Have you seen him?
We had planned to spend some time in the afternoon wandering around Monjuic, southwest of the center of Barcelona. David and I had wanted to see the Miro Foundation and the 1992 Olympic Stadium, both of which are located on the hill. What we didn’t plan on seeing were two completely naked men walking casually through the street.
We had been walking around for a few hours in the July heat and had stopped to watch some divers practicing at the municipal pool; the site of the aquatic competitions of the 1992 Olympics. It’s a modest facility built on the side of the hill, with a great view of the city below.
After taking a few pictures I turned away from the divers and noticed another tourist, about ten feet away from me, looking wide-eyed over my left shoulder. His eyes met mine and he gave me a sort of, what-the-hell kind of a look. He grabbed his wife and pulled her closer and said something in German, then he nodded at me as if to say, “Okay, look now!” I slowly turned, trying to do that nonchalant thing we all are never successful with, and was shocked to see two completely naked men walking our way.
Now, I am by no means a prude. In fact, a day later you would have found me frolicking naked on the beach at Sitges. But c’mon, this was the middle of the city, and there were old ladies waiting at the bus stop just up the corner. It was just startling to see…for a couple of reasons, really.
Aside from the fact that they were naked, they were a very odd looking pair. There was a younger guy, maybe about 30ish, with dark hair, wearing sandles and carrying a man-bag. (He obviously needed a place for his gum and change). I think of him as the acolyte or apprentice because the other guy was truly the leader, the star of the show.
Much older, the Naked Man of Barcelona was maybe mid to late sixties with grey hair and a beard. His torso and thighs were covered in tattoos: little flying birds, suns, stars, and faces. After he passed me I realized that his entire ass was tattooed to look as if he was wearing a speedo.
Both men were extremely tan, which of course happens when you are wandering around naked all day, and both of them were very well endowed. Sorry to be so blunt. I was definitely a little rattled when my eyes wandered down to their mid-sections. It was disturbing actually. Could that also happen because they were hanging out naked all day? Is that possible?
I looked over at David, who was completely oblivious to the scene, and gave him one of those jerky head with eyes darting to the left moves and said between gritted teeth, “Look over there, look over there.”
He caught sight of the two guys as they were passing by and looked just as shocked as the German man. He only caught the back end of them, so later I had to explain what they looked like from the front, “Okay, imagine a beer bottle…”.
I pulled out my camera to take a picture. Again, I was going to be very nonchalant about it. “Hey David, let me take your picture,” I said. Smooth, right? How were they going to know I was really going to take a picture of them over David’s shoulder? And they were already walking away with their backs to us.
He looked at me with really serious eyes and whispered, “Put that away. You are NOT going to take a picture!” Okay, maybe he was right, it was a bit rude, but how were friends back home going to believe me without visual proof?
Later that evening David and I were back in our hotel room. I was showering before we headed back out to dinner and David was on my laptop, I assumed checking his email. “Oh my God,” he yelled to me. “The naked guy is pretty famous. There’re all sorts of photos and YouTube videos of him. I just Googled, ‘naked-man-of-Barcelona’ and all of this stuff showed up!”
I looked over his shoulder and we watched a few of the videos that other tourists had posted on YouTube. The reactions of people varied. Some of them were not phased, others looked horrified, and more than one young girl ran screaming from the sight of him.
I might not have gotten my own photo, but now I at least had proof to show people back home!
Have you seen the Naked Man of Barcelona on your travels? What was your reaction? Did you get a picture?
For those of you that are curious about how he looks from the front, Google him, or click here …at your own risk.
The photos of the Naked Man are from the Flickr collection of FaceMePls.
The photo of the Acolyte is from the Flickr collection of maubrowncow.