Barefooting in Spain

Recently I and my family were on a trip to Spain, visiting the area of Costa Brava, and some good friends who live there. We were there for almost 3 weeks, visiting both the city of Barcelona, various museums, and the more landly parts north along the coast, the Empurias.

Visiting Spain for the first time, I didn’t know how people would react to barefooting, and I didn’t know anything about what physical challenges I would meet. That’s why I always brought my shoes in my backpack when going somewhere. The best part: Facing the unknown, new barefoot experiences.

The camping:
We stayed one week at a family camping. Here I was barefoot all the time, no problem. This was a lagre area with lost of stairs, gravel, grass, trees, pine cones on the ground and asphalt. There were swimming pools, shops, bars and restaurants. No one from the staff or the other residents said anything about my bare feet, or talked about my “safety” in this area which was quite rough compared to an indoors facility, e.g. a museum or a shopping mall. Good experience 🙂

Visiting a medieval city.

The city and the smaller towns, going out:
In public, on the streets, barefooting was ok. People looked at my feet sometimes, but that is normal. There was police on the streets, and several of them also noticed my bare feet, but I was’nt stopped or anything.

All the restaurants and cafes we visited accepted bare feet, the outdoors museum, most shops, public toilets, the airports, all hotels, they all accepted bare feet. I’m very happy for this. 🙂

Of course, I don’t know for sure what people in the public really thought about my barefooting, but at least it was quietly accepted.

Now, as about 97% of the places we visited accepted my barefoot culture, there was a few incidents where I had to put on shoes:

The Carrefour:
Close to where we camped, there was a large store where we bought our groceries. The third day we shopped there, there was a guard at the enterance. He stopped me and said I had to wear shoes because of security issues. Rules of the store. He spoke little english, so I didn’t start a discussion, I just put on my shoes. The floor was very cold anyway.

The gift shop of La Sagrada Familia:
The famous church partly build by Antonio Gaudi is definitely worth the visit. Fantastic! Inside the church I was barefoot. Some guards saw it, but did not comment. We took a guided tour, the tourguide did not comment. Me happy 🙂 But later, in the giftshop, a guard noticed my bare feet after 10 minutes, and told me to put on shoes. I said yes, but just paid for my things and went out.

The floor in La Sagrada Familia. Some areas had cork floor.

The museum of Dali:
The guard in the doorway said nothing, but the guard where I left my bag said I had to wear shoes. I put on my shoes. Halfway through the museum I took them off. I walked past several guards, and finally one stopped me. I put my shoes back on. It seems that some guards find bare feet ok, others not. Is this discrimination of my barefoot culture? Should I respect other peoples ideas about “decency” even if I find it unreasonable?

The museum of Miro:
After having paid the enterance fee, put away my bag, and walked past 3 more guards, one guard finally stopped me and told me to put shoes on. I did put shoes on, and then walked back to the guard. I asked her why shoes were required. She answered that it was just the rules. Another guard came, and I asked him if there was a dress code for the museum’s visitors. He answered that there was’nt, but that it was not allowed to go naked (!) in the museum. He also said I could  hurt myself against the walls (?) or step on some of the glass that was a part of the contemporary exhibition there. All artistic objects were separated from the public with a lint, and the floor was very  nice and clean. I told then that going barefoot was my culture, my kind of art project. The answer was that I had to send a written application for doing an art project. I tried a few other arguments but eventually I had to put my sandals on.

After this, I was under careful surveillance by all the guards in the museum (at least it felt like that).

Afterthoughts:
In total I’m very happy with the barefooting in Spain, and what I’ve seen and experienced. Some people I’ve met was also inspired to do some barefooting 🙂

Those who told me to put shoes on, all of them were guards. I did walk past many guards, but only four of them reacted. I was never presented with any written rules that said one had to wear shoes. So it seems that it was only the individual preferance of the guards that decided if I was allowed my barefoot culture or not. Is this discrimination?

Some other observations on my trip:
What about broken glass? I never saw one shard of broken glass. 🙂
Dogpoo? -Nothing.
Rusty nails? -Nothing.
Sharp objects? Yes, in the kitchen drawer.
Rocks? Yes, everywhere, but they are not dangerous.
Dirt puddles? Yes, but I avoided those few puddles, as anyone with shoes also would.
Also, thanks to everybody who has supported my barefooting!

-Lars Barfot

Barefooting in Spain

Barefoot gardening and landscaping

Recently we have done some gardening and landscaping at our house.Working barefoot outdoors is a nice variation from the normal barefooting I do during the week. Different kind of surfaces and gives new barefoot experiences. The legs and feet get a good natural workout, and the sole hardens even further.

Here are some photos and a video.

BildeWe used stones to make steps to go from the gravel patio to another part of the garden.This day the weather was great, and the ground was dry. Great conditions for digging and landscaping.

BildeDuring the night it had been raining, and the ground was wet = muddy feet. This had a nice cooling effect, and the ground was comfortable and soft to step on.

Bilde  Bilde

This is our puppy Cundun. We’re both barefoot. 🙂

Bilde

Here’s a short video of how the rocks came in place:

Happy barefoot summer 🙂

-Lars Barfot

Barefoot gardening and landscaping

Optimistic barefooting

Last post stated the beginning of my barefoot season, and I must admit it was very optimistic. It has for the most part been too cold and muddy until now, but I have done my best and pushed my limits a bit further.

Now that the temperature and weather has become more accepting I can finally do some serious barefooting. 🙂

Relaxing at a ski resort.
Relaxing at a ski resort, lunchtime.

Throwing off the shoes is a natural part of taking a break and relaxing. This is from an outing at a ski resort in march, eating lunch outside in the sun.

The view from my house.

The spring here is only in its early beginning. It was +1 C this morning. Nature is patiently preparing and waiting for just the right moment to burst into new life. After a winter wearing shoes the soles of my feet softens a bit. They need to get used to barefooting again. This usually takes 1-2 weeks, then we’re back to normal.

Gravel is good for hardening the soles of your feet.

The gravel patio in front of my house is a 5-10 cm thick. This provides a great surface for barefoot practice and hardening the soles of the feet. If you step on gravel with a hard surface underneath it can be painful, but with a thicker layer of gravel like this it is actually kind of soft, and at the same time rough so that your feet will start hardening. After only 1 week of barefooting my feet are almost back to their normal barefoot-mode. 🙂

The patio is edged with natural rocks.

We collected rocks from the beach and used them to make a circular shape for the patio. “Beach” is an exaggeration. There is no sand there, just rocks.

Small accident at the beach.

Preparing our the beach for the summer, moving rocks, fixing the pier. I hit a sharp rock with my toe. I did put on shoes after this to protect the wound. The next day I could walk barefoot again 🙂

Optimistic and back to normal.
Now the weather is nice enough that I can take my barefoot season seriously. I now barefoot everywhere, at home, at work, in the shopping malls, in hotels and restaurants. I was recently at a conference with my work, and the only comment I got was from a waitress who kindly asked me to watch out for broken glass on the floor.

Many people look at my feet when I’m in the city. I don’t mind, mostly I get smiles, and children find it funny. It is unusual to barefeet everywhere, but unusual and different is not wrong, it is mostly harmless. I experience that people around me accept my barefoot lifestyle.

Just try it on – take off your shoes.

Happy barefooting 🙂

-Lars Barfot

Optimistic barefooting

Time to begin barefooting again! :)

It’s getting warmer!

After some months of snow and ice, temperature is slowly rising above zero. It is still some time until I can barefoot outside all day, but I have decided to already start my barefoot season no. 3.  Hooray!

I will now barefoot as often as I can. Indoors all the time, and everywhere. Outdoors I will have to wear shoes a bit longer, but whenever I can I will throw off my shoes.

Starting my 3. barefoot season!

No socks!

This winter I’ve had a “no-socks-challenge”, which means I have not worn normal socks at all. The only socks I’ve used are some thick ones to keep my feet warm. I have often taken these socks off at work, when my feet got too warm during daytime. Otherwise I’ve worn my shoes without socks. These thick socks are more durable than the normal thin ones, which means less money spent on clothes.

Feet are beautiful by nature, a true masterpiece of evolution, and everyone should feel comfortable showing their feet. More importantly, everyone should be ok with seeing bare feet. It’s natural.

My footwear this winter: Light shoes and heavy shoes, and thick socks for keeping warm.

Barefooting at work!

Most people are at work  several hours of the day, which adds up to a lot of time during a year. If you wear shoes all this time, it has a significant impact on your feet’s healt. If anyone wish  to walk barefoot at work, I think it should be allowed (most places there are no rules that prohibit this). There are several benefits of barefooting, and it can even be seen as an environmenal/green action. Your firm can actually benefit from keeping a “barefooted profile”.

I walk barefoot at work. (Picture taken during a break.)

Just try it out, it’s great!

Happy barefoot workday!

-Lars Barfot

Time to begin barefooting again! :)

December barefooting

It’s snowing! I hope the snow stays this time. The temperature is still higher than usual, -4 C, which gives me the opportunity to continue barefooting occationally.

Outdoors I wear shoes, mostly without socks at the moment. My feet can take more cold than last year, it seems like the stamina of the feet gradually grows over the seasons. The snow is an opportunity to experience new sensations with your feet. Short trips in the snow, like crossing over to a different building, is refreshing, and you sure get some attention.

Snowy barefooting. Refreshing 🙂

Indoors I’m barefoot all the time. It is just so much better for the feet to be free and breathe, and not to be clamped in shoes or socks when unnecessary.

On the social side, I do get some more comments (all positive) on my barefooting, it’s winter after all. “Don’t you get ill?” is a common phrase these days. “No, I don’t.” is the common reply. And it’s true, I’m just as healthy as anybody else. The clue is to dress warm enough, and this applies to non-barefooters as to barefooters. I would actually argue that I stay healthier while barefooting, as I think that my feet function as a thermometer for the body, telling my body to heaten up if my feet get cold.

Barefooting on ice. Try it.

A few days ago I barefooted on some ice. It’s an uncommon surface to step on, the ice actually feels a kind of soft. Maybe because the heat of my feet melts a tiny bit of the ice I step on? This is one of the great benefits of barefooting: You experience the world around you in a different way, you relate to the world with an extra sense. Mindfulness, being present.

My view as I drive to work and coming back from work.

The winter is at its darkest. Enjoying this dark period, but also looking forward to more daylight. Barefooting in the dark. 🙂

Some thoughts:

  • Coffee taste better while on bare feet!
  • Barefooting is good against winter’s depression!
  • Barefooting is actually environmentally friendly!
  • As a christmas gift, take care of someone’s feet!

Well, merry christmas to everybody! Let it be a barefoot christmas!

Barefoot-best-wishes-for-the-holidays! 🙂

-Lars Barfot

December barefooting

Barefooting is normal to me

After more than 6 months on bare feet this season I have set a new personal record. It has been a great and long period of barefooting for me. I have now started wearing shoes when it is below zero, like in the morning and evening, but I’m still barefoot most of the day.

I have noticed that my feet have gotten stronger since last year, they are tougher and can stand lower temperatures than before. My feet and legs have gotten strong and my balance has improved. While many people around me has had the flu, I’ve stayed healthy, and I think that is because of walking barefoot. I feel that I have a more efficient energy burn.

Barefooting in nature. Soft moss.

Last year when I started barefooting, it was something new and exciting. This year barefooting has really become a natural part of me and my lifestyle. It is no longer a challenge or a question wether to go barefoot or not. Barefooting is simply and greatly a part of me. It is natural and normal. 🙂

People in my everyday life is also accepting my barefooting, it seems it has become normal for them too. This season I have had only positive reactions to barefooting. (Last year there were some negative reactions.)

Barefooting in nature. Wood.

I’ve been barefooting 24/7, everywhere, to every different occation and in every different situation like at work, private, visiting someone, driving, hiking, bicycling, official ceremonies, in public, speaking to groups of people, stores, shopping malls, banks, restaurants, sunny days, rainy days, fixing my car, chasing after my dog, digging in the ground, painting my house, and much more.

I would make exceptions if walking barefoot would directly endanger my healt, like safety regulations in an industrial area or close to dangerous chemicals. Then I would put on some shoes, but these situations are rare.

Barefooting in nature. Getting in touch with natures spirit and energy.

Going barefoot is a free choice. I would recommend everybody to at least try it, it is only normal and natural 🙂

Happy natural barefooting! 🙂

Barefooting is normal to me

Cold barefooting in Dovrefjell.

The 23.-25. september I went with my cousin and friends into the mountains of Dovre, Norway. They were hunting and I was barefooting. The temperature was around 0 C, and the ground was frost covered.

Early morning in Dovrefjell, -1 C and frost covered ground.

It was a nice morning, sunshine and wind still. We had breakfast and prepared for the hunt.

Testing the temperature.

My first encounter with temperature below zero this season. I had doubts I would be able to barefoot the whole day.

Frost covered grass certainly gives a chill.

The ground was quite cold, so I decided to bring my shoes just in case. In the mountains one must be reasonable and prepared. I also made sure I would be warm enough on my upper body to keep my blood and body warm.

My backpack, containing a thermos with hot water, food, extra pullover and my shoes strapped on the back.

In addition to the stuff in my backpack I had some cookies and my cellphone (for taking photos) easily accessible in my jacket. On hikes I bring only what I really need. Excess weight is only energy loss.

Hunting.

Starting the hunt. The weather still nice, temperature in the air up a bit, maybe +8 C. The moss on the ground had a frozen crust and was soft underneath. It was funny to walk on, but again, very cold. I also noticed that the moss had a lot of water in it, which also had quite a cooling effect on my feet.

Swampy areas, a nice combination of water and ice.

The first half hour was a challenge. My feet turned red from the cold, but not numb, and they also got more sensitive than usual to the vegetation and ground. I was really testing my limits here.

Cold, red, scratched and happy feet. 🙂

After 45 min. of walking I started getting used to the temperature, and my blood circulation was keeping my feet warm enough. I was also practicing to keep my body warm by mentally imagining an energy being released inside me and spreading through my body. It was kind of a walking meditation, and it really helped. Compared to the others in the group I was wearing less clotes, and I was still warm and comfortable.

Nice terrain for barefooting.

 

Lunchtime.

After three hours walk it was time for a lunch break. It was getting cloudy, and we could see rain on the horizon. The wind was also getting stronger.

I did a meditation focusing on creating bodyheat. I have to practice a lot more, but it was certainly helping me keeping warm even as I was sitting still.

Small cut from a twig.

As I was getting some water I stepped on a sharp twig. There was some blood, but I paid no attention to it. I just continued as normal.

...

After our lunch  it started to rain and we decided to walk back home. With the wind it was very cold, and my mental heating was not sufficient, I also had to keep moving to stay warm. After 2 hours we were back at basecamp. We were wet and cold and had’nt seen any wild game, but still I was happy to have barefooted all the way.

The sole of my foot the day after. This is how my feet look like now, after almost 6 months of constant barefooting.

It was a great weekend of barefooting. I am positively surprised by the effect of meditation and mental focus for keeping the body warm. I will practise this on a regular basis to get better at it.

Happy barefooting! 🙂

 

Cold barefooting in Dovrefjell.