city like Gotico, Raval and Born. You can take a closer look at this map to know more.
You don’t always need a travel guide to get to know a city 😉