2013 05/06

Barcelona in the 60’s

An article from Anthony Turner about his time in Barcelona in the 60’s.

Burt Glinn, Barcelona (1960)

Barcelona (1960), © Burt Glinn

As a young man back in the 60’s, I was inspired to visit Barcelona by Hemingway on reading two of his books; “Death  in the Afternoon” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. I drove with my then fiancée (now my wife) down thro’ France, over the Pyrenees and on to Barcelona.

The city had pretty much embraced the “Swinging Sixties” and was then full of young people from the North…. Sweden, Norway, Denmark,Germany… all intent on enjoying the sun and having a good time. The austerity endured in the 50’s was over… young people were flocking in droves to Milan, St Tropez and Barcelona.

We spent much of our time in the Old Town Quarter getting to know the best and cheapest bars, although with an exchange rate of 169 pesetas to the £ we were not doing too badly! We drank local wines and I tried absinthe in an attempt to acquire inspiration of some sort! I understand that Hemingway drank a glass or ten in his favourite bar so the stories go! I believe that although absinthe was never banned in Spain, the Spanish were never much inspired by this drink as were the French for instance. Read the rest of this article…

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