Saturday, November 28

Stretching at Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona

Outdoor Push ups, Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

The man was really doing some light push ups as part of his stretching routine possibly before starting jogging. Parc de la Ciutadella is the perfect place to practice outdoor sports early in the morning but bear in mind that on certain days this hot spot in flooded with people engaged in some cultural activity. Have a nice weekend my friends.

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Friday, November 27

Barcelona Tram: Route T4 Start Point, Ciutadella - Villa Olimpica

Barcelona Tram: Route T4 [enlarge]

This is the start point of T4, one of the Barcelona Tram routes, going from Ciutadella (Olympic Villa) to Sant Adria. To be more specific it is at the end of Wellington street just next to the zoo entrance. To digress a little, I would like to remark how difficult it is for me to choose a proper, original title for a post. Difficult in the sense that I am always conditioned by SEO to make my site noted on the web. To tell you the truth, the sole fact of being so tied to niches, keyword phrases and so on is really a nuisance aka a pain in the a**. Maybe now you'd say, well go ahead and choose whatever title you want. Well, perhaps you wouldn't be reading this cause the post would be lost at the bottom of Google's obscure twilight zone. Yep, I am clearly digressing now. I should have called this something in the way from A Street Car Name T4 to Wheelchair Adapted Transportation. Does anybody know how to give artistic titles to a post and make it hit first pages of Google search results? I would like to give details about our modern tram system but there are sites offering great information on this and this blog is not associated in any way with Tram BCN. Where was I?...

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Wednesday, November 25

Colored Stone Wall

Colored Stone Wall [enlarge]

What can I say. This is a wall. Originally a very dull one. The place, somewhere in Barcelona. Another play with colors and textures. Hope you like my stone wall.

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Monday, November 23

Man, Bike and Wool Knit Hat

Man in Catalan Wool Knit Hat and Bike [enlarge]

First of all, I have to say it was the woolen hat that struck my attention. This was another lucky shot (see also last post). I was right in front of Hotel Arts and Torre Mapfre by the end of this concrete pier facing the entrance to the marina. There's a privileged spot right after you descend the small set of stairs by the end of the road. You can comfortably lay your camera upon a chest-high wall and capture the sailboats on their way towards open water. As I was saying, I couldn't believe my luck since I realized that right from ground level I could see people enjoying the seascape, lost in their own thoughts. So here was my favorite from that day, a man, a bike and a Catalan wool knit hat.

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Sunday, November 22

Jogging, Burning Calories Before Christmas Holidays

Jogging girl in Barcelona [enlarge]

The other day I was talking about me following an extreme pre-holiday diet. So far I've been able to lose about 5 kilos but in a very passive way. Of course a good option would be jogging or a combination of both. Although I play soccer on Sundays, I don't feel like jogging as I used to. I still remember how euphoric I felt after my long sessions in a park near home. So I envy the good shape this athletic girl has. To tell you the truth I was shooting the benches from a low level angle when she suddenly appeared and came into my picture. Thanks!

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Friday, November 20

Bicolor Flower Fantasy

Bicolor Flower Fantasy [enlarge]

It's Friday. I am tired and felt like watching some movie. Got home from work and thought I might as well play with an old picture to see what came out. After some time and not without changing looks on many occasions I went for a more surreal touch. Have a nice weekend everyone!

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Thursday, November 19

Looking for the Perfect Chocolate Display, La Boqueria Market, Barcelona

Chocolate Display, La Boqueria Market, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Whether you are on a strict pre-winter-holiday diet like me or you are prone to go on an unleashed dessert-swallowing spree more than often convinced as you are that gluttony is no sin, you have to admit that an attractive display is 90 percent responsible for our brains to start sending green light signals to our less rational stomach. Take the case of this impeccable chocolate stand display so well kept by this young employee at renown Barcelonian market, La Boqueria.

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Monday, November 16

Boatman Rowing - Parc de la Ciutadella Lake, Barcelona

Boatman Rowing - Parc de la Ciutadella Lake, Barcelona [enlarge]

Rowing is not as easy as it seems. Everyone getting on board of a boat for the first time stranded in the middle of one of those beautiful park lakes will probably agree with me that coordinating both arms to make the ship move in the right direction is not a piece of cake, so guess what it should be like towing almost a dozen boats the way this dexterous boatman does in the Parc de la Ciutadella. Should you want to row a boat on the lake, check the price:

30 Minutes:

2 Persons 6 EUR
3 Persons 9 EUR
4/5 Persons 10 EUR

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Sunday, November 15

Graffiti from Barcelona, Spain

Graffiti from Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Just another sample of good Barcelonian graffiti. Street art is everywhere in our city. Maybe too much sometimes but when nice it is really refreshing and stimulating.

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Friday, November 13

Aurora and Chariot: Golden Horses Detail

The Chariot of Aurora, Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona  [enlarge]

I had promised to continue with the full story on the Cascade fountain in Ciutadella park but I was busy and chose another detail of one of the many elements in the sculptural group and monument: the horses drawing Aurora's Chariot. Aurora obviously is not on sight due to this low angle. The fact is that the lady is only visible from the square in front of the cascade. I was not carrying the proper lens to zoom in so I had to come closer. By the way, Aurora is the name Romans gave to Eos the dawn goddess according to Greek mythology. Notice: there is also a renown art deco wall relief by the name The Chariot of Aurora and also just to make a bad joke, Eos has nothing to do with Canon.

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Wednesday, November 11

Griffin Reflection - Cascade Fountain, Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona

Ciutadella Parc: Griffin at the Cascade fountain [enlarge]

It is strange but before describing the stage which is the Cascade fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella and its history, I would like to show you one of the actors, a griffin (griffon or gryphon). Remember Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? That beast they are trying to feed? Well, that was a hippogriff, the mixture of a horse and a griffin. A griffin has the body of a lion instead plus the common eagle traits. In the Cascade, there are four of them. The combination of the mythological being and its reflection really captivated me. I hope Aurora on the chariot back there (you will see tomorrow) is not jealous. It is evident that she has the leading part in this elaborate fountain. By the way, the four water-sprouting griffins were sculpted by the same artist that created the famous 7.2 m high statue of Columbus at Las Ramblas, his name, Rafael Atché (1854 - 1923). Once said that, check next post for the whole story.

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Monday, November 9

Ciutadella Parc: Tricycle Ride

Ciutadella Parc: Tricycle Ride [enlarge]

Who said Barcelona is just museums! Our city is great to enjoy a good ride or a nice walk along one of its many green promenades. Notice these girls having fun in Ciutadella Parc on board of this curious tricycle with front load.

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Sunday, November 8

Ciutadella Park: Water-Jug With Children by Josep Reynes

Water-Jug With Children by Josep Reynes, Ciutadella Park[enlarge]

Ciutadella Park, a part of the city I had not covered much in my blog in the past, is a vast green area, a sort of Central Park that holds some museums and the zoo and is sprinkled with numerous sculptures. This fountain designed by Josep Reynés dates back to 1882. The Font Gerro amb Nens (water-jug with children fountain) is one of the finest in the park.

Josep Reynés (1850-1926) was a Catalan sculptor that was trained in Barcelona and at Carpeaux’s studio in Paris. He was greatly influenced by the French school. We saw one of his works when we featured the reliefs at Arc de Triomf.

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Thursday, November 5

Egg Stall, La Boqueria Market, Barcelona

Egg Stall, La Boqueria Market, Barcelona [enlarge]

Illuminated by both the warm incandescent light of the bulbs and the pristine rays of the early morning Sun these eggs, so carefully laid out as they are, seem to draw the most attention in La Boqueria market. In my opinion, the egg stall is only second best to the fruit stand at the entrance. By the way, today it is starting to be slightly cold in Barcelona although for tourists coming from up North this must be a joke. Sooner or later we will be like little chicks looking for a warm shelter under Mommy Hen's feathers. I hate winter.

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Wednesday, November 4

Placeta de Sant Francesc, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Placeta de Sant Francesc, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

This is a tiny square, in fact it does not have width enough to be called so, along Carrer d'Aglà in Barri Gotic, Barcelona. Check the map below. There are some interesting bars on the area like Pilé 43 near Carrer dels Escudellers where you can have some mojitos and enjoy the retro decoration which is on sale by the way. But I digress. Most of all I wanted to include another front door street art sample in the neighborhood and perhaps highlight the beauty of the upper part of the image.

Placeta de Sant Francesc on Google Maps

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Tuesday, November 3

Opuntia ficus indica: Cactus Figs - Higos Chumbos

 [enlarge]

Here are some Cactus Figs, Indian Figs, Tunas or as we know them in Spanish, Higos Chumbos. A lot of names to designate a delicious fruit that oddly enough comes out of Opuntia ficus-indica, a cactus. This is one good example of specialization, of survival in extreme conditions, one of those wonders of mother nature. Would you expect to get food out a cactus!? I mean, imagine you are a primitive man, you are starving and you get lost in the Sonoran desert. You know that you should not try any odd beautiful fruit or plant cause previous experience tells you that it could be dangerous. You probably get to smell it, lick it but finally the spines make you change your mind. I have always wondered who was the first to try so and so, say, eating an octopus or a snail or a swallow's nest or a shark's fin!? They say cattle have a knack for this plant once farmers burn it to get rid of the sharp points. I suppose no one got rid of the spines for us in the past, or was it a lightning perhaps, maybe a suicidal cow who dared to chew on it or why not, the blasting jet of a mysterious alien mothership? I have read that in Mexico you do not only eat the fruit but also the young pads called nopales before they grow the spines of course and have them with eggs and jalapeños for example. In southern Spain higos chumbos grow in the wild as they have this incredible ability to multiply out of any small fragment but there are also extensive crops. Take for example the case of Murcia where almost 200 tons of tunas are harvested every year. The plant has some medicinal properties too as it contains a mucilaginous substance good to treat nausea, headaches, fever, arthritis, constipation, asthma, burns, stomach-ache and a long etc, it even served as a remedy to fight scurvy during long sea journeys. Besides, there are lots of recipes for both sweet and savory dishes. I just wanted to show you how they looked at La Boqueria market and to let you know that it is quite common to find them when you travel around Spain. Care for a bite?

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Sunday, November 1

Hospital de Sant Pau: Modernista Turret

Hospital de Sant Pau: Modernista Turret [enlarge]

To welcome the new week enjoy this beautiful modernista turret inside Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau many times featured in this blog. If you want to know more check previous posts by using Sant Pau label below or the LinkWithin thumbnails.

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