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Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunset Farewell at Barcelona Port

Sunset Farewell at Barcelona Port [enlarge]

To kiss goodbye 2007 I should have published this image in due time. As it is written somewhere in the stars that my daily posting mission is too heavy a cross to carry sometimes, I come to you from the future to talk about the end of the year. I had chosen this elder couple looking far away in the distance, perhaps taking their last pictures of Barcelona before turning back home, to make some kind of allegory about time, age, hope and whatever good thoughts this image may inspire. I let you with them watching the sun slowly set over Montjuic mountain. Tomorrow it will be just another day on earth, let's take the most out of it.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Guardia Civil Patrol Boat at Barcelona Port

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A sunset image taken at Barcelona Port with a close look on a Guardia Civil patrol boat. Besides the Spanish police boat, the World Trade Center building in the background and the Jaume I cable car tower are also worth mentioning.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ecuadorian Dancers Wearing Traditional Costumes

Ecuadorian Dancers Wearing Traditional Costumes [enlarge]

These dancers wearing traditional costumes of Ecuador were part of an event organized in Nou Barris quarter some months ago. The picture I recovered from my archives since I forgot to show you in this previous post called Bolivian dancers.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sarcophagus in Pedralbes Monastery

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Although part of the tomb of Queen Elisenda de Montcada which you can see in the Pedralbes Monastery Museum site, this one is a small sarcophagus where the Queen is represented as an abbess and not wearing the crown as the sculpture on the main tomb.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Portrait of Miguel by Lourdes Martin, A Powerful Image I liked in 2007

Portrait of Miguel: A Powerful Image I liked in 2007 [enlarge]

Miguel by Lourdes Martin Cabrero was the portrait I liked the most in 2007. Lourdes Martin was awarded the Silver Lux Award in the Portrait category by AFP (Pro Photographers Association). Lux are one of the most prestigious photography awards in Spain. The ceremony was held during past Sonimagfoto 2007 event at Fira de Barcelona, Montjuic. This image belongs to Lourdes Martin. I just wanted to express my admiration for her portrait and in a way promote the most recent work of Spanish photographers. Check the AFP site and specially 'Miguel'. See other posts about Sonimagfoto 2007.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Branch Fantasy

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In this one, I just liked the way these branches hung, the overlapping of the many flowers, and the happy mood they created in my soul some time last autumn under the bright morning sun. I believe these are bougainvilleas although they look wilder than the garden vine.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Australopithecus Afarensis: Lucy at Cosmocaixa Science Museum

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Australopithecus Afarensis, in this case the female called Lucy as part of the Civilized Matter exhibition in Cosmocaixa Science Museum, in other words, a narration about the evolution of man in the last 100.000 years (more at the official Cosmocaixa site, although not in English). Perhaps you want to know about australopithecus or even the story of Lucy itself so I recommend this site where you can admire another reproduction of the famous afarensis that goes by the name of Lucy.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holy Scene: Prayer

Holy Scene: Prayer [enlarge]

To follow with my holy scenes series I will let you alone with this intimate moment of reflection and prayers. No matter what your religion is or even in case you don't have any, I think it is easy to admire revolutionary men like this, call him with whatever name you choose, that someday, somewhere in time, decided to sacrifice for the sake of his fellowmen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Religious Sculpture in Pedralbes Monastery

Religious Sculpture in Pedralbes Monastery [enlarge]

This small figure is located in a small crypt located upon entering Pedralbes Monastery cloister, following the right wing corridor. I can't tell you who this is, shame on me, I know. To highlight the mystery and solemnity of the icon I have burnt the borders of the image and rendered a lightning effect on the face with CS2. One thing I am sure of, the figure is related to Queen Elisenda de Montcada who secluded herself in the Monastery of Poor Clares in Pedralbes as a nun after the death of her husband, King James II of Aragon, also known as James II of Barcelona, called The Just. She died there on June 19, 1364 and the tomb can be visited.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Barcelona Coat of Arms

Barcelona Coat of Arms [enlarge]

Barcelona coat of arms can be appreciated on this lamp post located in Passeig de Lluis Companys near Arc de Triomf. The city coat of arms is a blend of the arms of the counts of Barcelona and the arms of Aragon. It was conceded to the city on July 4th 1345. The cross is that of St. George who is the patron saint of the city. In case you wonder what the lines mean (red on yellow in the flag and original coat of arms) you should know that the red ones stand for the blood that the French emperor Charles the Bald drew with the blood of the Count of Barcelona, Guifré el Pilós on the golden shield of the Count.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fountain in Pedralbes Monastery, Barcelona, Spain

Fountain in Pedralbes Monastery, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

This is the Pedralbes Monastery cloister fountain in the light of the morning sun. I like two things about the scene, first, the light on the water and second, the face of that small girl almost hidden behind the fountain.
Suggestion: I created a list with voting system where you can add your city daily photoblog. Other lists created in the past have worked for my ranking in search engines but of course this is completely optional and it is meant to promote the group.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Triumph Arch or Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona, Spain

The Triumph Arch or Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

This is another picture of the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona. As you noticed I have been enjoying a long deserved holidays but from this post on I have prepared a series of images in a row to compensate for all the sloth in the past. I suggest you check my previous post about Arc de Triomphe.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chocolate Fountain in Barcelona Chocolate Trade Show

Chocolate Fountain in Barcelona Chocolate Trade Show [enlarge]

This chocolate fountain or whatever the technical word is, I shot during the Chocolate trade show celebrated in Barcelona not long ago. When I see this I can't help thinking of Hamsel and Grettel story about a house of marsipan, chocolate and sweets of many a kind. Besides that reminiscence I also think of lyrics, and this is weird, like in the Lucy in the Sky song, when it says, "with tangerine trees and marmalade skies". You can call me paranoic! Hey, Merry Christmas everybody.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Christmas Picture of a Holy Scene in Barcelona, Spain

My Christmas Picture of a Holy Scene in Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

This could be my Christmas picture of the season, although some similar ones appeared in Barcelona Photoblog recently. Holy scenes captured in Pedralbes monastery that look more beautiful perhaps than the traditional miniature representations of Jesus in Bethlem that you can find on the streets these days. I mean, they look more solemn and inspiring but of course you may have your own opinion about this musing of mine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gaudi Animals on Nativity Façade, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Gaudi Animals on Nativity Façade, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Weird creatures contemplate tourists from above while they visit Sagrada Familia cathedral. Animal sculptures, so common in Gaudi's art nouveau buildings, accentuate the mysterious halo around the temple mixing up Paganism and Christianity with unusual harmony according to my humble and lay appreciation of course.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Homemade Cookies Shop in Carrer Princesa, Barcelona

Homemade Cookies Shop in Carrer Princesa, Barcelona [enlarge]

At carrer Princesa there is this wonderful shop called Demasié with an extra motto written on the window - galetes exageradament bones (something like: "exaggeratedly delicious cookies"). Demasié was founded by the Escursell brothers, who also run a famous chain of chocolate shops known as the Xocoa group. Demasié specializes in cookies, and the idea is to make emphasis in homemade products. Due to the good quality and presentation of the cookies the price may be sometimes set accordingly.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ferrets: Captive Animals in Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Ferrets: Captive Animals in Las Ramblas, Barcelona [enlarge]

Among the many captive animals you can buy in Las Ramblas stalls there are these ferrets. Apparently they are cute and make good pets but keeping them in a cage is not what nature had in mind. The noise, the lack of freedom to move in such a small space, the great amount of people coming and going or stopping by to watch like this girl provoke stress in many of these creatures. If you enlarge the picture you will notice how the ferret on the right is stubbornly biting on the bars of the cage.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Carnation Fresco, Flower Stall, Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Carnation Fresco, Flower Stall, Las Ramblas, Barcelona [Enlarge]

Of course this is no fresco, these are real carnations, as shot in a flower stall at Las Ramblas, Barcelona. I added a very subtle pastel effect and it is meant to draw your attention from the distance. It is a very common image, so I took the liberty of playing with it. Although it is almost imperceptible. Here are three pictures that appeared in Barcelona Photoblog in the past, taken in the same place: Flower Bouquets, Flower Stock Photography (notice the same carnations below) and Flower Bouquet at La Rambla dels Flors

Friday, December 7, 2007

Exotic Animals? - A Gecko's Life

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Exotic animals in Barcelona like this gecko I photographed on a marble slab are part of a big market in the city although some species of Geckos are common in the Mediterranean. As I am no expert I am going to recommend a good link about the world of geckos: Geckos Unlimited. I prefer to see them in the wild though!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Modernist Window, Fundació Dr. Robert, Sant Pau Hospital

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Not so spectacular as the stained glass windows in previous posts but attractive to the eye as well, this modernist window is overlooking the staircase inside Casa de Convalescencia (Fundació Dr. Robert) in Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Modernist Stained Glass Windows: Fundacio Dr. Robert, Barcelona

Modernist Stained Glass Windows: Fundacio Dr. Robert, Barcelona [enlarge]

Inside Fundació Dr. Robert in Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona you can see these beautiful stained glass windows around the cupola of the aula magna building.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sagrada Familia Stained Glass

Sagrada Familia Stained Glass [enlarge]

There is little margin sometimes to capture stained glass windows in Sagrada Familia due to lack of space and scaffolds that are in your way. This is the result of a very close take.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sagrada Familia Cathedral: Stained Glass Window

Sagrada Familia Cathedral: Stained Glass Window [enlarge]

The following four posts in a row deal with stained glass. In this case we here a view of one the imponent windows inside Sagrada Familia cathedral. As I want to slowly catch up in my posting with today's correct date, I am going to be brief.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Taking Photographs at Port Vell, Barcelona: Romantic Couple

Taking Photographs at Port Vell, Barcelona: Romantic Couple [enlarge]

This is a picture of another picture. A young man taking some photos of his girlfriend. I wouldn't dare say they are Japanese tourists but you know the cliche about who is more fond of shooting at everything that moves. She looks like some model to me. The light was great right before the sun went down over Montjuic mountain. The Port Vell area was crowded and lots of tourists were waiting to pass to the other side of Maremagnum bridge towards Las Ramblas. Some others were trying to capture a good sunset shot, me too! But I couldn't resist sneaking into this couple's private world and snatching a moment of intimacy.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mermaid Human Statue in Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Mermaid Human Statue in Las Ramblas, Barcelona [enlarge]

Once upon a time there was a little mermaid, a sad and lonely little mermaid, working nine to five out of the water to make ends meet in Las Ramblas, Barcelona. She only wanted to go with her father in the deep blue sea some miles away from Barcelona port but human money was better than devaluated seashells in her underwater world. Tough life indeed, so much makeup, scales getting dry in the sun and those stingy strange creatures with no tail staring at her like a school of fish. Yeah, it sounds like a tale but human statues in Las Ramblas are real people, they need the money so let's give them some coins to take back home cause they really deserve it.

Picture I liked today from the City Daily Photo group: Free Parking by Hyderabad Daily Photo, India. I like the silhouette of the road and the incredible amount of cars in the huge traffic jam.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rafols Hardware Store: Ironwork in Barcelona

Modernist Hardware Store Front Door in Barcelona [enlarge]

Ferreteria Rafols (hardware store) is located at Ronda de Sant Pere, 74. Its façade is catalogued as part of the urban and architectural elements in Barcelona, mainly due to the ironwork which dates back to 1919 and was made by Calixte Tresserras. Wrought iron was commonly used to adorn commercial buildings at the beginnings of last century. Maybe you would like to learn the words on the signs, left: Drugstore, Houseware and right: Nuts, Bolts and Screws; Tools, Lock Work.

Picture I liked today from the City Daily Photo group: Growing Back by Iblowfish from Cleveland Daily Photo, Ohio. I think it has good bw treatment, the title fits perfectly and the image is well composed and powerful.

Useful Link of the Day: The Blogger's Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holy Scene 2 at Pedralbes Monastery

Holy Scene at Pedralbes Monastery [enlarge]

This is my second holy scene taken inside the Pedralbes Monastery. As you can see it is another miniature representation of a religious passage. The light was dim, but the set as I pointed out in the first holy scene, was spectacular. I want to remind you and the bots that this blog is not about religion. I prefer to stick to photography which is much more fun as a hobby. Christmas is around the corner so I think this topic is more than suitable and besides, art manifests in many forms that enrich our knowledge in many ways.

Pictures I liked today: From I Heart Manila in the Dailyphoto Group - Meet Pacquiao and Cheese! by Blupic at Flickr.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Arc de Triomph Detail with Modernist Street Lamp

Arc de Triomph Detail with Modernist Street Lamp [enlarge]

This a detail of our Arc de Triomf (L'arc de Triomphe - The Arch of Triumph) which I had ignored in my pictures so far, maybe because obvious things in the city sometimes are overlooked by its inhabitants. Next to the monument and all along Passeig de Lluis Companys you have these wonderful Catalan Art Nouveau street lamps. Built during the 1888 Universal Exhibition by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, the arch was the main entrance to the venues. As you can see it is made of bricks and is an important representative of the Moorish revival style. Check my google map below to find the exact place in Barcelona.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reading on the Maremagnum Wooden Platform at Barcelona Harbor

Reading on the Maremagnum Wooden Platform at Barcelona Harbor [enlarge]

The wooden platform along Maremagnum center is made in such a way that it is everything but a wharf. You can see people jogging, kissing, feeding the pigeons, taking pictures and many of them like this person, reading. Gosh, I wish I had the patience to do that. Why is it that some of us find time and have the will to go to places and some others don't, I mean, the place is not exactly near any building, so you need to plan it, "today I am going to the port and read a book, no matter how cold it is, I will do it". By the way, notice the buoy, pretending to look the other way not to disturb the reader or perhaps watching the seagulls fly?

Here are some other pictures of Maremagnum area I found interesting via Barcelona Yellow

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cocoa Butter Bath Soap: Are You a Hedonist or What?

Cocoa Butter Bath Soap: Are You a Real Hedonist or What? [enlarge]

If you are a real Hedonist (hey man, don't start calling me names) then you should try taking a bath with one of these cocoa butter soap cakes. Hmm, I imagine the scent of chocolate and the sudden urge to swallow the water or sip it with a straw pretending the foam was some kind of whip cream on top of a chocolate icecream.
I want to recommend some entertaining stuff now that we are talking about sense and sensibility. Watch this AppleTV Flash Mashup, you can take your laptop to the bathroom if you feel like it. By the way, before you ask, the sign says: Melt yourself down in a bath of pink clouds and hyper hydrating cocoa butter (damn, dude, you sure sound weird, are yu on something or what?)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Chocolate Trade Show, Barcelona: Kid Drinks From Ice Sculpture

Chocolate Trade Show, Barcelona: Kid Drinks From Ice Sculpture [enlarge]

Chocolate Trade Show, Barcelona: Kid Drinks From Ice Sculpture. Not that it has to do much with chocolate or a trade show, the subject here is the kid and perhaps the ice sculpture. Well, in fact the left side of the sculpture was stuffed with small chocolate treats but the presence of people nearby made me disregard that part. It was some kind of game. Kids could drink from the ice in the hope that it tasted like chocolate but obviously he chose the most insipid portion.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chocolate Trade Show in Barcelona: A Fruit Treat

Chocolate Trade Show in Barcelona: A Fruit Treat [enlarge]

A fruit treat like this, with a chocolate touch was the bait some stalls used to trap innocent victims on an empty stomach in the Chocolate Trade Show held in Barcelona some days ago. You can't say they aren't attractive and surely they are perfect to undermine your will. I remember I didn't touch them, stubborn as I am with my diet and my gym mentality, you know, when you tell people "no, I can't have chocolate, it has too much calories" as if the doctor had prescribed it or your own religion forbade it. "No, this is a sin" you think, "get away from me, shoo!, shoo!". I remember that now, watching those strawberries and pineapple chunks, and I realize how stupid I was. Sniff.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Liqueurs by Faraco and Feixas at Chocolate Trade Show, Barcelona

Liqueurs by Faraco and Feixas at Chocolate Trade Show, Barcelona [enlarge]

This is a picture of a small sample of liqueurs by Faraco and Feixas that drew my attention while visiting the Chocolate Trade Show next to the Arc de Triomf monument some days ago. Faraco Feixas, S.L. is a company that elaborates and sells liquors, wine, and oil. I was really impressed by the design of the labels that imitate the Scrabble game in a way, the bottles and the variety of attractive products so I decided to feature them in my blog for free. Hey, if you ever read this send me one of those! See a previous post about drinks: absinthe

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Creepy Two Headed Dolls For The New Kids

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Times are achanging and new generations need different toys, like these two headed dolls, a sort of monster that takes from Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, Betty Boop, Manga Films and Japanese terror movies like the Ring. The shop, a wonderful place to buy curious modern stuff like this is on Ali Bei street near Passeig de Sant Joan, if I am not in a mistake. It was closed at the moment I took the picture so I had to stick my lens through the bars of the rolling metallic doors. Carrer Ali Bei is becoming a zone of comic and freak stores. In fact I believe there is a shop called Freaks at Ali Bei 10 that may be the place to find the dolls. Please any fan or freak correct me if I am wrong.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Dessert: Chocolate Covered Fruit

Chocolate Covered Fruit for Thanksgiving Dessert [enlarge]

Chocolate covered fruit is my proposal for Thanksgiving dessert. I wouldn't like to interrupt your turkey time but this is a simple dessert, a low calorie one if you don't exceed too much with the chocolate or go directly for the upper pastries. This picture was captured in a recent chocolate trade show celebrated in Barcelona which I plan to show you soon in detail. Happy Thanksgiving! I know this post appears some days in advance, don't worry about that. I will update my posting asap.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Musings From Barcelona, Spain

Thanksgiving Musings From Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

"The Thanksgiving holiday was established as a national day of giving thanks and praise to God". I am going to take profit of the religious mood created with my two previous posts about Pedralbes Monastery, to show you this holy scene which was part of a small exhibition located in the cellars of the building. The light was dim but the small scale figures, the magnificent set and the illumination were worthy enough to photograph from a very close distance that excluded the framing and created the atmosphere to make it look almost real. Happy Thanksgiving my friends! Here are a bunch of Thanksgiving recipes just in case.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stained Glass Window. Pedralbes Monastery. Barcelona, Spain

Stained Glass Window. Pedralbes Monastery. Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

While in Pedralbes Monastery I noticed this beautiful stained glass window. Everytime I see these religious figures pierced by the incoming light I wonder what effect would the colors and scenes have upon the extremely faithful and fearful medieval souls. Then I can't help thinking on how many people have prayed gazing towards the infinite nothingness asking for divine favors through these stained glass panes. All those years of solitude and whispering slowly come and soothe my soul like a monotonous litany. I am not a religious man and I can't really explain what it is. Maybe is just because my father took me to churches just for the sake of art, literally, or so he said. This art with a purpose, the Gothic purpose of impressing parishioners always works, even for me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pedralbes Gothic Monastery in Barcelona, Spain

Pedralbes Gothic Monastery in Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Built in the fourteenth century, the Pedralbes single-nave gothic monastery is located right under the mountains that mark the upper limits of Barcelona city. The impressive religious building was founded in 1326 by Queen Elisenda de Montcada the third wife of James II. In the image above you see the cloister garden under the morning sun full of medicinal plants. A must see besides the Pedralbes Monastery Museum (Bajada del Monasterio, 9, Tel.: 93 203 92 82) is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Collection that includes a valuable religious art exhibition from XV and XVII. You can get to Pedralbes Monastery on the sightseeing buses as this is part of the Romanesque and Gothic Route. Check this one in particular: Bus Turistic The Northern Route

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yellow Flowers Fantasy

Yellow Flowers Fantasy [enlarge]

This yellow flowers fantasy could be easily called Psychedelic Garden II since it is very similar to a previous post of mine. I took this picture in the cloister garden of Pedralbes Monastery which I will show you tomorrow and of course the original background was green.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sant Pol de Mar, Maresme Coast, Catalonia, Spain

Sant Pol de Mar, Maresme Coast, Catalonia, Spain [enlarge]

Sant Pol de Mar beach on Maresme Coast near Barcelona last October 28th. As you see we had a very fine weather this fall. I say we had, cause we are freezing these days. I like to post fine weather pictures that give me strength to stand the winter. See more details about Sant Pol

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Eggplants and Potatoes

Eggplants and Potatoes [enlarge]

What in the world? Yes, these are baby eggplants I patiently piled up on top of a box of potatoes. In fact I just liked the brilliant color of the aubergines but I thought potatoes would help highlight the purple reddish plant. From the food point of view, now that I introduce these vegetables, let's say that there are recipes that include both ingredients. With this link to Indian Vegetarian Recipes and especially the Eggplant and Potato Curry (Vagan Bateta nu Shak) I am sure the post really acquires a real meaning no matter how surrealistic I may sound. I'm in the middle of a mystic trance lately, it must be the winter!
Note: More Eggplant and Potato Recipes

Monday, November 12, 2007

Maremagnum Wooden Bridge: Rush Hours

Maremagnum Wooden Bridge: Rush Hours [enlarge]

The wooden bridge at Maremagnum was featured in this photo blog a long time ago (see Waiting for the Bridge at Rambla de Mar for all details about the bridge and the architects who designed it). As you can guess, the place being a neuralgic spot in the city is crammed with people during rush hours, which are basically all day long in the Port Vell area. As my picture is static and perhaps only creates a mood in your mind, why not stimulate your imagination a little more with a virtual tour around Port Vell at night via Arounder (a wonderful site by the way!) *VR not working in Firefox :(
To finish I would like to mention a modest article about bloggers I started to write at Blogskinny and which I intend to enhance with random thoughts about my blogging experiences during the last two years: Trial and Error Path to Top Ranking Positions: A Personal Testimony