The baldie is fled, long live the baldie!

The business (basically a CRM database) passed into better hands in 2012. These materials remain here for cannibalisation and amusement.

The baldie meanwhile has found pastures new: as a singing organ-grinder for your event in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands or Spain! Town and country walking and study tours in Barcelona and the Western Med
  • Cruise & weekend favourites
    • in 4 hours without feeling like a stupid tourist.
  • Theme browser
  • Fiesta finder
  • Why FollowTheBaldie?
    • Language All our guides are native English speakers and speak the local language fluently.
    • Knowledge Our local and subject knowledge is profound and up-to-date.
    • Interactivity See someone interesting? We'll interpret. Tired/full of energy? We can adapt the programme.
    • Individuality We don't do herd tourism. No silly flags. No headsets.
    • Responsibility Unlike most "green" tour businesses, we only use public transport--cheaper and generally more interesting.

Barcelona tours - Juan Marsé's Barcelona

All photos © Mr Baldie. More.



Cervantes prize-winning novelist Juan Marsé was born in Barcelona in 1933 and situated much of his writing in the neighbourhoods of Carmelo, Gracia and Guinardó, heavily marked by the post-war immigration from other parts of Spain. His marvellously evocative Last evenings with Teresa/Últimas tardes con Teresa sets the scene in the following passage:

Mount Carmel is a naked, barren hill located northwest of the city. Their invisible strings managed by the expert hands of children, you will often see brightly-coloured kites in the blue of the sky, shuddering in the wind, hovering above the summit like coats of arms announcing a warrior dream. In those grey postwar years, when empty stomachs and body lice required a dream a day to make reality more bearable, Mount Carmel was the favourite and fabulous field of adventure for the scruffy children from the neighbourhoods of Casa Baró, Guinardó and La Salud. They climbed to the top where the wind whistles to launch crude home-made kites constructed with flour paste, cane, rags and newspaper: for a long time there trembled and flapped fiercely in the city sky photos and news of the German advance on the fronts of Europe, death and destruction reigned, the weekly ration of Spaniards, misery and hunger. Now, in the summer of 1956, Carmel's kites no longer bear news or photos, nor are they made of newspapers, but rather of fine tissue paper bought in some shop, and their are colours garish, shocking. But despite this improvement in their appearance, many are still home-made, their frames coarse and heavy, and they gain height with difficulty: still the neighborhood’s warrior banner.


Accompanied by excerpts from Marsé's work, this walk introduces you to the remains of the shanty town that began to spring up around the Civil War anti-aircraft battery in the 1940s and the varied pursuits of the residents--including small-scale iron-mining, goat- and psychedelic-pigeon-keeping and finch fancying--and draws a contrast with the more settled part of Gracia where we begin our walk. We'll visit a couple of the more atmospheric neighbourhood bars to help you recover from any culture shock.


Grade easy
Base Barcelona (Meeting point information here, where relevant - make sure you have the right one!)
Location tags Barcelona, Carmel, Catalonia, Gracia, Grí cia, Guinardó, Monte Carmelo, Turó de la Rovira,
Theme tags archaeology, gastronomy, gastronomy, history, literature, nature,
Your guide(s) Mr Baldie
Walking distance 6 km / 3.73 miles
Walking time 3 hr
Total return travel time from base to walk 0.5 hr
Total time from "hello" to "goodbye" 3.95 hr
Fiestas and markets in places we go through - combine a walk and some partying or shopping!
  • roughly 2-11 July (fiesta mayor)
  • roughly 5-14 September (fiesta mayor)

Note that there are also events in most places on January 6 (Three Kings), Carnival, Easter, April 23 (St George), June 23 (St John), and September 11 (Catalan regional/national day)


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  1. [...] Juan Marsé’s marvellously evocative Last evenings with Teresa/íšltimas tardes con Teresa for this Barcelona walking tour, I came across an interesting expression of which I knew the meaning but not the etymology: El [...]

  2. [...] by SG on a lovely clear day last week on a variation of this Barcelona city walk. The birds belong to three tired-looking gents who one would have said were hippophiles pertaining [...]

  3. [...] Seen during my Juan Marsé guided tour in Barcelona. [...]

  4. [...] Plaza Lesseps, presumably making use of the 2-mile on-the-way-to-being-a-green-corridor created by Park Güell, Monte Carmelo and the Creueta del Coll, to draw a parallel between Babylon and [...]

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