Although I managed to sleep through it, helicopters kept the town on alert through last night. As we traveled to a concert at the Palau de la Musica Catalanes through drizzly streets, our cabbie dropped us off a half mile from the venue due to police closure of the way to our destination. Supporters of Spain marched with their flags and banging drums to protest the vote scheduled for the morning, and I found myself limping with the wrong shoes and my heart pounding with anxiety that something would break out in the streets and we would be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But it was all well; some bandaids allowed me to walk adequately, a light dinner and convivial conversation with another English-speaking traveler and a mind-blowingly beautiful concert both visually and audio-ly sent us strolling through busy streets back to the hotel. Through the bar crowds of the Barri Gotic, and the Passig de Gracia we wandered to our home for the week. I recommend the young Spanish-style guitarist Ali Arango, who moved me to tears with his encore version of Brouwer's "A Day In November". One of the most poignant musical moments I've ever experienced, I hope he will come to the US.
Today we are horrified to watch the police action trying to control the local vote. I have not witnessed any of the violence personally but it is all over the news here and the tension in the streets feels as though it could turn at any moment. "May you live in interesting times" they say, and these sure are those! Now we head out to the game at Camp Nou and hope the only conflict we will see is the sports match.