As I said in Part 1, ‘la confianza’ means both confidence and trust. The ‘trust’ issue on my last trip to Barcelona, came upon us unexpectedly. Mi marido y yo (my husband and I) were leaving a bar, when the man sitting next to us spotted the logo on my husband’s work jacket. ‘Trabaja en Michelin?’ he asked. A ‘larga conversación’ (long conversation) ensued – mostly about ‘ruedas, coches y el evento de coches de carreras’(tyres, cars and the racing car meet) that he organises on an annual basis in the middle of Barcelona. Suddenly, the conversation ended with the question ‘¿Mañana al mediodía’? (Tomorrow at midday?). My husband was excited – the chap had shown him a photo of ‘un coche caro y poco común’ (a rare and expensive car) and agreed to show it to him, so the following day we met ‘enfrente del restaurant a las doce’ (in front of the restaurant at midday). The chap was ’bien vestido y amable’ (well-dressed and amiable enough), but as ‘le seguimos’ (we followed him) further and further away from the bar ’empecé a sentirme intranquila’ (I started to feel uneasy) and as he unlocked his garage door I suddenly realised that ‘nadie sabía dónde estábamos’(nobody knew where we were), who we were with or what we were doing – ‘¡ni nosotros tampoco!’ (not even us!). As the fluorescent lights flickered on, I was initially reassured to see not just the prized Lotus, but a ‘verdadero museo de coches y motos’ (veritable museum of cars and motorbikes). ‘Los hombres’ (the men) discussed each one in great detail and I tried to ask sensible questions and look interested, but my attention was drawn to ‘un agujero bastante grande en el medio del garaje’ (a rather large hole in the middle of the room). ‘¿Qué es?’ I asked ‘¡Es un refugio!’ our host explained. He handed us some miner’s torches to strap on to our heads and indicated the manhole and a rather rusty ladder that disappeared in to the darkness below. So now, dear reader, ask yourself what you would have done? I mean, ‘¿habéis visto la película Room?’ (have you seen the film ‘Room’?) Quite right – I thanked the man politely, told him that I had just remembered an ‘cita urgente’ (urgent appointment) ‘ver a alguién sobre algo’ (to see a man about a dog) and left the building.
Except I didn’t. I put the searchlight on and clambered down after him, all the time thinking ‘How can he afford all of these ‘coches caros’ (expensive cars) if not by ‘atrayendo a turistas’ (luring tourists down) to his ‘refugio antiaéreo’ (air raid shelter), stealing their ‘tarjetas de crédito’ (credit cards) and jewellery ‘y entonces…’ (and then …?) I counted 87 steps down, then to the right ‘para reducir el impacto de una explosión’ (to lessen the effect of an explosion) then down again until ‘de repente paramos’ (we stopped suddenly) ‘al final’ (at the end of) the tunnel and my headlight came to rest – ‘no es broma’ (I kid you not) – on a pick-axe and a shovel. At this point, I must confess, I tried to work out if I would rather die first, or watch someone kill my husband and have to dig ‘su tumba’ (his grave). Trust, ‘amigos míos’ (my friends) was in short supply. By the time I had turned and made a rather hasty retreat back up to the ladder, ‘me estaban temblando las piernas’ (my legs had turned to jelly) and I scrambled out of the hole ‘de una forma indigna’ (in a most undignified manner). It was with great relief that I heard our host declare that ‘era la hora del vermouth y berberechos’ (it was time for ‘Vermouth & cockles’) in a local café where he explained why so many citizens of Barcelona built air raid shelters during the ‘la Guerra Civil Española’ (Spanish civil war). I do hope that our host will forgive my suspicions of his serial killer tendencies as he is ‘un señor encantador’ (a really lovely guy) whom we hope will become a friend – particularly if he ‘¡viene a visitarnos en su Lotus!’ The ladder is in the first clip and the famous pick-axe in the second! (comes to visit us in his Lotus)!
By coincidence, Trinxeres TV3 filmed here as part of their series. The videos are in Catalan rather than Castillan Spanish (which we use in our classes) but you can see the tunnel – and see if you can make out any words. Catalan is spoken by more than half of the people in Barcelona – so worth a listen!