I know that I promised i’d update from every location, but that didn’t seem to work at all. In part it was due to my deteriorating health condition that came about on the trip, but was also due to the lack of stoke that seemed to be upon the site. One promise that I will come through on is the update about every city, complete with pics. In sequential order, I bring you Barcelona.
Holy balls was this a mission. Have you ever flown Alitalia? It’s pretty much the worst airline in existence. Period. I actually know that this has been touched upon in various skate mag articles so I won’t go into details, but they are seriously the worst. I suppose if you were flying First Class it might be okay, but maybe not even then. I mean, with all this no water from home bullshit, and the fact that no one is quite sure whether you can bring on water that you bought after the security checkpoint, it can make things quite arrid indeed. On this flight, they decided that no water that one brought on was okay, included that water that was purchased after security. That being the case, you’d think that the friendly flight attendents would be handing out water during the entire flight. Wrong. Alitalia trades the standard notion of customer service for a “whenever the fuck we feel like it” policy. You want water? There’s a cart in the back of the plane, help yourself. The water’s gone? There’s some wine there. You don’t want wine? I’ll get more water later. You get the idea…
The moral of the story is Alitalia sucks, this was my second and last time flying with them and the Milan Airport (where we transferred) is honestly like some sort of inner circle of hell. Once we transferred we were off to Barcelona, and ready for a quick nap.
Finally able to relax we went to our hotel to find that we had a cute little balcony with this view.
After we got settled we went to eat at this rad little vegan cafe, and had a much needed refueling. Although it was contested by a sister (an American living in Northern Spain) of a friend, Spain and Barcelona in particular has an interesting history of vegetarianism stemming largely from the Spanish Civil war and the Anarcho-Syndicalists view of diet. Here’s Juniper at the cafe.
Most people assume that since they are in Spain, people in Barcelona will speak Spanish. While it is true that people from Barcelona do speak Spanish, Spanish is not the official language. Barcelona is in Catalonia, a region of Spain that seeks autonomy, and speaks Catalan. Barcelona is an interesting place because it is essentially entirely bilingual. You will hear Spanish being spoken, but people prefer Catalan, and it is not a dialect of Spanish, it is an entirely different language. It almost sounds French at times, and some words carry over. That being said, even with a decent grasp of Spanish, it is a different Spanish than I’m used to, so it took a little bit to get used to.
We took a walk down to the harbor and found this. I don’t really know what it is, but it was weird enough that it deserved a pic.
This was a nice way to break up a dull afternoon.
This was right near where we stayed.
We walked through this little placa to get our favorite eating establishment. It was lovely.
I/we don’t usually go for the whole sightseeing vacation. I usually just like to walk around, go to different parts of town, skate, chill, eat at cool places etc. In terms of sights, you can see anything you want in a book, but you can’t be exposed to people, lifestyle, streets etc. without getting out there, so that’s what we did. This guy in Warsaw we met put it perfectly. He basically said that he travels very slow because he interested in people, not monuments and museums. You can’t get a feel for a place in two days he said. Point taken, but sometimes one can’t resist. MACBA gets bashed in guidebooks as being a prime example of style over substance, but everytime I’ve gone inside, I have not been disappointed. Here’s a shot from the Gego exhibition.
It’s now time to introduce our third travelling partner, Chupi. Chupi came with us to MACBA, but got hungry and crabby and had to go sit outside. Note the famous ledge he chose to sit on. Luckily No one wanted to thrash it, or he could have been in trouble.
I brought my trucks and bought a board on Christmas eve (for some reason the shop was open) with the intention of trashing my ass off. When I tried to set it off, I was really weak and had no motivation. I ended up going to some key spots including Fondo, which was really nice. Next time though, I need the dudes there. I wouldn’t find out why I felt so shitty until later.
Close to MACBA is the Anarcho-Syndicalist study center. As mentioned earlier, Barcelona has a fascinating history of Anarchist resistance. It’s usually the “go-to” when people are discussing large scale anarchist success stories. Here’s a pic…
Finally our last day before we were whisked away to Berlin. A perfect, beautiful Barca afternoon.
Judging by the amount of time I have on my hands, I could do one of these everyday, but I think I’ll keep it to one a week due to the length. Ciao!