Erasmus Flat students survive the terrorist act in Barcelona

After the attack on La Rambla in Barcelona and on the coast of Tarragona, today the Catalan community dawns quiet, sad, desolate. Panic gripped the streets. The bustle that characterizes Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter has become a valley of silence. In my case I witnessed the panic among the tenants of the Erasmus Flat rooms in the heart of Barcelona. Luckily none of the students were injured or deceased.

Throughout the afternoon we lived in uncertain moments, regarding the location of some of the students. As I got home I witnessed hugs of friendship and consolation for not being among the victims. It could have been any of us.

The students, all of them except a German boy who is practicing at a hotel in Barcelona, were waiting in their rooms while media and social networks reported on what had happened.

To give you an idea, Avinyó street and Jonqueres street, which is where some of the homes that Erasmus Flat offers to foreign students, are located in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona, a few minutes from La Rambla. Normally the streets that make up this beautiful neighborhood are crowded with people, mostly foreigners. However, yesterday, as a result of chaos and panic, the streets were silent.

Today I find it difficult to say that Barcelona is a great city for Erasmus students. But it is.

It is because what happened last night on Las Ramblas could have happened in Granada, Salamanca or Madrid, some of the cities most demanded by the young people who come to our country to work.

Barcelona is a city where hundreds of people from all over the world live together and where everyone is accepted. There is fear, yes but just like any other city in Spain, these people who mean us harm can act anywhere.

Precisely hours after the terrorist act on La Rambla, I witnessed the presence of foreign tourists on an outside restaurant terrace close to the site of the attacks. I asked myself how they could be there. But it makes sense. We should not make them think that we are frightened, even if we are. You have to go outside and continue your life.

From Erasmus Flat we want to send a strong hug to the affected families. Our deepest condolences. I write this only 200 meters from the site of the terrorist attacks. And just as it happened to them, it could have happened to me. I am really sorry.