Thursday, July 31

Customized Harleys: Cruzada

Customized Harleys: Cruzada [enlarge]

A low rider customized Harley called Cruzada during past Barcelona Harley Days 2008 event in Barcelona.

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Wednesday, July 30

GoCar Tours in Barcelona

GoCar Tours in Barcelona [enlarge]

Renting a GoCar, the GPS guided, talking tour car is now a fact in Barcelona.

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Tuesday, July 29

Door Handles at Rambla de Catalunya, Barcelona

Door Handles at Rambla de Catalunya, Barcelona [enlarge]

Door handles and knockers at a store in Rambla de Catalunya, Barcelona.

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Monday, July 28

Classic Cars: Ford

Classic Cars: Ford [enlarge]

This weird, rather customized classic Ford automobile I spotted during Barcelona Harley Days 2008 event last month.

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Sunday, July 27

Marquee at El Corte Ingles, Portal del Angel, Barcelona

Marquee at El Corte Ingles, Portal del Angel, Barcelona [enlarge]

This is the entrance to one of El Corte Inglés buildings at Av. Portal del Angel, 19-21. The most famous chain of department stores in Spain bought Galerias Preciados in the 90s, one of its main competitors and previous owner of the store. But before all that the place was known as Jorba department store or Can Jorba. The Jorba family, originally from Manresa, built it in 1932. Adorned with doric columns and a remarkable markee, this classicist building was conceived in the most pure XIX century style.

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Saturday, July 26

Girls Sculpture at Catalonia Square, Barcelona

Friday, July 25

Trixi Taxi Service in Barcelona

Trixi Taxi Service in Barcelona [enlarge]

Moving around in the city of Barcelona is not as difficult as in other cities since metro and bus service is rather efficient. But when it comes to walking along the narrow streets of the old part of town you really need other means of transportation. Tourist itineraries are sometimes too demanding and impossible to cover in one day so a little push taking the short way can be extremely helpful to save time and get to places in a much better mood. So, how do you achieve that? By taking one of the so called trixi cabs I show today. The staff is generally well prepared, they know the language and are in good shape. These two trixies I spotted at Avinguda de la Catedral in Barri Gotic. To know about routes and price visit Trixi Taxis

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Thursday, July 24

Banco Vitalicio Insurance Company: Balcony and Lamps, Paseo De Gracia, Barcelona

Banco Vitalicio Insurance Company: Balcony and Lamps, Paseo De Gracia 11, Barcelona, Spain by Carlos Lorenzo of Barcelona Photoblog [enlarge]

In 1897 two companies called La Previsión and Banco Vitalicio de Cataluña merged into Banco Vitalicio de España, the insurance company we know nowadays. The first president was Claudio López Brú, in other words, famous Marques of Comillas who led Banco Vitalicio to top ranking positions in the market of life insurance companies. Besides life insurance they also dealt with cargo and transportation insurance. After the war, in 1943 the company also started to emerge in other sectors such as fire insurance, car insurance, etc. The headquarters at Paseo de Gracia where these beatiful lamps can be seen, was built in 1950 over the old Palacio de Samá premises. After 1991, Banco Vitalicio was completely absorbed by Central Hispano-Generali Insurance Holding who owned most of the stocks. At present it is presided over by José María Amusátegui de la Cierva. In 1997, a new modern and intelligent building was founded in Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes. After more than a 100 years Banco Vitalicio is still one of the leading insurance companies in Spain. This is a picture I took back in 2006 of the whole building: Banco Vitalicio de España.

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Wednesday, July 23

Sitar Player, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Sitar Player, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

To grow my collection of musical instruments here is a picture of a sitar. The musician was playing in Barri Gotic, a quarter that gathers a good amount of street artists who are attracted by the many tourists and special accoustics of its narrow alleys. Here is a famous video in which George Harrison is taking sitar lessons with Ravi Shankar

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Tuesday, July 22

Old Lady and Fountain, Portal de L'Angel, Barcelona

Old Lady and Fountain, Portal de L'Angel, Barcelona [enlarge]

The summer is very intense and humid in Barcelona. There were water restriction warnings last spring but after heavy and continuous rains, announced fines and water supply interruptions in public places were canceled. Here is an old lady filling up a bottle in one of those beautiful Barcelona fountains at Portal de L'Angel street.

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Monday, July 21

Dali and Gaudi Souvenirs, Stall at Portal de L'Angel, Barcelona

Dali and Gaudi Souvenirs, Stall at Portal de L'Angel, Barcelona [enlarge]

Another stall at Portal de L'Angel, one of the richest streets in Barcelona. This time selling Dali and Gaudi souvenirs. A couple of days ago I showed you the stand next to this one.


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Sunday, July 20

Banco Vitalicio at Passeig de Gracia 11, Barcelona

Banco Vitalicio at Passeig de Gracia 11, Barcelona [enlarge]

This is a detail of Banco Vitalicio at Passeig de Gracia 11 and built from 1941 to January 1950 by Lluís Bonet i Garí. See more details about this bank and insurance company in my previous post: Banco Vitalicio: First High Rise Building in Barcelona. I am always attracted by the beautiful lamps on the façade. I don't know who's in charge of polishing them but they keep them like brand new.

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Saturday, July 19

Flashy Colors at Stall in Passeig de L'Angel, Barcelona

Flashy Colors at Stall in Passeig de L'Angel, Barcelona [enlarge]

This is a stall at Portal de L'Angel. Some figures are easy to recognize like butterflies. Some others are funny like the mushrooms. Motley articles seem to sell better.

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Friday, July 18

Spanish Menu for Rambla Catalunya Tourists

Spanish Menu for Rambla Catalunya Tourists [enlarge]

Walking down Rambla Catalunya street there are several terraces that are perfect to have some beers while you contemplate the wonderful architecture of art nouveau buildings and why not of some sculptural bodies especially in this time of year. But let's leave the female topic aside cause I digress. Well, you sit there and ask the waiter for a drink and perhaps a Spanish tapa. Man, I don't know if your budget can afford that but we absolutely try to avoid such places. I reckon they are comfortable and with a view but I can assure you that there are a handful of excellent places some blocks away for half the money and much better food. But go ahead, when you are a tourist you have to play the part; they tell you, and in spite of that, you go and squander your money. What the heck!, you say, these are my holidays. I understand I've done the same in Paris or in London. My advice, you try it but just once. Then mix up with locals they know better. Check that board again: tapas (which ones? there are hundreds!) and then Spanish omelette as the bait (isn't that a tapa). Tinto de Verano (literally, summer red wine), a mixture of cheap wine with Casera, a brand similar to Sprite. The drink is lighter than Sangria and more refreshing. Here is a Tinto de Verano recipe. Gambas are shrimps, hmm that's good but certainly you have them cheaper and tastier some other place. And beer, well, that you know. You have several words to ask for a beer according to the kind of glass or cup. You can order a caña (the smallest), a copa (a cup), a tubo (high and cylindrical glass) or a jarra (a jar). Then you have the bottle measure: the small bottle called quinto and the normal size "medianas" (tercios in other regions of Spain). I hope this odd mixture of Spanish food, tourism and bad reviews is at least helpful.

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Thursday, July 17

Tibidabo Roller Coaster Thrill, Barcelona, Spain

Tibidabo Roller Coaster Thrill, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Not that it is a big roller coaster but watching the whole city of Barcelona while being up there, taking a scary look at the valley at your feet and raising your hands to enhance the thrilling experience is definitely a different way of approaching our city. Take some time to visit Tibidabo. If you have kids it is really a must-see. Barcelona Photoblog has published many pictures about this park but I will only suggest a very similar shot: Amusement Parks - Roller Coaster Panic.

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Wednesday, July 16

Tibidabo Amusement Park Barcelona: Log Splash Attraction

Tibidabo Log Splash Attraction, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Although the picture today is about the log splash attraction in Tibidabo amusement park, you don't really get to see the log much here nor you see the slide. In fact I didn't want the log to appear since it is not specially attractive. This time I wanted to concentrate on the big waves spreading like imaginary wings over the water.

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Tuesday, July 15

Canon's House, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Canon's House, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

At Bisbe Irurita Street in Barri Gotic there's this beautiful house called Casa de los Canónigos (Canon's House). Today I show you a detail of a sort of bas-relief you can admire on its façade while walking down the street towards Sant Jaume square. Read all the details about Casa dels Canonges.

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Monday, July 14

Barcelona World Trade Center View From The Sea

Barcelona World Trade Center View From The Sea [enlarge]

Here is a very deceptive image in the sense that Barcelona World Trade Center looks like a small scale model next to an enormous cruiser moored to the pier. Maybe the other ship on the left helps the viewer find out what is huge and what is normal size here. Perhaps if you are an enthusiast of Barcelona Photoblog you remember that picture where I showed the other side of the pier: WTC: A Close Look. To have an idea of how it would all look from above watch it from the Mirador on Montjuic mountain.

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Sunday, July 13

The Nova Duana or New Customs House in Barcelona Harbor, Spain

The Nova Duana or New Customs House in Barcelona Harbor, Spain [enlarge]

Here is another photo of the Barcelona Customs House building (in Spanish, Aduana). There were other posts featuring this beautiful façade: Barcelona Harbor_Las Golondrinas Sightseeing Boat and Barcelona Harbour Cruise: A City Teaser. The Nova Duana (New Customs house), was built by Enric Sagnier (Barcelona, 1858-1931) together with Pere Garcia i Faria. Sagnier was a prolific architect. Other works of his were the Palace of Justice and the Tibidabo Temple. In all, he built about 30 interesting buildings only in Barcelona. To finish I would like to mention the house El Pinar also known as Casa Arnús, a family house in the middle of a pine woods in Collserola mountain. You can see the lights of this house from Avinguda Tibidabo three times a week (Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays) so I recommend you try to spot it if you are in the area.

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Saturday, July 12

Barcelona Drummer: African Beat

Barcelona Drummer: African Beat [enlarge]

We are going to park the bikes for a while cause this is not a motor site. Not that today's picture shows precisely anything about Barcelona but you know I am prone to changing topics easily. In fact, to make it a drastic change, I shifted color for BW. Portraits are not my speciality but I like the way the face insinuates the hands' drumming. For the other part of this photo check my previous link: African Drummer in Barcelona.

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Friday, July 11

Barcelona Harley Days 2008: Lucky Devil Indian Bobber

 [enlarge]

This is a detail of a 1638 c.c./100 c.i. Indian Bobber (Lucky Devil) valued in 34.000 Eur. Barcelona Harley Days 2008 was a total success and according to official sources it gathered almost 10.000 Harley riders in Barcelona. I don't have photos of the flag parade but I captured some beautiful custom harley motorcycles that I will keep posting on coming days. Don't forget to click on the image for a larger version.

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Thursday, July 10

Harley Choppers in Barcelona Harley Days 2008 Event

Harley Choppers in Barcelona Harley Days 2008 Event [enlarge]

Custom Harley Choppers are one of the main attractions in Barcelona Harley Days 2008 event. I am no expert in Harley-Davidson motorcycles so I'd better stay quiet and show you my pictures. Have a nice weekend.

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Wednesday, July 9

Easy Riding in Barcelona Harley Days 2008

Easy Riding in Barcelona Harley Days 2008 [enlarge]

Harley-Davidson will gather thousands of motorcycles in Barcelona during Barcelona Harley Days, the official European festival celebrating Harley-Davidson’s 105th anniversary from 10 to 13 July 2008. I will be posting some pictures of this important event and I would like to start with just a backseat, a simple image to begin with as an appetizer. You might want to take a look at Harley-Davidson motorcycles from 1970 to present day or you may feel like reminiscing for a while:

Click Video [enlarge]

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Tuesday, July 8

Tourists in Park Guell Gardens

Tourists in Park Guell Gardens [enlarge]

This is what we call a clotted picture. You might as well try looking for Wally, or in this case, a couple of Japanese tourists in the middle of the exuberant vegetation of Park Guell gardens. You don't see what they are pointing their compact cameras at but I can tell you: it's the house where Antoni Gaudi used to live when he was building Park Guell which is a museum nowadays.

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Monday, July 7

Japanese Tourists in Canaletas: Wrong Directions?

Japanese Tourists in Canaletas, Las Ramblas, Barcelona: Wrong Directions? [enlarge]

Last winter these Japanese tourists seemed to be lost and were desperately checking a map. I hope they were not looking for Canaletas fountain, the illustrious symbol of Barcelona Football Club, the place where we go to celebrate special victories (hmm definitely not this year), only because they got it right behind. Pushing the bad joke way too far I would dare to say some Real Madrid fan gave them the wrong directions on purpose. No, no, forget about this cheesy gag and concentrate on the place, Las Ramblas de Barcelona, the beautiful promenade and its people always coming and going, people from all over the world, having the hell of a great time in the city, both habituals and newcomers alike.

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Sunday, July 6

Wisdom: Catalonia Square, Barcelona, Spain

Wisdom: Catalonia Square, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

This is one of the statues at Plaça Catalunya (Catalonia Square). Around the center of the square there are different sculptures, each of them with an allegoric name. The one you can see in today's picture is called Sabiduría (Wisdom) and on the pedestal you can easily read the name of the artist: Miguel Oslé 1929.

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Saturday, July 5

Detail of Casa Lleó Morera at Passeig de Gracia 35, Barcelona, Spain

Detail of Casa Lleó Morera at Passeig de Gracia 35, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

This is a detail of the small turret on top of Casa Lleó-Morera at Passeig de Gràcia 35. The modernist house by Lluís Domènech i Montaner is part of the renown Illa de la Discordia (Block of Discord) called this way due to the clash of different styles between three famous houses in the block. The other two are Casa Amatller at Passeig de Gràcia 41 designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Casa Batlló at Passeig de Gràcia 43 designed by Antoni Gaudí. The building is located on the corner of Consell de Cent and Passeig de Gracia and was originally constructed in 1864 and renovated in 1902. When you come to Barcelona it would be almost a crime not to visit this Manzana de la Discordia. For those that are less interested in art and more in going shopping, there's a Loewe shop in the ground floor.

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Friday, July 4

La Unión y el Fénix Building, Passeig de Gracia 21, Barcelona, Spain

La Unión y el Fénix Building on Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

At Pg. Gràcia, 21 - Diputació, 265 - 267 we find this catalogued building of monumentalist style and French influence. It was built between 1927 and 1931 by architect Eusebi Bona i Puig and sculptors Saint Marceau i Frederic Marés. It is known as the Unión y el Fénix Español building, a Spanish insurance company that appeared in 1879 in Madrid after the fusion of other companies. The company had venues all over Spain and although the buildings have been used for other purposes over the years, the original architecture has been preserved. The firm, due to an enormous debt had to merge with AGF Insurance (Assurances Gènérales France) in 1994 to form AGF Unión-Fénix which was later absorbed by German Allianz in 1999. It was Allianz who then created Fénix Directo the car insurance company that operates by phone. La Unión y el Fénix on Passeig de Gracia is both a residencial and office building. There are many other examples of monumentalist architecture in the city but this one was rather anacronic in the period it was built since almost all of them appeared after the civil war. It is another example of the efforts of the bourgeoisie to monumentalize Passeig de Gràcia street. The fact that it is on a corner allowed for a rounded body building topped with a cupola crowned by the old company's symbol, a boy sitting on Phoenix, a mythical bird that dies in flames and is reborn from the ashes. Although according to experts, what the sculpture really represents is the Abduction of Ganymede by Zeus to serve as cupbearer to the gods. Ganymede was a symbol for the ideally beautiful youth in poetry.

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Thursday, July 3

Best Pastry Shops in Barcelona: Mauri

Best Pastry Shops in Barcelona: Pastelerias Mauri [enlarge]

Mauri pastry shop on the corner of Rambla Catalunya and Provença is one of the best pastelerias (pastry shops) in Barcelona. Founded by Francesc Mauri in 1929 who owned Núria Restaurant one of the most emblematic at the beginnings of last century, Mauri was in the core of the most elegant and exclusive area of L'Eixample quarter. In 1955 it had to be restored after the damage caused by a fire. Although the founders had died some years before, the family kept the business going adding other services apart from traditional pastry and confectionery. A chocolate shop with tea room was inaugurated in 1978. In 1985 they opened up a delicatessen with catering and a restaurant. Although the price matches the uniqueness of the place Barcelona Photoblog highly recommends it not only for the offer but also for the epoch's modernist architecture which is well preserved.

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Wednesday, July 2

Casa Mila: A Whole Lotta Door

Casa Mila: A Whole Lotta Door - Modernist Gates to La Pedrera [enlarge]

Caught in the spiderweb of art I fell I had to show you the door from within. Check the outside here. A whole lot of ironwork for a door, a huge smashing blow to all former architectural styles, the opening gates to the land of impossible things. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to La Pedrera and the imagination of Antoni Gaudi.

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Tuesday, July 1

Poverty-Stricken Barcelona: Woman Begging, Paseo de Gracia

Poverty-Stricken Barcelona: Woman Begging, Paseo de Gracia [enlarge]

I won't judge this time. I leave it up to you. This is a woman begging on the corner of Passeig de Gracia and Plaça Catalunya, just in front of El Corte Inglés. One of the richest spots in Barcelona. It was a very hot afternoon, the normal kind of day this time of year, the same all stuff, lots of people, sweating all over. And there she was. People seemed to draw a safety perimeter around her with their feet. The same old story.

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