Note: This article was originally published here. I was part of their brand ambassador program that has since been discontinued.
Having spent a week in Barcelona twice in the past 14 months, I’ve become a self-deemed guru of its cuisine, culture, and hotspots. The city is one of my absolute favorites in Europe. It’s coastal, it’s warm, it’s vibrant, and best of all it’s WALKABLE… with the right shoes. On my most recent Spanish excursion, the only shoes I packed were a pair of tennis shoes for the occasional jog, and three of my favorite pairs of Trask boots. They took me countless miles… up and down the sparkly tree-lined La Rambla, around the trippy and colorfully-tiled Park Guell (a Gaudi creation like none other), through the halls of the Picasso museum, and along the beachside boardwalk.
You can almost taste the spicy, Catalan energy in Barcelona. I would start each morning with a cappuccino, fresh orange juice, and a chocolate croissant at a nearby bakery across from Mercado de La Boqueria. A daily stroll through La Boqueria was a must – the market touches each sense intensely and the seafood section is not for the faint of heart. I might munch on half a pomegranate, oogle at the hefty price tag and size of the ostrich eggs, or give in to the temptation of a 1 euro Estrella beer. In an afternoon, I might head to the beach and watch the surfers, reflect inside one of the gargantuan and beautiful basilicas, or stroll on La Diagonal – the high-end shopping area in the “new town”. It was always difficult to stay still in the city. My feet were always moving.
There are so many different parts and energies to Barcelona, it can feel like four cities in one. My favorite version is the tiny, narrow grid of El Borne neighborhood. This is part of the “old town” and is peppered with wine bars, hole-in-the-wall tapas spots with cured meat hanging in the windows, and mom and pop shops for just about any product or craft you can think of. It always struck me how important quality is in the Catalonian culture. Thought and care goes into everything from the seafood selection sitting on ice, to the coffee beans being poured into the grinder, to the leather being molded, cut and colored at the shoe shop.
Trask steps into this world perfectly. I felt proud to be displaying pieces of American style and culture in a country so far away. I was comfortable, current, and made a statement in each of the city’s pockets. Many Spaniards even complimented me with big smiles, gestures and points toward my feet. As Spring nears, I’m in that exciting, restless, trip-planning mode again. I can’t wait to see where my 2015 adventures (and my Trask wardrobe) take me.