Monday, June 27

Sant Felip Neri Square, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Sant Felip Neri Square, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

This is Plaça Sant Felip Neri, a small and very quiet square in Barri Gotic, Barcelona. If you go up Carrer del Bisbe and take the narrow street on the corner of the archbishopric to the right, you will come across an archway that leads to this magical spot protected by leafy trees pierced here and there by beams of light that hit directly on the fountain you see in the picture (check location of Felip Neri square here). The place holds the church of the Congregation of the Oratory of Barcelona founded in 1673 by Oleguer de Monserrat, a priest that had been in touch with the Oratory of Sant Felip Neri during his stay in Rome. You should know that during the Spanish Civil War the square was bombed and the blast was so powerful that three houses, the church and the convent received considerable damage, up to the point that the iron doors of the church fell on the presbytery.

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Sunday, June 26

Sleeping on the Streets of Barcelona

Sleeping on bench, Portal de l'Angel, Barcelona [enlarge]

I am not sure about the status of this guy. I don't know whether he is homeless, drunk, a combination of the two or simply an intoxicated tourist who knows? I just noticed there was a wonderful light falling on him while lying there on that granite bench at Portal de l'Angel street in Barcelona, one of the richest streets in Spain. In spite of the Starbucks coffee on the right, the scene has this sort of religious mood at least for me, don't ask me why.

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Friday, June 24

African Top Manta Hawkers in Barcelona

African Top Manta Hawkers in Barcelona [enlarge]

It is not unusual to find African hawkers selling false Louis Vuitton and Carolina Herrera handbags in Barcelona. Holding the ropes tied to their blankets (sp. manta) they quickly pick up the merchandise in case the police show up. This picture was taken at Passeig de Gracia although it could have been taken anywhere in the city.

Note: I recently improved my gear. I was in love with my Nikon D70s but I got a brand new D7000 (bought in the US cheaper). I am trying to get used to all the new features but man, am I happy! I hope the new stimulus makes me publish more frequently.

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Sunday, June 19

Watching Barcelona Leaves a Tattoo Engraved in Your Memories

Tattoo, Mirador de l'Alcalde, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Like I said, the beauty of Barcelona city as seen from Mirador del Alcalde in Montjuic mountain overlooking the metropolitan area will leave some good memories in your mind maybe as colorful as the wonderful tattoos shining bright on this girl's shoulders.

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Saturday, June 11

Guided Bike Tours In and Around Barcelona: Discovering Passeig de Gracia

Guided Bike Tours In and Around Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Although not precisely a bicycle enthusiast and certainly not an expert rider, I must admit that it must be a thrill moving around Barcelona on a bike. The more bicycle friendly the city gets the more frequent it is to find groups of riders exploring not only the small alleys of the old part of town but also big arteries like Passeig de Gracia (picture).

There are several companies providing this guided tour services in Barcelona. You can easily see the name of the agency on the guide's T-shirt (Barcelona Ciclo Tours), but of course you have a great selection where to choose from. Here is a good list of bike rentals in Barcelona.

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Wednesday, June 1

Pa de Pages, Our Modest Catalan Bread

Pa de Pages, Vic, Catalonia [enlarge]

In Catalonia when we make things we make it big like say, this modest, tiny, insignificant bread. Hansel and Gretel would have had bread crumbs enough to leave a generous trail behind them, feed the birds and make a nice toast at the end of the road. Pa de Pages is, I quote: "...a rustic round loaf, baked in a shaped tin, containing wheat flour, water, salt and starter dough. It has a generous crumb and thick crust. The body of the bread is dense and rich in flavour, and it can be kept for several days providing that it is bought unsliced..." (Gastroteca.cat). I recommend you browse this interesting site to find a quite complete compilation of Catalan products and recipes.

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