Barcelona Photoblog: June 2006

June 30, 2006

Don Quixote in Santa Susanna (Maresme Coast, Barcelona, Spain)

Don Quijote,Santa Susanna, Barcelona - Spain

Recently I drove to Santa Susanna Beach not very far from Barcelona on the Maresme Coast. After taking a swim and compulsory devouring the mandatory paella at a small restaurant about 20 meters away from the water, we walked along the main street trying to pace up with the tourists who lazily wandered up and down apparently going nowhere.

There was nothing I could think of for a good photo of Barcelona, when among the crowd I happened to see this ghostly Don Quixote (Don Quijote in Spanish), giving me a naughty smile like some goblin that no one but me could see. It's high season and street artists are working on the double.

PS: If someone knows this lady please tell her she really ruined my shot. Was she sticking her tongue out at me?.

June 29, 2006

Touristic Transport in Barcelona: Trixis or Taxi Bikes

Touristic Transport in Barcelona: Trixis or Taxi Bikes

Modern cities are collapsed with heavy traffic and Barcelona is no exception. A wonderful alternative, at least for tourists, is the use of Trixis or Taxi-Bikes.

Don´t worry someone will do the pedaling for you. No need to feel sorrow for the driver because the bike has an electrical engine to go uphill or counteract heavy loads like a sumo fighter, Ronaldo or Mike Tyson.

This day I was standing on the corner of Passeig de Gracia and Consell de Cent, getting ready to take a picture of Casa Rocamora, for my Catalan Modernisme collection, when the pedicab suddenly passed me by so soon that I was just able to catch half of it.

If you want to know about routes, fares or timetables check Movilidad ECO CITY

See Picture of Barcelona Trixi or Taxi Bike on a Google Earth Map.

June 28, 2006

Barcelona Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

As you can see I am going wild with my posting so what better than wild flowers. 

I certify it is a picture taken somewhere in Barcelona, but if it weren't it doesn't really matter! I tried to capture them from a low angle as I did with daisies some time ago. I wish I had an image of a sundial but wild flowers have their own beauty too. 

If anyone happens to know the name please tell me.

June 27, 2006

Kid at Las Glorias Shopping Center

Kid at Las Glorias Shopping Center, Barcelona

Every shopping center shall have a fountain, according to the marketing gurus. It shall be placed at the very center of the premises. Then there shall be McDonalds, KFC and Burger Kings. Kids shall come by the dozen. Let them kids splash or trample on water, happy parents prove to be big spenders.

The picture was taken in Las Glorias Shopping Center at Diagonal Avenue, near Agbar Tower. I like it because it was just a lonely kid staring at the jet of water in the middle of a hypnotic trance.

See Picture of Las Glorias Shopping Center on a Google Earth Map.

June 26, 2006

Glow on Snail

Glow on Snail

Just a snail.

What the heck does it have to do with Barcelona, nothing. But today I felt like improvising a little so I decided to grab the little animal from the grass and make it pose for my camera. I guess it is very hard to post a daily picture about Barcelona and its reality, someday I am going to run out of ideas, so I better start training.

June 25, 2006

Barcelona Port: Young Lady and Golondrinas

Barcelona Port: Lady and Golondrinas

Strolling around the plank walk at La Rambla de Mar in Barcelona Port, everything seems so idyllic that you don´t need to have a sudden burst of inspiration to find good pictures. Not that this one is state-of-the-art photography, but I really like the solitude, the privacy she enjoys in her tiny, cozy territory at the wharf. 

The approaching ship is a sightseeing boat known as Las Golondrinas, covering the port and longer trips to the Forum area out of the harbor along the coastline at the other end of the city. 

The building in the background is Barcelona World Trade Center (WTC). Most cruises around the Mediterranean Sea depart from or stop over at this wharf.

See Rambla de Mar at Barcelona Port on a Google Earth Map.

June 24, 2006

Tibidabo Park in Barcelona: Woman and Child

Tibidabo Park in Barcelona: Woman and Child

I am going to be brief in my posting comments during weekends, as a way of relaxation. 

So summing up, this is a lady I came across at Tibidabo Amusement Park, here in Barcelona. Apparently she is standing for my camera, but in fact she had turned around to speak to her husband and adopted this sort of catwalk pose. 

I did not pay much attention at the moment of the picture but I got to like it in the end.

See Tibidabo Park on a Google Earth Map.

June 23, 2006

Barcelona Zoo: Dromedary Complains About the Heat

Barcelona Zoo: Dromedary Complains About the Heat

It is hot these days in Barcelona so even animals so well adapted as this dromedary at the zoo seem to be claiming for justice: no more sand! I want to be transfer to the penguin tank!

See Picture of Barcelona Zoo on a Google Earth Map.

June 22, 2006

Moll de la Fusta, Barcelona: Just Like a Painting

Moll de la Fusta, Barcelona: Just like painting

This can be the sequel of Lady at Rambla de Mar post. If you stand on the narrow plank walk and look to the other side while sitting on one of the comfortable benches you will enjoy something very similar to today's photograph. Take your time, stretch your legs at this oasis before you go again to Las Ramblas or Maremagnum's maelstrom. I happened to find this man rowing and I was very happy to see that he finally came nearer the sailboat. I went kind of: come on, come on, little to the left, no, no, no don´t heave that oar, wait don´t hurry...that's it! I got you! Now it looked the way I wanted it, like a painting. (See where he was first).

See Picture of Rambla de Mar and Moll de la Fusta on a Google Earth Map.

June 21, 2006

Barcelona Batega Campaign

Barcelona Batega Campaign

Barcelona City Council launched a massive marketing campaign recently and the whole city was covered with these flags. The heartbeat logo may be useful for whatever plans L'Ajuntament schemes.

 According to many, it is more a corporate logo than a symbol to help conveying an idea: it may be used for sports, the elders, transportation, the disabled, and so on but nobody really knows what the "heartbeat" really means. 

It would be no big deal in the end if they had not spent 1.6 m € in the campaign. I hope at least you enjoyed the beautiful Casa Sayrach, a modernist building with tower back there which appeared also in this previous post.

See Picture of Modernist House with Tower on a Google Earth Map

June 20, 2006

Tibidabo Park: Kids in the Magic Mirror

Tibidabo Park: Kids in the Magic Mirror

Yesterday we saw kids improvising in a park, today we will see them in front of the mirror. What can be more fun than watching their spontaneous creativity pretending to be giants or midgets. 

Tibidabo Magic Mirrors is the perfect place: a small room of distorting or deceiving mirrors at the end of a very dark corridor.

See Picture of Tibidabo Magic Mirrors on a Google Earth Map

June 19, 2006

Kids Improvising Slide

Kids Improvising a Slide

There are many kinds of parks, some of them include a playground for kids that allows parents to "have a break". But as you see in today's picture playgrounds are not good enough to match the fantasy of an improvising kid. 

The park is just three blocks away from Sagrada Familia or Hospital de Sant Pau, at the intersection of carrer Industria with carrer Marina and of course there is a playground.

June 18, 2006

Catalan Modernisme: Palau del Baró de Quadras

Palau del Baró de Quadras by Cadafalch, Barcelona

Built in 1904 by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, the palace has a front façade combining Gothic and Plateresque, and a rear façade facing carrer Roselló which is a block of flats.

Notice in the picture the abundance of gargoyles and floral adornments or the beautiful lamps in the Arabic-style interior. One of the details I find most interesting to admire is the ironwork of the front door.  

Palau Baró de Quadras used to be known as Casa Asia, a public institution promoting different projects in common with Asian countries now located in Hospital de Sant Pau.

Now the Palau holds Institut Ramon Llull which is a public Catalan institution.

See Palau del Baró de Quadras Picture on a Google Earth Map

June 17, 2006

Incivism: A Rebel Yell

Incivism: A Rebel Yell

Guess what, this mad rabbit wearing a frown, pierced to the bone and rebelling against anything that smells familiar with the system, the city council, the mayor, the state or himself, no wonder the sign said "incivisme über alles", was on the opposite wall to the Eddie Murphy-like graffiti. I don´t get it...Rappers and Skins...I am getting too old for this, get a job! 

Maybe you want to see the full view, or not.

June 16, 2006

Casa Amatller: Modernist Stained Glass Ceiling

Stained Glass Ceiling At Casa Amatller

This is the stained glass ceiling of Casa Amatller, a modernist house at Passeig de Gracia 41 next to Casa Batlló and Casa Lleó Morera , three buildings so different in style that their block got to be called Illa de la Discòrdia (Block of Discord). 

Built in just two years (1898-1900) by architect Puig i Cadafalch, Casa Amatller is inspired in Catalan and Central European Gothic but it is predominantly Modernist. 

Remember that Josep Puig i Cadafalch was the same architect that designed Casa de les Punxes, Casa Macaya, Casa Serra among many others. 

This picture was taken from the hall at the main entrance (visits are not allowed in the house). If you ignore my awful framing you can admire the elaborate stained glass work. 

See Picture of Casa Amatller on a Google Earth Map.

June 15, 2006

Landscapes of Catalonia: Pedraforca

Landscapes of Catalonia: Pedraforca

Today in Barcelona Photoblog I would like to continue with my Landscapes of Catalonia series, here is Pedraforca Massif as seen from another angle, it looks like snow but it is just limestone. 

For more information about this distinguishing mountain of Catalonia check previous posts: The Pedraforca Massif and Climbing the Pedraforca Massif.

See Pedraforca Massif Picture on a Google Earth Map

June 14, 2006

Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona: As Seen From El Corte Inglés

Plaza Cataluña, Barcelona: As Seen From El Corte Inglés

Today I will sacrifice a little quality so I can share with you this sight of Plaza Cataluña as seen from El Corte Inglés (check the picture to see the windows from where I shot). 

When you visit this square, in the middle of what we consider the center of Barcelona, don´t forget to do something that most tourists fail to do, enter the shopping center and reach the top floor. 

You will find a cafe-bar with a spectacular view over this neuralgic spot and the rest of the city. From there you can see Montjuic or Paseo de Gracia in all its length. The bad thing is that the restaurant is covered with glass panels that filter the light and hinder pictures in some way. 

See Picture of Plaça Catalunya on a Google Earth Map.

June 13, 2006

Plaça Sant Vicenç de Sarrià, Barcelona: An Illustrious Biker

Plaça Sant Vicenç de Sarrià, Barcelona: An Illustrious Biker

Not very far away from the spot where I took the graffiti pictures at carrer Cornet i Mas there is Plaça Sant Vicenç de Sarrià, a small square protected by the shade of platane trees. 

In the center, a statue like any other. But wait, what's that he is wearing on the head?.Someone took the trouble of climbing the sculpture and disguised it with this bike helmet. 

Sant Vicenç is the patron of the villa of Sarria. In 1939, during the civil war the statue was beheaded and later restored. As you see its future is still at stake.

June 12, 2006

Graffiti at Carrer Cornet i Mas in Sarria, Barcelona.

Graffiti at Carrer Cornet i Mas in Sarria, Barcelona

Always take you camera with you. You never know when or where you are going to spot a good subject for your pictures. 

Yesterday I went to Sarria to have lunch with some friends. I didn´t expect to find anything interesting enough although there are really nice places to photograph on the upper part of town. On our way back home I came across this wonderful graffiti at carrer Cornet i Mas in Sarria district

Yes, sir, it was a perfect day, I had a delicious paella and some good shots for my collection. If you prefer a better framing, which I discarded because there was too much brightness on the face, check front view.

June 11, 2006

Catalan Modernisme: Casa Rocamora in Passeig de Gracia

Catalan Modernisme: Casa Rocamora in Passeig de Gracia

Casa Rocamora, resuming my particular modernisme route from previous posts, is located at Passeig de Gracia 6 - 8 next to carrer Casp

As an introduction you should know that Passeig de Gracia was originally a path leading to Via Augusta during Roman times. In the early 19th century, it was urbanized by the Marquis of Campo Sagrado, and was electrified in 1899. 

Local bourgeoisie was establishing beyond the old city limits in the new Eixample (a grid of symmetrical blocks that was never finished) designed by Catalan urban planner Ildefons Cerdà. At the beginning of the 20th century, most of the best modernist houses were built in the district.  

Casa Rocamora dates back from 1914. It was designed by brothers Bonaventura and Joaquim Basegoda inspired in renaissance Gothic.

See Casa Rocamora Picture on a Google Earth Map.

June 10, 2006

Street Artist XI at Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Today I choose a picture about something more likely to be admired in case you visit Barcelona (personally I think my two previous mountain images are too far away for tourists). I keep counting my series of Barcelona artists: number XI here a veteran fakir and sword eater is entertaining the crowd who does not know whether to laugh or look the other way sickened by the view. 

Did you know that Fakir is an Arabic word meaning "poor" and that sword swallowing was already famous as a magic trick in Ancient Greece?, in fact it is not an illusion, it's a matter of learning to control your reflex gagging at objects touching the throat. Anyway, I am glad that I chose the backstage because I had a great time watching people's faces by far more interesting than the show (no offense).

June 09, 2006

Landscapes of Catalonia: Climbing the Pedraforca Massif

Landscapes of Catalonia: Climbing the Pedraforca Massif

Now that I have introduced the Pedraforca Massif in my previous post and considering I have several pictures to show, why not taking a little break. I come from playing a soccer match with some friends and I am really exhausted. Besides my beloved blogger service is making me nervous. 

Here you go, a picture of my daughter at the moment of inflection when we both got tired and headed back. Notice the road in the background, well add up a couple more curves to reach the mirador again...

See Pedraforca Massif Picture on a Google Earth Map

June 08, 2006

Landscapes of Catalonia: The Pedraforca Massif

Landscapes of Catalonia: The Pedraforca Massif

The Pedraforca Massif is a Nature Reserve of National Interest located in the comarca (county) of , Berguedá which is part of Barcelona province (eleven comarques) . 

The high ranges of Pedraforca are located to the northwest of the territory. The Catalan name Pedraforca (stone pitchfork), is due to the peculiar shape of the eroded summit as you can see. The highest peak is 2.497 meters high and the lowest 2.491. 

We were staying at a town nearby, called Saldes and from there we went up by car to the Gresolet Mirador, a wide balcony on top of a cliff to take some panoramic pictures. Full of morning energy we then headed for the top, but the sun and the infinite winding stony road undermined our will. 'What the heck let's go down for some beers' I said. 

Today's picture was taken from the road before I arrived to Saldes.

PS: I know this is not Barcelona city but I find it perfect for my modest attempt at landscape photography.

See Pedraforca Massif Picture on a Google Earth Map

June 07, 2006

Palau Sant Jordi at Barcelona Olympic Ring

Palau Sant Jordi at Barcelona Olympic Ring

Palau Sant Jordi (Sant Jordi Sports Palace) by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki with capacity for 17,000 spectators is the main attraction at Barcelona Olympic ring. Built from August 1985 to September 1990, it can hold a wide variety of sports events or stage big concerts. The concave metallic structure on top is covered with ceramic tiles and zinc sheets. The enormous square full of columns and fountains together with the flying saucer appearance of the pavilion might as well be a magnificent scenario for a sci fi movie (it reminds me of Star Wars). I caught two people walking on the left for a better appreciation of its magnitude.

See Palau Sant Jordi Picture on a Google Earth Map.

June 06, 2006

Monserrat Mountain: Barcelona Road Landscape

Monserrat Mountain: Barcelona Road Landscape

I took this picture of the Mountain of Montserrat from a gas station on my way out of Barcelona last weekend. As I had already mentioned Montserrat in my previous post about Torre Agbar, I decided to show this landscape image. Its jagged silhouette is an omnipresent travel company along the road as it extends through Bages, Anoia and Baix LLobregat comarques, in Barcelona province. You should know that Mare de Deu de Monserrat is the patroness of Catalonia, but that´s another story. Find out more about Montserrat Mountain.

See Monserrat Mountain Picture on a Google Earth Map.

June 05, 2006

Barcelona: As Seen From Tibidabo Park

View from Tibidabo amusement park

Another panoramic view of Barcelona from Tibidabo Amusement Park, this time taken while walking down the stairs to a lower level and using an arch as a frame for the picture. I was standing on right side of the stairs trying to avoid the crowd, thus the asymmetrical result, but I like the background so I share it with you.

See Barcelona Tibidabo Amusement Park Picture on a Google Earth map.

June 04, 2006

Sagrada Familia: Sunset At The Passion Façade

Sagrada Familia: Sunset At The Passion Façade

I took this late afternoon picture just passing by Sagrada Familia Passion Façade the other day. 

It is hard to come up with good shots about this portico, I mean, it is hard to surprise people with a new approach, a different angle. So every time I see it I try to explore the scenes as if expecting Subirachs sculptures to adopt some secret pose nobody hadn´t seen before. 

If you use your imagination and you wait for the last sun rays to play with the angular figures on the wall, sometimes you may get your reward: notice how Nieodemus at Jesus' feet, in the upper image (some people say it is Subirachs, the sculptor himself) seems to stick his head out as if looking for the light. 

For a wonderful description of each scene and figure, visit this site, particularly check scenes 15 and 8 according to the enumeration given there.

See the Sagrada Familia Picture on a Google Earth Map

June 03, 2006

Barcelona Architecture: Agbar Tower by Nouvel

Barcelona Architecture: Torre Agbar

The Agbar Tower now known as Torre Glories by Jean Nouvel as seen from Sagrada Familia. Nouvel was inspired by Gaudi and the mountain of Montserrat (it reminds one of its famous dome-like hills). Many things have been said about the building, so I prefer that you check Agbar Tower or Glories Tower on Wikipedia for useful information.

See Agbar Tower by Jean Nouvel Picture on a Google Earth Map

June 02, 2006

Barcelona Port: The Tower of The Clock

Barcelona Port: The Tower of The Clock
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This is the Tower of the Clock as seen from Maremagnum. It dates back to 1772, when it carried a lantern instead of the present clock built in 1911. It is a pyramidal masonry tower located at the Moll dels Pescadors (Fishermen Pier), near La Llotja (Fish Auction Hall).

See Tower of the Clock Picture at Port of Barcelona on a Google Earth Map

June 01, 2006

Barcelona Tibidabo: The Big Wheel

Big Ferris Wheel at Tibidabo amusement park
Ferris Wheel at Tibidabo Amusement Park

Today we go back again to the mountains of Collserola ("one more time? Oh, no!"). I told you I would show you some other Tibidabo attractions. It´s the Big Wheel's turn. As in the case of the Roller Coaster, its size won´t beat any records, but the sight from the top does it all. Although I will show you a full size view, first I want you to sit down by my side and enjoy the ride live.

Tibidabo comes from latin tibi dabo meaning "I will give you", part of the words (according to St. Mathew) used by the devil to tempt Jesus from the top a mountain: «Haec omnia tibi dabo si cadens adoraveris me». Check previous posts Roller Coaster and Tibidabo Amusement Park.

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