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 - Working class town, medieval monastery, hilltop prehistoric village

All photos © Mr Baldie. More.


See the itinerary.


Working class satellite town of Barcelona with numbers of shanty town dwellers evicted from Montjuïc for the great exhibition of 1929. Sights include: early twentieth century villas, may last longer than later, aluminosis-prone tower blocks; auto-construction and petanque alleys, fruit of 1960s economic boom; modern sweatshops, generally Chinese; our lady of bullfighting; graffiti 1 and 2; the multicolour flats you only ever see from the train and motorway.

At the top of town, spectacular views of the nearest town on the coast, Barcelona's emblematic power station chimneys. We then head down into a valley to check out a ruined farmhouse and the monastery (1/2) where the Catholic Monarchs received Columbus after his first voyage, complete with its tenant gardeners (visits usually possible, interior shots: 1/2/3/4/5/6).

Climbing past the monastery, classic Mediterranean flora: lots of pine (umbrella, stone), chunks of Quercus ilex, standard flowers, cacti.

The ridge has more power station views, several chapels, Andalusian palaces and guard dogs, as well as interesting junk. Getting towards the top, various prehistoric remains, including a natural cave where human and pottery finds were made in the 1950s, Barcelona views. Then, on hilltop, a rehabilitated Iberian fort/village, with foundations, a reconstructed hut, good info displays.

Finally, a superb 360º panorama of Barcelona and the coast, Montjuich, Collserola, Montserrat (on a good day), Montcada, Sant Llorenç del Munt etc:

Back in town, various interesting lunch options, including a market bar with three tables, a Galician…


Grade moderate
Base Barcelona (Meeting point information here, where relevant - make sure you have the right one!)
Location tags Badalona, Barcelonès, Catalonia, Maresme, Puig Castellar, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Serralada de Marina,
Theme tags archaeology, architecture, history, nature,
Your guide(s) Mr Baldie
Walking distance 15 km / 9.32 miles
Walking time 3.5 hr
Total return travel time from base to walk 0.50 hr
Total time from "hello" to "goodbye" 4.53 hr
Fiestas and markets in places we go through - combine a walk and some partying or shopping!
  • first Sunday of every month (guided convent tour)
  • between Christmas and Three Kings (winter fiesta mayor)
  • end of April (Galician festival)
  • last Sunday of May (massive Andalusian-style one-day pilgrimage and picnic)
  • third Sunday in May (country/artesans' market)
  • first weekend in September (summer fiesta mayor)
  • first weekend in October (prehistoric festival)

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. [...] Over Santa Coloma way, taking in Puig Castellar, which I’ve been doing informally for a while. Here are some photos: [...]

  2. [...] The other day, on this walk, an elderly Englishman from G. Speaking with an Andalusian accent, he claimed to be one of a group of Brits who, following the abortive Algiers putsch (aka putsch des généraux) against De Gaulle in 1961, fled the Marseilles barracks of the French Légion étrangère and crossed the Pyrenees to join mad Millán Astray’s La legión in Barcelona. He served in jeeps in the Sahara in the mid-60s, following instructions from reconnaissance planes to intercept caravans coming from as far away as Saudi Arabia with supplies for opponents of Spanish rule. The Legion was better-paid and more accessible than normal service. I don’t know whether any Spanish regiments became as notoriously British as the French 2ème Para following Thatcher’s military budget cuts in the 1980s. [...]

  3. [...] This falls into the same category as the revelation by Arenys de Mar’s thriving community of dope-fiends historians that the three kings were all black. (On this walk.) [...]

  4. […] a sign outside Montgat's C11th Ermita de Sant Martí (this walk) which lists people interred there between 1677 and […]

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