by Natalie Chidgey
Rollerblading in Barcelona is like skiing in the Alps, shopping in London or dining in Paris…It just can’t get any better!
This exciting and thriving city is tucked away between the hills and the Mediterranean sea and as Shakira found out, while shooting her video of “Loca” , Barcelona is skater friendly. It offers long stretches of smooth tarmac from the Forum along the sea front past the Olympic port to the working harbour. This is the playground for the ‘slalom skaters’; you can always find them practising on weekends by the Forum facing the sea with fun tunes blasting.
The fitness skaters are, as in Miami or LA, gliding past locals and tourists on the Paseo Marítimo, either getting from A to B or having their daily exercise.
The main stretch between the harbour and the W hotel is flat and smooth so it’s perfect for a stroll, though you can see a few ‘street skaters’ and ‘aggressive skaters’ doing tricks at the W hotel. You usually find them
jumping around doing amazing stunts at the skate park or better still zooming past in the city centre in the Born or the Raval.
‘Suicide skates’ are held weekly and if you are bold enough, you whizz around the dark alleyways of the Gothic part of town, dodging people, bins, dogs and anything else that gets in your way.
Definitely a must!
Lastly and most importantly the weekly organised gatherings by the Associaciò de Patinadors de Barcelona http://www.patinarbcn.org/
Every Friday evening at 10.30pm sharp, ok well Spanish time, so any time between 10.30 pm and 11pm a group of a hundred or more skaters, inline, quads or speed skates; young and old, get together to roll around the streets of Barcelona. The marshals block off the main roads and everyone whoops and shouts through the narrow lanes, getting cheered by bystanders and hooted by happy or discontented drivers.
It’s all in all an amazing sporting and social experience.