CALAMBA TO BARCELONA -- 1 MAY to 16 JUNE 1882

The trip [to Barcelona] -- 5:00 p.m. 15 June -- 11:30 a.m. 16 June

Seated in a first-class coach Messrs. Buil, Pardo and I traveled from Marseille to Port Bou. I, who was traveling for the first time in an express train, was surprised by the speed, which increased whenever two trains met going in opposite directions. They seemed to be two lightning bolts. We passed various towns, fields, olive groves, vineyards. By night we were in Tarascon.

Something peculiar happened to me. At one station we were told that the train was stopping thirty minutes. Messrs. Buil, Pardo, and I went down. At the end of about six minutes, I saw the train pullout and I tried to follow it. I ran, but in vain. I was going to continue running, when fortunately a guard informed me that it would return after twenty minutes as it had left just to change tracks. We passed Montpellier, a city famous for its medical school.

I arrived at Barcelona on 16 June 1882.

The train on which I traveled with Pardo and Buil left us at Port Bou. After having been inspected and treated rudely by the Spanish carabineers, we boarded a smaller, though beautiful coach, upholstered with red cloth. Upon entering Spanish territory one cannot fail to perceive the fact in the air, landscape, and manner. A lad dressed half Spanish and half French said emphatically that the boundary was there. We passed through numerous tunnels, the only magnificent works that until now I have seen in this country. It was morning...The sun was scarcely tinting with soft colors the fresh clouds in the East. My companions were sleeping; I, steeped in melancholy reflections on my future, was looking far away, and my mind wandered, thinking of a million beings and things.

I am arriving in Spain, alone and unknown; the first stage of my unknown journey is there. What am I going to do and what is going to become of me in the future? My money is dwindling. I know I would meet friends, but despite this, no one is capable of overcoming the emotions that a new country produces in a young heart.

Near the railroad could be seen olive groves, vineyards, pine groves, and highways; in the distance some ruins of a crumbling castle, huts, small towns consisting of some gray houses. Now and then could be seen a worker or country folk. One would say that the country was deserted. The sharp curves of the mountains covered with pines and chestnut, if not as green as those in my country, nevertheless reminded me of it. Until Barcelona the only cities that attracted my attention were Gerona, memorable for the siege that it endured, and Figueras, for its large size. Now and then the railroad passes beside the sea. I gazed at it as an old friend from whom one is separating for a long time. Very soon, at about half past ten, I sighted in the distance, beside the waves of the sea, a large city with a small mountain on the side. I presumed it must be Barcelona. In effect the brother of Mr. Vicente Pardo, who came to meet him at the train together with a daughter of his -- a precious blonde girl of about 10 or eleven years with large eyes, fine features, a spiritual and contemplative look -- told me that that city was Barcelona and that mountain was the fortress of Montjuich. A few minutes later we arrived at Barcelona where Pardo left us to join his brother. Buil and I remained and agreed to stay together until our departure.

In effect we took a coach, put our luggage in it, and went to the Fonda de España, San Pablo.

Barcelona made an unpleasant impression on me. Accustomed to the elegant and magnificent buildings of the cities I have seen, the polite and refined manner, not having stayed anywhere except in beautiful and first-class hotels, and then enter a city through its most ugly section and stop at an inn located on a narrow street where everyone was indifferent. I don't know if it was the state of my mind that gave this nostalgic aspect to things.

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