Barcelona Photoblog: 2008

December 19, 2008

Toy Souvenirs, Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Toy Souvenirs, Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Well, the new domain and the updating of backlinks via emails to webmasters is keeping me busy lately. All the old internal links have been automatically reconfigured and the ones on the search engines are leading to It has been hard but I feel much better now. Any help passing on the change of address message is deeply appreciated. Oh yeah, today's image, I almost forgot:

It is a small toy, a souvenir you can buy at stalls in Las Ramblas. I published a very similar image in the past. Here is the old post: Wooden Toys at Las Ramblas Stall

December 18, 2008

Old Man With Walking Stick

Old Man With Walking Stick

I always remember these lines: "life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friend".

The time will come when we will grow old enough to look back and think of the things we did right or wrong or simply didn't do. Then we will regret many things, that's for sure and we will feel nostalgic about our past and the people we left behind and weren't lucky enough.

Do you know how long will it take to get there?, just a snap of your fingers. Or some milliseconds compared to the history of mankind.

Do you know how many people have faced the same experience, when you get to the end of the line? Many of them are there in our books of history, in our collective mind, just an image in our database, many more not even were worthy of being stored.

They were here and were like you and me and they felt the same and looked into their past just as we do now and their visit to this land was brief too.

How much time did they or will we spend fussing and fighting before it's too late?

December 17, 2008

Antiques Market, Barcelona: Virgin

Antiques Market, Barcelona: Virgin

This is a small antiques market that is temporarily set along Portal del Angel street, near El Corte Inglés building. Although there are bigger and more interesting markets selling these articles in Barcelona, some of the objects caught my attention during a recent walk. Remember I showed you a vintage phone, well now you can admire this beautiful image of the virgin whose facial traits and garments evidence the skill and creative talent of the original artist.

December 16, 2008

The Lady in the Hat: Barcelona Photoblog and Some Important News!

Shut Window Shop with Painting of a Lady Wearing a Hat [enlarge]

Please, change your link to my page (if any) to

I know many of you have gone through this before if you are in the blogspot domain. Some others don't. I finally decided to register my new domain and am redirecting everyone that lands on this page towards the new address. If you are here you don't notice any difference of course cause you have been redirected already but for me and the good indexing of this site it is important that you "waste" just a minute of your time and change the old to

Thanks! I chose the Lady in the Hat here on the metallic window of a cosmetics shop for two reasons: to use a flashy image to call your attention on the change of links and to emphasize that this blog is NOT closed as this shop. It is as happy, as healthy and seductive as the lady in that painting or graffiti.

I want to thank all those who keep coming and I apologize for my not coming here that often lately. I was busy and musing about this domain thing. It is not easy, you see.

If anyone wants to know how to do it I might be of help. What is going to happen with rank, that, I will soon find out but I will do my best so Barcelona Photoblog keeps looking good and has better exposure on the web. Once again, thank you.

December 15, 2008

Sant Pau Hospital's Gates: Modernist Ironwork

Sant Pau Hospital's Gates: Modernist  Ironwork

This is a detail of one of the angels and the holy cross on top of Hospital de Sant Pau main gates. I enhanced the rusty surface of the ironwork which was already bathed in the last rays of the afternoon sun. Check this old post where there is another snap of the holy cross.

Now we are going to open the gates of your visit to one of the most renowned works of Domenech i Montaner and a magnificent representative of Catalan Modernisme.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the modernista complex of Sant Pau.

Here is the:

Top List of Things to Learn about Modernism and Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

December 14, 2008

Modernist Wall Adornment, Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona

Modernist wall adornment and symbol at Hospital de Sant Pau Modernista complex,Barcelona

This elaborate modernist wall adornment can be found on one of the pavilions of old Sant Pau hospital.

If you've never been there check Sant Pau's exact location on Google Map and go visit the place. It is just one subway stop away from Sagrada Familia taking the blue line. You can even get to this modernist complex on foot if you walk all the way up along Avinguda Gaudi from Sagrada Familia.

I wonder what that symbol in the center of the image means. I have read that the monumental lettering as well as part of the mosaic and sculptures make reference to the story of the holy cross and the name of the Hospital's benefactor, banker Pau Gil Serra, who donated the land. So I think this could be a G in the picture but I am not quite sure.

December 13, 2008

Modernist Sculpture inside Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona

Modernist Archangel Sculpture inside Sant Pau Hospital modernist complex

This is another image taken inside Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau built by Domenech i Montaner.

You can see here a detail of one of the sculptures by Eusebi Arnau and Pau Gargallo.

Notice the sober angular cuts which evoke those in the sculptural groups by Josep Maria Subirachs in the Passion façade (Sagrada Familia)

December 11, 2008

Mosaic at Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona

Sant Jordi Killing the Dragon, Mosaic at Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Modernista complex, Barcelona

The Saint Paul hospital (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau) was projected by Domenech i Montaner in 1901 and the mosaics in particular were designed by Francesc Labarta.

I have written several posts talking about Sant Pau Hospital's history so I think you'd better check the labels below.

The following post was one of the most popular: Modernisme in Hospital de Sant Pau

December 10, 2008

Barcelona Vintage Rotary Dial Telephone

Vintage Rotary Dial Telephone

Do you remember this? Just like an iphone isn't it? Well, they were here not too long ago and yet our kids start wondering what that piece of junk was meant for. I still remember when I had to stick my finger on the rotary dial of one of these vintage telephones and wait till it turned back. Now they are retro collectibles to amuse your visitors. Antique phones still look beautiful though, especially those Western Electrical 51AL Candlestick telephones. But why don't you check the Antique Telephone History Website for more information and some images.

December 09, 2008

Feeding a Snake: Mesmerizing the Prey

Snake about to eat mouse

Look at me in the eye or watch the spiral swirl, whatever you choose, but keep looking, do not blink, don't twitch a muscle. Stay calm, stay focus, take a deep breath and keep watching. I am moving to you slowly, very slowly... gulp. Poor snake, in fact it was the mouse performing the hypnotizer. Again one of the many animals kept in captivity in Barcelona, the snake I mean. The mouse was just the food, and alive. Sometimes they are preserved frozen and served dead of course. Yes, people keep them in the fridge. I wonder what she prefers.

December 08, 2008

10 Reasons to Take Guided Bike Tours in Barcelona

Guided bike tour in Sant Jaume square, Barcelona, Spain

I spotted this group of people on a guided bike tour around the city of Barcelona. In Sant Jaume square the tour guide was explaining something to them before getting lost in the labyrinthic structure of Barri Gotic streets like carrer del Bisbe which can be seen in the background. Normally there are set meeting points to go and join. 

10 Reasons to Take a Guided Bike Tour in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city that's best explored on two wheels. The city's narrow streets and winding alleyways are perfect for biking, and there's no better way to see all the city's top sights than on a guided bike tour.

Here are 10 reasons why you should take a guided bike tour in Barcelona:

  1. See more of the city. On a guided bike tour, you'll get to see all the major sights, as well as some hidden gems that you might not find on your own.
  2. Learn about the city's history and culture. Your guide will be able to tell you all about the city's history and culture, from its Roman roots to its modern day status as a cultural capital.
  3. Get some exercise. Biking is a great way to get some exercise and see the city at the same time.
  4. Meet new people. On a guided bike tour, you'll meet other people from all over the world who are also interested in exploring Barcelona.
  5. Have fun! Biking is a fun way to get around, and on a guided bike tour, you'll have a great time exploring the city with your guide and fellow travelers.
  6. See the city from a different perspective. When you're on a bike, you get to see the city from a different perspective. You'll be able to see things that you might not see if you were walking or taking a bus.
  7. Get up close to the city's landmarks. On a bike, you can get up close to the city's landmarks. You'll be able to see the Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum, and the Gothic Quarter in a way that you wouldn't be able to if you were walking or taking a bus.
  8. Explore the city's hidden gems. Your guide will be able to take you to some of the city's hidden gems. You'll get to see places that most tourists don't know about.
  9. Learn about the city's sustainability efforts. Barcelona is a very sustainable city, and your guide will be able to tell you about the city's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
  10. Make memories that will last a lifetime. A guided bike tour in Barcelona is a great way to make memories that will last a lifetime. You'll have a great time exploring the city with your guide and fellow travelers, and you'll learn a lot about the city's history, culture, and sustainability efforts.

I hope this blog post has convinced you to take a guided bike tour in Barcelona. It's a great way to see the city, learn about its history and culture, and have some fun.

If you're interested in taking a guided bike tour in Barcelona, be sure to check out these tours. You won't be disappointed!

December 06, 2008

Bethlehem Scenes Stall

Bethlehem Scenes Stall [enlarge]

Just another holy scene I found in my archives about Santa Llucia market. My posting has been delayed for many circumstances. I will update after I take more pictures. I needed some rest. Thanks for your understanding. Anyway I am happy, the blog is getting some more buzz lately so it was rewarding at the end of the year. Thanks to people like you of course.

December 05, 2008

Street Lamp, Portal del Angel, Barcelona

Street Lamp, Portal del Angel, Barcelona [enlarge]

And now for something completely different, a modernist lamp at Portal del Angel, a very important street in Barcelona, near Plaza de Catalunya. Perfectly preserved, the lamp can be admired from a close distance since it is almost at street level. Other elaborate art nouveau lamps were shown here in the past: Art Nouveau Lamps.

December 04, 2008

Santa Llucia Market Holy Scenes, Barcelona

Santa Llucia Market Holy Scenes, Barcelona [enlarge]

I am not used to making my own Belén, that is, to buy holy figures to recreate Bethlehem Nativity Scene. But I do enjoy watching those religious items displayed inside Christmas stalls set during Fira de Santa Llucia each year in Barcelona. Check similar posts: Holy Scenes.

December 03, 2008

Caganers inside Christmas Stall at Santa Llucia Market, Barcelona

Caganers inside Christmas Stall at Santa Llucia Market, Barcelona [enlarge]

Some important personalities detached from their normal spheres, shown in private, in the middle of such an embarrassing act: pooping. For more information check previous post: Barcelona caganers.

December 02, 2008

Cagatios at Santa Llucia Market, Barcelona

Cagatios at Santa Llucia Market, Barcelona

On top of the roof of one of those Christmas stalls at Santa Llucia market, I spotted some Cagatiós. For more information about what they are check previous post: Cagatio or Pooping Log.

December 01, 2008

Moon Lady, The Winged Goddess of Barri Gotic

Moon Lady, The Winged Goddess [enlarge]

There she was, sitting on a waning moon, the pale winged goddess, staring at me trapped behind the window of that Barri Gotic religious items store. For a moment her eyes seemed to glitter with life, begging me to please take her somewhere else. I don't know if she was the Greek, Selene or Chang'e, the mythical Chinese goddess. I don't know. She looked pretty real though, balancing in there, among a strange mixture of esoteric articles and images of saints. Should anyone see her again, do me a favor, set her free! Religious Items: Estampería San José - Carrer Boters, 7-9

November 30, 2008

Ladybird with Mistletoe, Christmas Present at Santa Llucia Market

Ladybird with Mistletoe, Christmas Present at Santa Llucia Market [enlarge]

This would be my humble postcard to wish a Merry Christmas to all my faithful visitors. I wish you all have a very nice month of December and a happy new year. I hope these ladybirds with mistletoe found at famous Santa Llucia market bring you all the luck this coming 2009.

November 29, 2008

Water Spouts, Portal del Angel, Barcelona

Water Spouts, Portal del Angel, Barcelona [enlarge]

Water spouts near Pignatelli Palace at Portal del Angel, Barcelona. On the tap, you can see the city coat of arms. There many in the city but these in particular I find extremely attractive. Check the place on my Google map. Here are two other previous posts showing spouts: Old Lady and Fountain and Boy Holding Frog.

November 28, 2008

A Baby's Frown

A Baby's Frown [enlarge]

I still don't know why babies make faces so often, wearing a frown like elderly people. At least that's how we interpret such gesture in Spain. We call it La Viejita (old lady). How do you call it when kids frown and they have all these wrinkles on their faces? Here is a very funny video of what they can do, although in this case the frown is somehow different to the one I meant.

November 27, 2008

Palamos Anchovies, A Catalan Delicacy

Palamos Anchovies, A Catalan Delicacy

Palamós is a town on Costa Brava. It belongs to Girona, another Catalan province. Palamos is well known for its prawns but another delicacy that they are very proud of is their anchovies. Although presented in different ways, it is better to buy them bottled in brine. For me these are second best to L'Escala's famous anchovies also on the same coast. I found this wonderful article that explains every detail about this wonderful Catalan product: Anchovies from Spain. I hope this food article helps to grow an appetite. I have to say that the picture was taken in a local market in Barcelona.

November 26, 2008

Anonymous Tree

Tree with fall colors

A tree is just a tree so there is not much I can say this time. I could talk all about the things that happened under this tree but never mind. Under its shade we just had lunch last fall so, big deal. There's nothing like the slumbering feeling that a good shade provokes specially when the sun is coming through the leaves. Hmm I need a hammock.

November 25, 2008

Jack Skellington's Visit to Las Ramblas, The Full Report

Jack Skellington

Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas was seen on Las Ramblas the other day trying to go incognito without success. Hordes of fans immediately spotted him, then came the press and photographers to cover the story. I was lucky to be there. After rejecting some important media by pulling his head off and throwing it at them he insisted on meeting locals. That was when I entered the scene. He confessed that he was bored of Halloween Town and had decided to share the Christmas spirit with us here in Barcelona. After that, I tried to contact Santa on many occasions to give him the big news but every attempt was in vain. I just picked up this message from the answering machine: "I am out for my December holidays please leave your message...". It's funny, I swear I could hear a stifled voice, something, like: shh,erg, I hope I transcribed it correctly. But then again, it was problably a bad connection.

November 24, 2008

Kid Feeding Pigeons at Placa Catalunya, Barcelona

Kid Feeding Pigeons at Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona

While there's a happy kid on Earth, there will be hope. Nothing is more pure and sacred than a child's innocence. Nothing is more beautiful than a child's detached view of the world around him, free of all evil, ambition, prejudice and hate, wrong teachings and bad influence. The face of this kid reveals many things, things we once lived unknowingly, things we can have no more. We won't bring them back but we can work to guarantee that this happiness, the flame that moves this world, the joy of life forever lasts.

November 23, 2008


Girl waiting

A girl waiting at Maremagnum shopping center in Barcelona. I just liked the expression on her face.

November 22, 2008

The Secret Power of Fire

Fireplace Detail

For centuries, man has contemplated this scene. Infinite winters have passed since the very first ancestor took a branch on fire after the storm and tried to grab the magic light with obvious result. They, we, learned to handle it, to fear it, to worship it. We handed it down from one generation to another as one of the most vital assets in the archives of our common knowledge. Now, we know or think we know everything about fire. And still, after a whole eternity, we look into the fire, take a deep breath and let our souls wander into an unknown universe of thoughts, hypnotized by the flames that cannot be touched but keep us warm, just like the very first day.

November 21, 2008

Pa amb Tomaquet - Bread with Tomato

Pa amb Tomaquet - Bread with Tomato

Nothing like a good toast spread with tomato and some olive oil to accompany any kind of food. We call it pa amb tomaquet. Instead of using a slice of tomato to make a sandwich or pouring and spreading some tomato sauce on the bread we cut tomatoes into halves and gently spread them against the toast. You can first rub the bread with garlic, then you apply the tomato and finally you add some olive oil. That will serve as the basis for many ingredients like anchovies, ham, sausage or grilled aubergines, red peppers and onions sliced in strips aka escalivada among other things.

November 20, 2008

Man and Dog on Alley, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Man and Dog on Alley, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

What's in an alley? They are just spaces surrounded by walls. I mean, if the buildings were not that close they would be plain ordinary streets. There's something in the atmosphere of an alley that is determined by its narrowness, an almost tangible sensation triggered by all kinds of stimuli. There's the bad smell of sewers, of damp walls, of mossy surfaces, the good smell of food or clean laundry coming from very close balconies. Your eyes are bombarded with rounds of large wooden doors and whimsical knockers, exuberant plants entangled in forest-like canopies, old lamps with elaborate ironwork, dark impossible staircases, eclectic windows with cat add-on included. And there's the sound, the sound of too friendly neighbors, their laughter, their cries, their TVs and door bells. The sound of the guys delivering butane gas shouting and clacking on the orange flask, the scissor and knife sharpener blowing his peculiar flute to make people come down. The noise of kids playing in the street like in the good old days. Such is the atmosphere of an alley, any Barcelona alley, like the one where this man is walking his dog.

November 19, 2008

USSR and US Medals at an Antique Shop in Barcelona

USSR and US Medals at Antique Shop,Barcelona

These medals represent or evoke important events in the history of USSR or the US. This image is the continuation to previous post: Antique Shops: German War Medals, Collecting a Horrible Past. Wars cannot be justified in any way, the mere fact that they exist means something is and was always wrong with humankind. Violence generates violence and sometimes you are drawn to it to defend your family, your land. These collectibles carry the memory of those that sacrificed their lives on some occasions for a better world, for survival, for next generations. In some other instances, they died in vain and were manipulated by their governments.

November 18, 2008

Antique Shops: German War Medals, Collecting a Horrible Past

German War Medals, Collecting a Horrible Past

I wasn't sure whether to publish this picture or not. Some things must be forgotten forever and this is a delicate topic that shouldn't be publicized in any way, purposely or by chance. Fortunately I have another image that clearly acts as a counterpart to this one. Well, both of the images contain medals, medals of war that were some day on some soldier's chest who was very proud to represent his country and was sent to war on many occasions without really comprehend the meaning or the goal of such war. But when we talk about the holocaust (some medals here are older) there is no possible forgiveness regarding those who were represented by some medals here cause no national policy or belief can justify genocide. Once said that I just wanted to contrast these antique articles in a small shop in Barcelona with some other medals displayed representing USSR or the US.

November 17, 2008

Cagatio or Pooping Log, A Christmas Catalan Tradition

Cagatio or Pooping Log, A Christmas Tradition in Catalonia

Another ancestral tradition of the Catalan people consists in bringing children in front of this magic log called Cagatio (pooping log) so it "excretes" Christmas gifts. Yes, the wooden buddy is supposed to poop those hidden treasures that kids pick up from under a red blanket conveniently covering the figure.

Before introducing their hands they are encouraged to repeatedly hit the log using a rod just in case, to warn the tió he'd better do as he's told. In the meantime, relatives or school friends, depending on the situation, sing this familiar song of which I will translate an excerpt. It is a folk song and popular lyrics tend to be rather "vulgar" so please overlook the many poops. First phrase is in Catalan and second in Spanish.

Caga tió -caga tió- poop tió,
ametlles i torró -almendras y turrón- almonds and nougat,
no caguis arangades -no cagues arenques- do not poop brined herring,
que són massa salades -que son demasiado salados- cause it's too salty,
caga torrons -caga turrones- do poop nougat,
que són més bons -que son más buenos- that is more tasty,
Caga tió -caga tió- poop tió,
ametlles i torró -almendras y turrón- almonds and nougat,
si no vols *** -si no quieres ***- if you refuse,
et donaré un cop de bastó -te daré un golpe de bastón- I'll hit you with this rod,
Caga tió! -caga tió- poop tió!

November 16, 2008

Barcelona Caganers: Rafa Nadal

Rafa Nadal Caganer Figure

Among the many traditions of Catalonia, there is one which is rather peculiar: the Caganers. These small figures that originally represented a payés (peasant) making "number two", are part of Catalan nativity scenes. There was a moment in history in which not only the peasant was characterized in this prosaic posture (feces included) but also celebrities, local authorities, religious men, international renown personalities, presidents. This year's sensation was Obama. I showed Fidel Castro and Bush together in a previous post. I visited Santa Llucia Christmas market and chose this one for you, number one tennis player Rafa Nadal. I suppose it is always pleasing to show people as they really are, deprived of all the aura and power. I hope you don't feel offended and get to understand this deep rooted tradition of ours.

November 15, 2008

Bad Weather, Bad Times

Portal de L'Angel, Woman Begging

On the most expensive street in Barcelona, Portal de l'Angel, comfort and poverty coexist. In the middle of this crisis beggars take the worse part, economy is going down the drain, consumers are not spending much and there's no money for charity. The weather seems to be rougher, the faces seem to be sadder. People wear last year's clothes, prefer to stay at home, talk less, worries about keeping the job and pray not to fall into disgrace. Yep, a very pessimistic panorama. Reality is tough and fairy tales sometimes don't have a happy ending. They say is going to last about two years. So we'll stick our heads beneath the sand and wait for the storm to pass. The barometer indicates low pressure apparently till further notice.

November 14, 2008

Eucalyptus Wreath, Christmas' Coming

Eucalyptus flower

This is just a detail of an Eucalyptus wreath I caught during a recent visit to Santa Llucia Christmas market. Yes, I know, my posting is way behind schedule. I guess I will never be up-to-date. Taking pictures is so time consuming that I can't shoot and post daily and manage to keep some minimum quality. Well, I digress. As I said the market or Fira de Santa Llucia is already set and it is of course a must see in Barcelona. It is located in front of Barcelona Cathedral and I strongly recommend you visit it at night.

November 13, 2008

Door Knocker Detail

Door Knocker Detail at Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Here is one of the many silent witnesses of Barcelona's history, resisting the passing of time, worn out by the action of so many hands that are here no more, bitten by its feline companion for ages, casting its monotonous call: knock...knock...knock. There are many of these in the city. Here are some others I published in the past: Lion Head Door Knocker, Rusty Door Knocker, Vandalized Door Knocker and Knocker on Chocolate Color Door.

November 12, 2008

Man on The Grass - Catalonia Square, Barcelona

Man sitting on grass in Catalonia square or Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona

The man was sitting on the grass drinking some beer before taking a nap. I would say he was homeless but I can't say that for sure, so my post is just about a man in Plaça Catalunya, in the very center of Barcelona, an anonymous character, one of the many solitary souls that wander in this square.

November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Tea Light Candles

Thanksgiving Tea Light Candles

Tea lights are a kind of votive candle I really enjoy watching when I enter a church for pictures. As many of you know I am not a devoted person but I do like the art and solemnity of holy places. Now that Thanksgiving Day is near, I thought I should show you these lights to help you meditate, meditate on whatever cause you see fit, whatever cause or creed that brings peace to your soul or body. Happy Thanksgiving Day my friends. By the way, did you know that we don't have this holiday in Spain and that we don't have turkey either? In fact, we don't have anything. It is only celebrated with a mass at church. Of course, religious people might do something but it is rare.

November 10, 2008

Carrer de Boltres, A Short and Narrow Street in Barcelona

Carrer de Boltres in Barcelona

This is Carrer de Boltres, a very short and narrow street in Barcelona, near Plaça de la Mercé. An elderly couple walks towards the church by the square. In the background, Passeig de Colom (Columbus' Walk). I happened to mention the place before, so here is the old post with a map of La Mercé church and square.

November 09, 2008

Barcelona Firemen Protest

Barcelona Firemen Protest

Firemen in Barcelona claim better wages and working conditions. This is a snap of two dummies hanging from a rope at the entrance of Provença street firemen headquarters. In fact the whole building is covered with big signs of protest. Barcelona firemen have rallied at least five times recently. One of their major concerns is that the corps is remunerated the same way Generalitat fire department is. I didn't know there were two fire corps but after these recent protests now the city is well aware of their revendications.

November 08, 2008

Dancers Holding Hands

Dancers Holding Hands

Catalan folk dancers holding hands dressed as the heir or hereu and heiress or pubilla during a performance at Monistrol de Montserrat. Rather than the whole body I thought the detail of the hands holding tight would make the scene more poetic. Although this image was taken in October this year, there are similar posts published in the past. Check them here: Dancers and Catalan Folk Dance Troupe

November 07, 2008

A Baby's Comfort

A Baby's Comfort

Nothing like being young again and get literally carried away comfortably on your way to who knows where, no plans, no worries, no boss, no money, no lovers, just some dreaming and a little contemplation of the world just as it is, the world. I was listening to this song while I worked on this photo

November 06, 2008

Cupola, Via Laietana, Barcelona

Cupola, Via Laietana, Barcelona [enlarge]

After much thought and starting working on my color version I completely deviated from my original path. It turned out that the cupola, the one you can admire if you walk along Via Laietana in Barcelona, looked better in black and white, well almost as I finally gave it this bluish touch. The building in fact has two cupolas and occupies a whole block of this heavy traffic street. Very near you have Palau de la Musica. There are plans to build new hotels in this area to which neighbors openly oppose. 

Street view image

November 05, 2008

Human Statue Lady at Las Ramblas de Barcelona

Human Statue Lady at Las Ramblas de Barcelona [enlarge]

This is yet another human statue at Las Ramblas. A beautiful, fragile, delicate, hieratic woman standing on this populated street of Barcelona. I was attracted by her face, her makeup and the light coming from nearby stores in the background. Don't forget to check the labels below if you want to see more living statues. And always enlarge for the big format picture.

November 04, 2008

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

First of all let me tell you that this image was taken by my 12-year-old daughter, Sara. The day we visited Vallgorgina and while my wife, some friends and I were having a chat after lunch, I left her the camera and she pointed towards the nearby trees. The leaves of this platanero (Hybrid plane or London plane tree) looked gorgeous under the afternoon sun but I confess I underestimated my daughter's eye. Beauty comes from within and you always get surprised at how different people can produce astonishing results at a given situation that you would regard as too obvious.

November 03, 2008

The Hanging Gardens of Barcelona Balconies

Succulent plant hanging from a balcony in Barcelona

Not one of the seven wonders of the world but balconies with exuberant plants are not rare in Barcelona. This succulent specimen in particular is some sort of Graptopetalum or ghost plant according to my opinion. Maybe our botanic friends can help. What I was most interested in was the balcony anyway. The decay textures, the folded canopy, the historic architecture of the old part of town which I never get tired of admiring.

November 02, 2008

Fray Bernat de Boïl, Columbus Monument, Barcelona

Fray Bernat de Boïl, Columbus Monument, Barcelona

Here is a detail of one of the sculptoric groups at the base of the Columbus monument in Barcelona. The statue of Fray Bernat de Boïl preaching to an Indian kneeling before him by Manuel Fuxà.

November 01, 2008

Mediterranean Tomatoes

Ripe and green tomatoes

There is nothing better than a good ripe tomato recently harvested. That is a fact. Probably one of the best products to illustrate the difference between your own orchard and big markets is a tomato. I don't know what happens along the way but the one we buy at the corner shop or at the supermarket is definitely different from the ones you grow yourself or buy on location directly to the farmer. This is what happens with this ripe tomato I captured at Monistrol market. It was a product from a small personal crop. Fresh healthy tomatoes with all the good properties mother nature gave them are an essential part of world known Mediterranean diet. You just need some olive oil, some green salad, some fish or meat, some red wine accompanied by some exercise to live longer among other things like luck!

October 31, 2008

Where Do All the Lonely People Go?

Lonely elders in poverty at Barcelona
Where do lonely people go? Those who seldom know a shelter of their own. Where do lonely people go? Those who left for good one day slamming the door Where do all those homeless people go? All those forgotten by their sons Where do all those shipwrecks repose? Banished castaways on nowhere land Where do all desperate bodies rest when the mind abandons every hope? What becomes of them when all is lost but death refuses their requests? Why are there such limbos upon Earth? What kind of vicious fate can take you there? What were they? Who were they? How do you know it is not your turn? How can you tell? I see a bunch of kids playing in the park, laughing. What horrendous scheming decides who's gonna be next?

October 30, 2008

Detail of Columbus Monument, Portal de la Pau, Barcelona

Detail of Columbus Monument, Portal de la Pau, Barcelona

Today, a close look on the column and pedestal of the Christopher Columbus monument at the end of Las Ramblas. Did you know that inside this column there is a lift, a very narrow one, that takes visitors to the top? This detail in the image which looks like a cigar ring to me can be appreciated here but if you really want to feel the place click and drag inside the embedded Google street view map of the roundabout where the monument is, facing Barcelona harbor. To get some information and take a look at the bronze lions at the base, go here.

Street view image
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