09/11/18

From Barcelona to Manchester

Barcelona at night

Barcelona at night (Image credit: Javier Bosch on Unsplash)

Una flauta de pernil salat, un cafè amb llet i un suc de tronja natural, si us plau

“A ham sandwich, a coffee with milk and a fresh orange juice, please”

Here we are, having our favourite breakfast while writing about one of the most vibrant, cosmopolitan, creative and coolest cities in the world, Barcelona. What can we say that has not been said yet? Just 2,300 million results on Google. Big challenge, isn’t it?

Then we thought… what if we talked about people and their personal experiences? About those stories that link Manchester to Barcelona, two cities separated by 1,387.70km. Sat on a terrace of Corn Exchange on a hot summer day with temperatures matching those of our hometown, we meet Maite Crowney. She’s one of the first people who moved from Catalonia’s capital to the City of Bees.

Flor de Barcelona, a symbol that represents a city

Did you know one of the most popular and traditional symbols of Barcelona is the Flor de Barcelona, Barcelona Flower? A tile that was originally designed for the Amatller House and it was later used to pave numerous streets in Barcelona, especially in the Eixample Neighbourhood.

Eixample de Barcelona

Eixample de Barcelona (image credit: Raubdruckerin)

The trip of a lifetime

Back to Maite’s story. She moved to Manchester driven by passion and love in 1977 to marry a Liverpool teacher. So she took a bus from Barcelona to London and then a train from the capital to Manchester. Today, she teaches English to those new adventurers who arrive in Manchester to write stories like hers. And her two sons have made London and Barcelona the places they call home.

After 41 years living in England, she tells us that she’d love to move back. It was at that insignificant moment that we realised how much we actually share with her: not just two incredible cities, but the passion and the love to do what we truly believe in.

Maite and her husband on their wedding day.

Maite and her husband on their wedding day (Image credit: Maite Crowney)

When we asked Maite where ‘home’ is for her, she took a few seconds to think and she proudly said: “I definitely feel I have two homes, Catalunya and England”. Maite, like most of us do, travels here with a massive bag full of food everytime she comes back from visiting her family and friends in Barcelona: jamón, cured meats, cheese, extra virgin oil, nuts, etc.

It’s those flavours, colours, textures and smells that become memories and make us feel closer to our homes.