Barcelona Photoblog

December 21, 2021

Bubble Dreams Under an Arch of Triumph

Children playing with soap bubbles in Barcelona

Dreaming is one of those things that you can grow for free in your particular world of Oz beyond that yellow brick road. You could add a beautiful arch of triumph at the end and why not, some mesmerizing bubbles through which you can look at the future with joy. Perhaps it is all as simple as that. The end of the year is coming and it is time to detach from all the noise, look at what is right in front of you in awe and let yourself go, the child way.

Arch of Triumph and Modernist Lamp in Barcelona

August 22, 2021

Beasts of Barcelona - The Lion - El Lleo de la Ciutat


The lion of Barcelona - Beasts of the city

What better to resume Barcelona Photoblog's posting than showing one of the leading figures in our festivities and an important member of the bestiari, a Catalan term to refer to a group of real and imaginary animals of Medieval origins mainly associated to Corpus processions. The lion represented Mark the Evangelist and the Eagle, Saint John. Both 'beasts' are also part of El Seguici de la Ciutat

Together with the Eagle, the Lion (Lleó) is always presiding over the parades, especially during Corpus, La Mercè or Santa Eulalia. Our particular king of the jungle, or at least, the first impersonations made by men wearing costumes, date back to the fifteenth century and it is not till 1600s that it appears as it is today. He was completely gone during most part of the last century until his stellar reappearance back in the 90s. Franco's regime was not very fond of rescuing Catalan traditions. 

Of course parading the animal is adorned by its own dance and music, The Dance of the Lion. There used to be roaring, many years ago, but Charles III forbid such ignominious noisy doings to the disillusionment of our citizens. We have to thank local groups like Associació d'Amics dels Gegants del Pi for the initiative of bringing back the Lion in 1993. 

Maybe some other day I write more about other fantastic beasts that run wild in our imagination thanks to the magic of our cultural heritage, the Catalan folklore. I leave you with the manes of a ferocious and yet gentle beast that I want to dedicate to all those born a Leo, like this humble blogger. 

PS: Do not forget to visit La Casa dels Entremesos to see replicas of the bestiari.

April 15, 2021

Barcelona. A Day. A Life. ~ A Short Film by Ben Holbrook

Lockdown has been tough on us all, but especially for those of us who have not been able to get our fix of Barcelona! 

It’s been one of the longest periods of time I’ve not been able to visit since moving there all those years ago, and I miss it so much. It may not be my physical home anymore, but it’s still my spiritual home. 

I miss the simple act of heading out with no agenda and no destination, following the crowds and wandering like a flaneur. There’s always something going on, always somewhere to be – experiences to be lived! 

For this reason I almost always kept my camera with me. Not only to take photos for my blog, Driftwood Journals, but also simply because I knew the amazing was always just around the corner! 

As well as photos, I also shot quite a bit of video between 2017 and 2019. But I didn’t have the time (or skills) to do anything with it. Fast forward to now, 2021, and I have had time not only to develop my video editing skills but also to produce an entire short film using this old footage. 

It starts early morning on the rooftops of Eixample and move through the city as day becomes night. The final scenes are the insanely explosive celebrations of La Merce (I was so involved in the action that my lens got blown up by a firework – true story!). 

It’s sort of “a day in the life”, but the footage was taken over many years, so it’s more like a whole life – my life. Maybe you’ll recognise it as your own. 

Here it is, amigos! Watch and enjoy! This is Barcelona. A Day. A Life.

 Discover “Ben’s Barcelona” on his blog and watch more of his short films on Youtube.

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