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
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  • 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 - From an abbey town over the hills to Tibidabo and Barcelona



This walk follows, in reverse, the route taken by St Severus of Barcelona in his martyrdom and subsequent reburial. Now, there are as many versions of this story as there are beans in the field. The oldest I've seen is by Lorenzo de Padilla, a 16th century Andalusian monk employed by the Emperor Charles to collect, embroider and invent a suitably illustrious and pious past for the Spanish nation. Here's a précis:

The mysterious Dacian is persecuting the Christians of Barcelona, presumably during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). Bishop Severus, seeing his flock diminish and/or fearing for his future, leaves one night for the nearby settlement of Castrum Octavianum or Cucufato, now Sant Cugat. There must have been a full moon, because he encounters the Christian Emeterius planting beans, and tells him to tell the soldiers which way he has taken, because after all he is not averse to martyrdom. Dacian's men find Emeterius wondering at how in a moment his beans have grown, flowered, and fruited. Betraying himself as a Christian, he leads them to Severus. The soldiers transport them and four other clerics to the prison, where they strip them and scourge them with lead rods. This not sufficing to encourage them to return to paganism, all but Severus are beheaded, the Romans knowing that his conversion will send a signal to the whole county. Severus is unmoved, so they bang a nail into his head. At this point it appears they are no longer in the prison, for they leave him for dead and return to Barcelona to report to Dacian. Local Christians are also informed and find Severus, who blesses them before dying. He and his companions are buried here and later moved to the monastery of Sant Cugat.

Truth, or a cunning combination of Jack and the beanstalk, various nail-afflicted saints, and Severus of Ravenna, all projected onto the genuine 7th century Severus of Barcelona, who is not known to have died a violent death?

CC commercial by Till F. Teenck. More.


Standard route

  1. Coffee and buns followed by stroll through Sant Cugat. Late C19th/early C20th industrial/commercial architecture (market, ceramics factory, wine co-op), neo-medieval professionals (butcher, aceituneros, farmer) and C12th-14th monastery (1, 2). Old path out of centre.
  2. Dense natural-ish forest (8,000 hectares) seething with wild boar and pony-trotters. Secret springs, ruined and restored chapels and the occasional clearing. Ibero-Roman kiln.
  3. Grand turn-of-century basilica (Gothic chapel built on top of Catalan-Byzantine one) (512m, even better views).
  4. Spooky funfair pioneered by money-laundering snakeoil salesman, Dr Andreu.
  5. Option: nice rustic café with good snacks / lunch.
  6. Foster’s 1992 telecomms tower, early (Alpine-style) C20th villas.
  7. 158m descent to town in 1906 funicular.


  1. Replace 7. with extension of a few more kms along to end of ridge. Outstanding views of Barcelona and the Llobregat delta to the south. Excellent rose gardens. Optional visit to transexual streetwalkers and Barcelona FC's Camp Nou stadium.

Photos: the Dr Andreu tin and Tibidabo are from eBay auctions.


Grade leisurely
Base Barcelona (Meeting point information here, where relevant - make sure you have the right one!)
Location tags Barcelona, Camp Nou, Catalonia, Collserola, Sant Cugat, Tibidabo,
Theme tags archaeology, architecture, gastronomy, history, literature, nature,
Your guide(s) Mr Baldie
Walking distance 16 km / 9.94 miles
Walking time 4.15 hr
Total return travel time from base to walk 0.45 hr
Total time from "hello" to "goodbye" 5.22 hr
Fiestas and markets in places we go through - combine a walk and some partying or shopping!
  • March 3 (patron saint)
  • around June 29 (feasts of St Peter)

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)


Coming soon! Please try the overview or itinerary for pictures.


  1. [...] fallen to feminine wiles in the intervening biennium) emerge blinking from the forest at the end of this walk. My God, says one looking down, is that a mosque? And then remembers seeing a photo of it during [...]

  2. [...] Although the winning candidate for mayor in Sant Cugat has some of the superficial traits of a cartoon rodent, town hall sources have confirmed that no attempt was made to register a Senyor Conill or any other political anthropomorph during the recent elections. Related walk: Sant Cugat to Barcelona. [...]

  3. [...] Mop van La Gateta, de ondernemingsraad van een ziekenhuis hier. Gerelateerde tochten: Sant Cugat naar Barcelona en de Serra de [...]

  4. [...] response to this site's airport walks, as well as perhaps some other triumphal entries, HtH has kindly contributed the opening of the last chapter of Mani - Travels in the [...]

  5. […] fallen to feminine wiles in the intervening biennium) emerge blinking from the forest at the end of this walk. My God, says one looking down, is that a mosque? And then remembers seeing a photo of it during […]

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