“Tombstone tourism is not that weird”, one of the readers of one of my previous blog posts stated on Facebook. Another said I should check out the cemetery of Poblenou. So I decided to give tombstone tourism another chance.
After a nice morning at the beach watching people playing beach volley, I found myself heading towards Cementiri de l’Est. If it would be for one thing, it’d be for the contradiction.
My first encounter with the cemetery was a wall, beautifully covered by the blooming bright purple bougainvillea. As the entrance is on the Passatge de la Llaguna, I had to walk around. A nice surprise awaited: a garden with palm trees and a small fountain, and path ending in a pretty entrance port.
My expectations were high…. but when I got in, my breath wasn’t taken away. I didn’t see beauty. I saw the same piles of niches for the urns like in the Montjuïc cemetery. And they’re really not pretty. But as I walked further I found older graves, of 100 years old or older, even. Many mausoleums, often with statues, rounded by a large wall with crypts.
Not every mausoleum is well-maintained. Very often grave stones were damaged, and a lot of the gates were opened or broken. It was one of those moments that I was grateful I’ve never seen an episode of zombie tv-series The Walking Dead.
Just as on the Montjuïc cemetery, the penetrant smell of stray cats will come out from hidden corners. Sometimes they’d show themselves, with a detached and cold look in their eyes.
More to discover
I guess I should have gone to this cemetery first, and then to the Montjuïc. This one is a whole lot smaller, and yes, there is beauty to be found, but the cemetery of Montjuïc is just a whole lot more nicer. And apparently there are more cemeteries in Barcelona yet to be discovered. If I decide to go on with this tombstone tourism, that is. Because going to a cemetery for fun still feels a bit weird.