Spain Part 3: Science & Sights in Barcelona


My presentation from the conference in Barcelona: The 7th Asian-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology.

My presentation from the conference in Barcelona: The 7th Asian-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology.

The main purpose of our Spain trip was for me to attend the 7th Asian-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology and present our research on training for climbing. The paper we wrote focused on finger strength training, in particular. The paper is posted on our site, there is a link on the right sidebar (look for the green text). We surveyed users on our site to provide feedback and results of their training that show the effectiveness of the Rock Prodigy Method and the Rock Prodigy Training Center. Thanks again to all of you who contributed to the survey!!!

The conference was really good. It was very international, with only one other presenter from the US, so I was able to meet many scientists and engineers from around the world. An interesting fact I learned from one attendee is that in Germany, nearly 10% of the population belongs to their national climbing organization (the equivalent of our American Alpine Club or Access Fund). It’s hard to imagine how things would be different if there were 30 million climbers in the US! The most interesting climbing-related presentation I saw was from a group from South Korea that is using video game development technology to help teach climbing movement to kids.

My session was very well attended, and I received some great questions. We filmed my presentation, so you can view it with the links below, and follow along with the slides that are posted here:

APCST Presentation

Video 1

Video 2


While I was conferencing, Janelle was sight-seeing (I was able to do a little bit too), so here is her perspective of Barcelona:

Having the Sports Engineering Conference smack in the middle of downtown was a perfect opportunity to get to know the city. Barcelona’s is jammed packed, literally, and you could spend weeks exploring all the nooks and crannies. We didn’t have weeks so we made sure to hit the highlights. Here’s a look at the city from a cool view point near a huge art museum.


We were standing right in front of the National Museum of Catalan Art which sits high up on a hill overlooking the entire city.  This photo is looking northwest with the Mediterranean Sea to our back.


Looking straight north at the Placa d’Espanya in the foreground.



Looking more towards the northeast and you can see the famous La Sagrada Familia Cathedral on the right.

La Sargrada Familia is an incomplete Roman Catholic Church designed by a Catalan architect named, Antonio Gaudi (1852–1926). Gaudi is very famous in Barcelona and his buildings are scattered throughout the city. He has a very unique and playful style inspired by both nature and his relationship with God.  Photos will never do this church justice and seeing it in person takes your breath away.

Here’s a short video I made when we first walked in: Entering La Sagrada Familia


La Sagrada Familia is massive and still under construction


The entrance is located on this aspect



The interior is something out of this world


The light shines through the stain glass windows making colors dance over the huge intricate interior walls


Color show



Looking up at the ceiling


For you engineers out there, strings were used to determine the correct load the arches could support

Another must see is the Gaudi designed Park Güell (a tribute to nature) which is located on Carmel Hill. This multi-level public park is probably one of the most beautiful and most popular parks in Barcelona. Be sure to buy tickets in advance!


Rocky pillars line the park


The center attraction is this open plaza with an incredible view of the city looking out towards the sea.


Stunning designs


and cool tunnels


Gingerbread houses


Hey, Janelle was there!


Looking back up at the overlook plaza


Famous Gaudi dragon


Columns supporting the plaza

We mostly walked around town but after awhile our feet were screaming at us. We opted for the lazy route and hit the subway where we discovered a gigantic vending machine!


We obviously were not the only ones impressed

Waking up early before the conference was a great time to easily get around the city.


Art museum at the top of the hill where we took the city photos from.


An early morning excusion to see the city and to check out where the Olympics took place.


Olympic park


Industrial view of the Mediterranean Sea.

During the conference, I would explore on my own. La Rambla street (“The Boulevard” yes, THE climb is named after this) has been around since 1766 and is a huge tourist trap/attraction. It’s basically a walking outdoor mall filled with shops, restaurants, bakeries, markets, theaters and historical sights that continue for 1.2 kilometers.


The streets getting to La Rumbla were super busy and constantly in motion


Bakeries were located on every corner tempting you with tasty treats!

la rumbla 2

Vender after vender selling trinkets and souvenirs

La Rumbla in the morning was the best time to visit because it wasn't jammed packed with people

La Rumbla in the morning was the best time to visit because it wasn’t jammed packed with people

We went to a seafood restaurant where you could pick exactly

We went to a seafood restaurant where you could pick exactly what you wanted them to cook

seafood lunch 2

We tried all sorts of fun critters from the sea and, as you can see, we were not disappointed!


The city came to life at night.


Cathedral of Barcelona lit up during the city’s biggest festival; Merci 2015.


Old Roman walls


Tons of people enjoying the festival.


We HAD to have Seafood Paella, even though the locals told us they never order it at a restaurant…to do it right, it must be home made!


More tapas!


Horchata in Spain is definitely different than the Mexican version. It’s made with Chufas (Tiger Nut) and is a cool, unique flavor which goes incredibly well with the homemade ice cream sundaes!

One more post to come which will wrap up our adventure in Spain!


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