Benvinguts to the Catalan Games!

Barcelona flashes its many stylish differences as the arc of the opening arrow begins the dazzling five-ring show

Imagine a proud, serious old man, not without some gruffness. Imagine that he is a prosperous merchant, having made enough money, on his own terms, to indulge himself in moments of whimsy, flashes of dandy vanity. Imagine further that he has seen empires and invaders come and go. Now, having dusted the furniture and repainted the house, he throws open the doors to his elegant old home to reveal . . . a dazzle of tropi-colored tricks.

That was a little how it felt as Barcelona, the often unshaven but designer- crazy capital of Catalonia, set flame to the Games of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!