A week in the sun.
I know what it’s like, sitting indoors watching a skate flick while the rain lashes down outside, the joys of Scotland! Chances are the vid your watching will contain footage from Barcelona, arguablethe skate capital of Europe. The sunny spots of barca may seem a million miles away from the overcast cobbled streets of home but really they’re just a cheap ram-u-in-like-cattle airways flight away!!
Discontented with the same old spots and mercurial weather, a couple of us at skateboard Scotland decided to check the place out ourselves. Here is our rough (piss poor) guideto skating Barcelona.
First off, decide when you want to go. Obviously during the summer it will be “scor-che-oo” (spanish for hot) and afair skinned Scotsman may find him/herself resembling a lobster. We went in May and I found it almost too hot to skate during the day but it was perfect in theevening and at night.
Secondly, book your flights as early as youcan. It seems the earlier you book with the budget airlines the cheaper they are. Flying at the weekends and at sensible times may cost you more, so check weekdays and late night flights. Now Barcelona has two airports, Barcelona int. and Girona. I went for Girona as it was cheaper only to discover it was an hour and a half from Barcelona centre.
Thirdly, decide where you’ll stay in Barcelona. There are tons of options; hostels, hotels, apartments. Remember they will be very busy during the summer especially when the music festivals are on so book early. Don’t worry about being right in the centre of town as most of the spots are scattered all over the shop, plus the more central you are, the more it will cost.
Finally, spending money. If, like me, your lottery numbers are still to come in then you’ll want to do things on the cheap. Public transport in Barcelona is dead cheap, make sure you get a T-10 ticket, this allows you 10 trips on anything (metro/rail/underground/tram/bus) for around 8 euro. Don’t eat out or drink in fancy bars, get your hobo vibe on and grab some cheap food and beers from the supermarket. Find a quite sunny spot and pig out. If you rdown la rhambla at night and in need of something greasy to eat then look out for places selling SUPER DURUMS. It’s a feast fit for a king for only 5 euro! Kebab meat, salad, sauce all wrapped up in some kinda pitta bread. Its like ameaty explosion in you mouth plus because its wrapped it means you can eat it with one hand and not spill it over yourself.
Ok, down to business. The spots, you’ll need a decent map, best get one before you go. La Rhambla is the main strip in barca, close by is MACHBA, it’s a museum full of modern art I think, never actually went inside. This is where you’ll find that big four set that Danny Way b/s 360’s in the DC video and all the mad ledges. Parts of it are a bust during the day and it can be a bit mobbed, best check it out at night. Down the street from MACHBA is a skate shop called “hey ho lets go”, nice skater orientated shop with reasonable prices and cheap ass second hand gear. Ask thefolk in there nicely to doddle spots on to your map.
“MACHBA famous four set”
At the bottom of la rhambla you’ll findthese mad wee banks, real sweet to skate, just make sure you or your board doesn’t end up on the road.
“sweet wee banks at the bottom of La Rhambla”
Further down from these spots is the port,down here you’ll find mad plant pot hips and those massive red banks. The mad banks are next to a road so skate at your own peril, plus they are actually twice the size the look in the vids!!
A simple journey on the metro and you canreach Sants, the main bus station. This is the place with those marble picnic benches. They’re a bit on the haggard side but they are shaded so perfect for aday session.
“marble benchs undercover at Sants”
At Universitat you’ll find these nice black marble blocks, really long ones. Watch out, the top of them can be a bit overwaxed.
“big ass blocks at universtat”
Parrelell is home to those manual/grindblocks with trees around them, great spot to get all tech and try some flip in,flip out ma-lark-ee. I hear this spot can be a bit sketch at night so be aware!
“parrelell, smooth ground and pint sizedblocks”
Fondo is a must see, it’s a wee bit furtherout from town but its home to these massive marble banks. Its fairly quiet compared to the spots in town and there is a wee park next to it which ideal for a hobo picnic.
“This is fondo, I hear they have stuck bench’s everywhere here in order to piss skaters off. Oh dear”
“Primera skatepark, in my opinion a must-see, just make sure the lights are on!”
You don’t have to look hard for spots inbarca but if you get sick of all the street action check out some of the transition barca has to offer. There is an amazing park in a place called Primeradel Mar. It’s a wee bit up the coast, so you’ll have to grab a train. If youdon’t fancy the trek you can sun it up with all the topless babes down thebeach at this wee (a mean tiny) bowl.
“The tiny Marbella skatepark, tons of fun and near the nude beach”
My advice would be to take one day off from skating, let the legs rest. Check out guadi’s house and park. Its pretty neat,tons of mad crap you cant skate but is cool to look at. There always seems tobe something going on in Barca, check online before you go. Plenty of music festivals covering all genres and tons of arty stuff for those with fancy hats.
Watch out for pickpockets and other thieving scumbags, if your carrying one of those “check me out” fancy cameras you may get unwanted attention, other than that Barca is a fairly chilled outplace.
So, what are you waiting for? The rain toclear? Bit of the skatepark to dry up? Fat chance homeslice, get on the phone, round up a crew and get booking, stick it on the credit card or something.
Big thank you to mark & lola.
“Ali and Mark discuss spots on our ever sohandy map, which I then forgot to take with us” photo credit : Fraser Nicol.
“If you aint guessed by the masts in thebackground, this is down at the harbour, great spot but mind the drop that aliis investigating, one wrong move and your board could be out to sea” photocredit: Fraser Nicol
“Rare picture of Mark post-bail at a smallconcrete park in town.” Photo credit : Fraser Nicol
“Ali does siesta” Photo credit : frasernicol