When I was 18, I lived for one year in Barcelona to learn Spanish (this is me on top of Tibidabo). This was my first experience living by myself and abroad. I absolutely loved it, and lived the experience to the max. At some point I got a bike, and started riding around. I vividly remember biking down to the market – the Boqueria – early in the morning from Gracia, the neighborhood where I lived, and buying one kilo (!) of strawberries. Putting them in my basket and cruising down to Barceloneta, to the city beach. Taking of my clothes and diving in the sea, then eating those fresh berries. It was heaven! I also enjoyed sitting on one of those bars in the market side by side with the market people who would have a brandy and coffee to wake up – or a beer. I’ve always liked to be fly on the wall, and make up stories in my head about the people and places that I encountered. In Barcelona I really started to write a lot, being by myself quite a bit. Exploring the city streets on my bike and by foot. Sitting in café’s and writing up my impressions, experiences and fantasies.
Barcelona is a great city, biking it can be hilly, and off the bike path it can be rough traffic. But I can’t wait to start working on Ride with me Barcelona, and really get into it. And invite friends, and friends-of-friends to write about their favorite routes and places to go. Here is the bike of Ties, a friend from Amsterdam, who recently lived in Barcelona for two years to study dance. Soon I will do a portrait of him, and ask him for some Barcelona tips. Here is a picture of Ties and his sister Elisabeth, in Amsterdam. I interviewed them for the upcoming Ride with me Amsterdam book. To be continued entonces!