Last year I started a project of presenting the neighborhoods of Barcelona. After two posts my ambitious project went on pause (you can check it out under the tag barrios in this blog). This is so me: so many ideas, but not so much will to follow through. Does it happen to you too?
But – better late than never – I pick up that idea now. Because there are still neighborhoods for which I want to share my love. And today let me present my most hearted one, my secret pearl. In a way, I don’t want to attract too much of attention to it – but since my blog is not read by thousands of travelers (luckily, hehe), I can still share and not be afraid of mass tourism flooding that part of the city 🙂
Why do I love Clot? Because, first, whenever I stay in Barcelona my home is always there. Second, it is old and very authentic, close to the city centre but with totally different vibe. I remember my first visit to Barcelona as a tourist. My friend drew me to the beach, while I was dreaming of walking through narrow streets, looking into cafes, spotting locals and trying to feel the city’s soul. Little did I know then that I would be doing it regularly while visiting Barcelona more often than my home country Ukraine 🙂 And one of the best places to feel that local authentic life, not spoiled by tourist crowds, is Clot. The neighborhood is a mixture of old buildings and new blocks, with locals sitting on the benches of the market square, hanging on the bar terraces, walking with dogs and playing football in the park. This is where I feel the most of how Barcelona was meant to be. Before the mass tourism changed the face of the city.
Clot has everything that an authentic barrio (neighborhood) is supposed to have. A market, a market square with bars, main street with old buildings named Carrer del Clot, a park built in the place of the factory, where the factory walls are preserved. It also has new blocks, not so pretty, and a street of really old houses, which look forlorn. Clot is a location of Ayuntamiento de Sant Marti, that is a town hall of the city part called Sant Marti which includes several neighborhoods. The square around the hall carries a charm of colonial style (and feels like Cuba to me).
Clot used to be not so charming neighborhood just some decades ago. My man moved in here as a child, from a vibrant barrio of Barceloneta. Clot then was partly built with new blocks, partly factories, partly desolate plots – with a gypsy settlement on its outskirts, including donkeys and old-styled life. Since then Clot changed a lot. Many factories disappeared, the streets were uplifted, and now the neighborhood feels cozy though not glamorous or hip like other parts of Barcelona. It used to be a hood where workers lived, and still the population is pretty modest here. And in the hidden corners of Clot you can find strange houses and feel that the time has stopped here.
Then there is a Parque del Clot which deserves a special attention. I will share its images in my next post of the barrio series. Hope, you have enjoyed this walk around my favorite neighborhood 🙂
Do you have your secret neighborhood loves? Have you happened to end up in the non-touristic part of some city and how did you like it? And let me know if you have some favorites in Barcelona!