Walking the Streets of Barcelona

I’m on vacation in Barcelona and I promised myself I wouldn’t blog while here. But after spending the last few days walking the city I wanted to write about the sidewalks. Specifically, the different textures that you walk on over the course of a number of blocks.


Wearing my barefoot sneakers each block can bring a slightly different workout for your tootsies if you can feel the ground beneath your feet. I’m rocking my Merrill Trail Gloves on this trip (you can see them in a number of the pictures), and wearing them truly feels like you are going barefoot.

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There are twenty-six bones in the human foot with thirty-three possible articulations. This provides a lot of opportunity for movement in a foot given the chance. But the nature and design of modern shoes rarely affords our feet the opportunity to move as much as they could and should.


The foot is a particularly adaptable structure meant to be exceedingly pliable over varied surfaces, and rock solid when called upon to support and move the body. To which end it wasn’t designed to walk on hard flat surfaces all the time. Adaptability is part of its job description and the modern world robs it of its purpose.


Not in Barcelona.

The city’s sidewalks are paved with small tiles, or panots with different meanings and purposes. As I have learned there are at least thirteen different patterns to be found and I overheard more than one tour guide talking to groups about the modernist movement and tiles designed by different architects including Barcelona’s most famous treasure Gaudi.


Barcelona is a spectacular city for walking with the added benefit of finding art beneath your feet that is interesting, beautiful and feels good.


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