Wednesday Wonders: The Magic Fountain, Barcelona, Spain

There are few things that leave me mesmerised. I am often impressed by majestic, grandiose and acient monuments and buildings, don’t get me wrong. But there are few things that transcend into an emotive response from me. And, much to my surprise, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic did it for me. I was nearly in tears as I watched it. I think the reason behind such a strong emotional response was that I have been missing music in my travels. I don’t have an IPOD. I don’t know the latest radio hits. The only music I listen to is the stuff playing at the hostels I stay at (which can be questionable, at best) or elevator music in shopping centres or airports.

My pictures won’t do it justice. I can’t convey the beauty of the movement of the water, the lighting and the music through a photograph – so I am choosing not to post any. 

I felt nothing but pure awe as I walked from Placa Espana up the Avenida de la Reina to the Magic Fountain, with the background of the palatial splendour that is National Museum of Catalunyan Art. I can remember making comparisons to my feelings of visiting Disneyland as a child.

The beauty of the crowd surrounding the Magic Fountain was that it was full of joy. Children squealing as the wind picked up and sprayed the water from the fountains jets over them. Swimming fans who had descended from the World Swimming Championships being held atop Montjuic – adorning flags as capes, wearing garish tshirts in the colours of their nation. Elderly people sitting on the park benches. Young lovers holding hands. Groups of teenagers having a picnic on the grass. There was no jostling to get a good vantage point – everywhere you stood you could see the magic fountain.  There were no bad tempers despite the heat of the day in the peak of Summer simmering away into the night. 

I remember standing quite near to the fountain, and as the various shapes of the water and lighting changed to the music of Celine Dion’s Titanic-tear jerking tune to “My Heart Will Go On”, a man selling roses offered me one. The irony that I was here by myself, a solitary figure amongst the crowd was not lost on me, and I had to fight hard to contain my laughter whilst shaking my head to decline the rose vendor’s sale.

If you are in Barcelona, please go to the Magic Fountain. It is free. The show plays at dusk, but only on certain days. I recommend getting to Placa Espana, and then walking up to Montjuic from there.

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