Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shoes on the Streets... of Barcelona

How do you image Barcelona? I was expecting a Vicky Christina Barcelona plethora of beauties drifting around the cobbled, winding streets in tan leather brogues and two-toned cream pumps. The truth is everyone cycles, walks and skates everywhere, which calls for flat sandals and sneakers. And for others it's more about the tattoo.

What is about me that people are keen to show me their tattoos? Er, maybe because I call out my very seemly "show us ya tattoo!"

Rental bikes are everywhere in the City. Whizzing past you, clipping at your ankles and weaving through the crowds. A new scheme imported from London means you can simply pick out a bike from one of the racks located all over the city, ride to where you want to go, and drop the bike off at the nearest rack.

Amid the 15th century patina, activity is everywhere. Some do everything on their skates, even their banking.

And in the Parc de la Ciutadella table tennis is busy all day.

Walking the old town is just as rigorous as any sport, and the flats came out for these Russian friends who had happily prepared with shorts, scarves and coats for chill or shine.

For work most opted for sensible shoes and boots for work, like this hairdresser who possessed a Sinead O'Conner-like cool.

Or took their shoes off, like 26 year-old Maria Roch, designer and owner of Room near the Picassao Museum, looking effortlessly chic barefoot on the flokati rug.

Down the lane at Lisa Wixell, this shopkeeper opted for comfortable white high tops, her pink tights making the statement.

Some older couples still do the natty dressing...

While other older couples have fully embraced the REI river sandal look seen on this chap at our favourite tapas place Irati. After agreeing to be photographed, he then ushered us outside to demonstrate his pouring skills, for which, as you can see, river sandals were key.

And here the picture postcard elegance of this woman, being passed by casual friends, one tattooed, one with dreadlocks.

This policeman, a "conventionally handsome guy", as my kids would say, could not agree to having his photo taken or discuss his boots. My boss is over there, he indicated but shrugged when I said maybe I could just take a picture of the street and he would happen to be in it.

I had bought a new pair of beige Miz Mooz sandals, bit of a heel, supposed to be incredibly comfortable and go with everything. First day, blisters.  I bought a pair of Campers from a local store. More blisters.

So it was back to the old gold Havianas jandals (flip-flops). Not high-ish, not glam. Just doing their flip-flop thang.

But proved perfect when the superpowers call on you.

Just outside the old town, we met these fun blokes from Northern Ireland and England fresh from O'Hara's Irish pub. They were in the midst of that cultural staple, the bachelor party pub crawl. They only agreed to a photo if I posed with them too - then in an instant scooped me up. Then Kevin too.

I'll tell you - the old gold jandals were in their element.

Don't forget to enter the Giveaway of a scarf bought in Barcelona. The winner will be drawn randomly this Friday 13 May.
A couple of the fun comments so far:
Trish: "Yabba Dabba Doo!"
Jenn: "I startled my baby by laughing at the 'demented stewardess' part."
Mary Jo: "One can never have too many fluttery scarves to cover the after-dinner tummy."


  1. Everyone is so darn *cute*!!

    Such unique styles, color, layers, textures... & I loved the ones of the older couples (& the handsome ['aloof'] policeman :).

  2. I think there's ALWAYS a moment in your posts where I'm happily reading along and something hits me right and I can't stop from laughing. The picture of Kevin with the superheroes did it for me this time. You guys are such good sports!

  3. Love the striped top and tattoo!

  4. i so loved taking this stroll with you. thanks for sharing this real life glimpse of the city.

  5. That is so funny and cool that they just picked you up like that!! What a great photo! I would love to just go around taking pictures of people, but in our town ppl would think I was weird! So for now I'll just take pics of trees, flowers, and ducks! :) Have a great day...I know you will!

  6. Love this! And I am wearing gold Havianas right now!

    My favorite is the man who wanted to demonstrate his pouring skills.

    Oh, and the masked men!

  7. what a wonderful post! i really enjoyed reading this. you look really cute btw. i love your outfit.


  8. What a fun post. I have always wanted to go there. Now it's on my must-do list.

  9. what a super fun post!!!!! loved it. thanks for sharing.

  10. When we visited Barcelona it was October and still very warm but everyone was keen to embrace winter so there were knee-length boots and scarves everywhere. I felt underdressed.

    Your presonality really shines through in the photo choices here. I rather think the policeman is enjoying being snapped too.

  11. This is all fine and dandy,but all I want to know is did you get to tour the Picasso Museum?????!!!!!
    I'm half-kidding. Great shots. Makes me want to travel!
    Thanks for a great question about Georgian language. It is unique and not like any other in the world. I'll post about it and our alphabet on Monday. For the first post I wanted to go easy and just introduce language through a folk song.

  12. I just discovered your blog and I really really like it! I am your new follower!

    This is such a great post! It was a pleasure to read you!


  13. Love this post. Barcelona is a cool place - I have been once for a week. Erm... more than ten years ago. Gosh that makes me feel bloody old.

  14. Thanks for showing me around Barcelona. I have never visited in reality...... so it was lovely to take a peek at your photos.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  15. love everyone's style and smile here :)

  16. the part about people showing you their tattoos made me laugh! i love looking at your photos cuz it feels like i went to those places too. :D

    <3, Mimi

  17. You know you're in Spain when you see girls in ruffles and long dresses playing ping pong. They really know how to dress! Love your last 2 photos--you look like you're having so much fun!!

    p.s. After pizza and red velvet cake tonight, I could really use a fluttery scarf :)

    xo Mary Jo

  18. What a great post! Looks like an amazing time. I love that they scooped you guys up for the photo! And I would definitely try out the table tennis, if I was there! :) What a fun city.

  19. This looks like a fabulous holiday! I cant believe I have lived in England so long and not been to Barcelona yet. I so want to go! But the list is lonnnnng...

  20. Ugh! I want to go, I will bring my jandals! Thanks for the new word!! As I used to work for a sandal company, all we ever called them were sandals or flip flops! ha!


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