Well, right now we're at 10,972m in the sky, and I'm thinking about landing. Although this flight is only about two hours old, we've already had a great meal on Air France, even a glass of French wine for me! We've watched a movie, in my case, Despicable Me 3 (love this franchise!) and are thinking about sleep. Yes, sleep, at 8:30 at night! But at our destination, it's already 2:30 a.m., and there's five hours left until we get there at 7:30 am local time.
We're flying through Paris this time, but my thoughts have turned toward Barcelona. In the past weeks, it's become clear that the Catalan people are intent on independence -- or at least some of them are. If you've followed this at all, you know that Catalonia, that area of Spain where Barcelona is the regional capital, is a rich, resource-heavy part of the Iberian peninsula. This is one of the many reasons Spain is intent that Catalonia, and Barcelona, stay in the Spanish state. The Catalonians, however, having wished for independence for hundreds of years, see this as their time.
A few weeks ago there was a reasonably violent independence vote, in which Spain employed bloody measures to keep independence-seekers from voting. This has been followed by weeks of posturing and angry talk between the two sides -- the Catalonians intent on leaving Spain, and the Spanish intent on them staying. There have been peaceful and not-so-peaceful demonstrations in Barcelona, mostly in the area of Las Ramblas, that renown pedestrian street that's a local and a tourist destination.
Within the past day the rhetoric has ramped up a bit, and the possibility of violence is increased. In particular, Friday and Saturday promise to be fraught with protests, dissent and, possibly, revolution.
We are hoping to stay far away! It's a little daunting to be flying into one of the least stable places in the world right now.
I don't wish to debate American politics, and I certainly don't want to do so with Catalan ones, but I'm really hoping both sides of this issue remember us innocent tourists and keep the conversations civil.
In any case, we're on our way -- Barcelona, here we come. If we fly into revolution, so be it! It will be interesting, at any rate! We'll keep you posted.