Back in October I flew to Barcelona with my friend Gabriel for a 73 hrs layover, the idea was to let go of work a little bit, shoot image and skate a little bit.
I ended up skating a lot and shooting a little bit, which, was fine as it got me moving and remembered me how intense skating is on your body.
Now flying with your best friend has it’s perks but also gets you mean looks from the other passengers, but really, wouldn’t you do the same for your friend or wouldn’t you appreciate it if it was you? Anyways I digress. We land at the airport and I move along with the crew to the shuttle. The in-charge shows us footage from the day before at the airport… Crazy riots. I don’t know what to expect when we get out… We get outside and all we can see is police with AKs posted at doors, crazy stuff. We get into the shuttle and to the hotel, all is normal. Gab decided to take a nap until dinner time as he worked all night, I only have 73 hours here so I head out to re-discover Barcelona (I’ve already been but about 10 years ago)
Came back to the hotel around 5pm to get Gab, we then headed out for dinner.
We hop in a cab an head to this place Gab and Omar knew and really liked. Tapas, sounds great right? I thought so too. We get there, crazy line to get in, we sit at the ”bar” area to wait. Gab and Omar order drinks, I don’t drink so i’m good I’ll just wait. The guy behind the bar decides though that I want water, i’m like ”aight cool”. I then see a water bottle and right before I can say ”nooooo” I hear the seal break and in my mind i’m just like ”There goes 5 Euros…” and I was right. We order food and nothing seems really appealing to me… ordered shrimps and potatoes… tiny portions, high prices. that was disappointing but life goes on. Omar’s friend who’s originally from Montreal but moved to Barcelona was with us and at some point went out for a smoke.
When he came back he was like ”WTF the streets a burning and people are running in all directions” we were like really!? But just kept eating and chatting. We finally came outside the restaurant…
We didn’t expect this to be honest, we were all kind of nervous, in an other country in the middle of a riot it was definitely getting the adrenaline going.
We stayed on the sidewalk close by the restaurant’s door in case we would need to find shelter. After about 10 minutes we got a little bit more (maybe a little bit too much) confident and started walking towards the fire. I was mindful to not get inside the crowds as I didn’t was to be mistaken for a protester having a camera in hand. Walking through the streets you could see down the road all the fires at every street corners, it was quite impressive.
Now this is where you realize how the media amplify stuff, we were right in the middle of it and never I was scared for my life or witnessed any violence towards people, what we saw on the news were isolated cases. For sure police eventually had to push people and people might’ve gotten hurt but what I mean is that it wasn’t dangerous being there. Obviously don’t walk right into it if you don’t need to but to give you an idea people were eating on the terrasses while it was happening, drinking their wine as if nothing was going on. finding a cab to get back to the hotel was a bit of a challenge but we got out of the epicenter and we were able to find one and get back just fine.
The next day we headed out to skate and shoot a little bit. Skated down the beach was definitely a good feeling. Using google map was a pain, we spent the entire day looking for MACBA (famous skate spot in Barcelona). We went the wrong direction a couple times but that led us to discover cool places so it’s all good. Got to bring out my skateboarding skills and feel again how it hurts to skate haha.
On our last day we went out downtown for dinner, around 10:30pm they got a call saying we needed to go back to the hotel for 11pm as we got transferred to a different hotel for our safety and to increase our chance to get to the airport the next morning. At that point we didn’t even know if we were able to get to the airport to fly back home as a general strike was planned and the airport was targeted for a riot. we were kind of bummed that we needed to go back and cut the night short. We hopped in a cab and headed back hoping to make it in time as the streets were about to be blocked with garbage in fire like every night at 11pm. We ended up making it and transferred to a hotel in the suburbs.
We woke up around 9am and decided to go out an explore the surroundings as we didn’t have much time since the shuttle would pick us up at 11am.
We got to the hotel pretty late the night before so we didn’t really see what it looked like. as we go out to the balcony we witnessed an incredible view.
We had to get out. Go dressed and went out for a coffee and sandwich.
This place (Sitges) was beautiful and we kind of hoped our flight would get delayed to the next day.
11 am came and we got into the shuttle, got close to the airport and we could see thousands of people marching towards the airport… We finally got to the airport and everything was fine, the airport just seemed very… empty. Got to the door and… it opened ! I was kind of relieved as I needed to get back home for work but most importantly I was missing my love. Flew back home safely to a bumpish flight. The trip was short, filled with action and amazing.