First off I have to mention that Barcelona has, hands down, the best looking girls I’ve ever seen in a single city. Nice France was leading the charge previously but Barcelona has surpassed it in my eyes. I’ve never been to Rio which is supposed to be another hotbed but I have been to NYC, LA, Paris, Bangkok, and based on the consistancy and quality I have to give it to Barcelona.
Gaudi. One of my new favorite architects. I had a couple people prep me on his work before going but they didn’t prepare me adequately for it. I love how bizarre,whimsical, dark and fantastic some of his designs are.
I stayed with Carlos, a collage teammate of mine who is one of my funnier aquintances. Not in a joke telling way, just in a “it’s funny to be around” way, like you’re in some kind of a sitcom with zany occurances happening frequently. Together we did a few of the touristy sites, Sagrada Familia, Montjuïc, some of the plazas, and of course the beach. I got into the city just in time for the Festival of Sant. Joan, which it turns out is John the Baptist. Basically the festival is people hanging out on one beach drinking and shooting off fireworks from 5pm to 5am. They were also showing the France v. Spain Euro cup game on the beach, which was pretty sweet. It was a lot of fun.
Climbing. Barcelona is a big climbing destination with several world class area’s within a couple hours driving distance and the deep water soloing of Mallorca not too far. Unfortunately I didn’t take full advantage of it this time around but I did visit La Fuixarda which is an amazing outdoor climbing gym built into a tunnel right in town. It’s bolted so you can do sport routes right over the top and for bouldering you can do about a 100m traverse inside the tunnel, which even if you stay on the easy holds gets really hard.
Other highlights were Park Guell and just walking around the Gothic Quarter. For more pics click here. They really seem to love their art here, and if you keep your eyes open you’ll see installations everywhere, in parks, on the tops of roofs, Carlos has a Joan Miro in the field right next to his apartment. I stayed in Barcelona for four days and then I had a very tough decision. Some friends I had met on the road were back in Fontainblue and wanted to me to come back to climb. One even had an extra tent and would have picked me up at the train station so that I wouldn’t have had to rent a car. It was very tempting. There were three downsides, the first was that the summer D3 stand-by embargos were starting to kick in for European cities and it would have been a game of russian roulette to stay longer. Second, I was kind of psyched to spend the Fourth of July in the USA, specifially in my city, Washington DC. Third, by going back early I would be able to catch a different climbing trip with another friend that starts soon, more details on that too come. I’m pumped though. End story, I went to the Barcelona airport and managed to stand-by on the daily flight to Nueva York. Barcelona is now right up there with Paris as the two cities outside the USA I would be most likely to try and live in. Thanks Carlos, for letting me crash.