Barcelona, a photo a day

Clot

AgBar

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Stands for Agua de Barcelona, the waterworks. The tower. The tower has obviously many nicknames, none of them having with do it’s actual function as an office building. The most popular of them is about… male waterworks… Very unfortunately (to me, anyway), to access the top floor, you have to work there. Open to the public is the ground floor, where they tell you where to pay your water bill.
The thinggy is actually blue, you know. And french.

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Moon…

The moon over the Clot area, a while back.


Early morning…

The view from my office at around 7.45 AM, with the AGBAR tower in the back. No, it is not a giant suppository, it is the HQ of the water company!


Books, dragons and roses: la diada de Sant Jordi


La Diada de Sant Jordi (Catalan pronunciation: [ɫə ðiˈaðə ðə ˈsaɲ ˈʒɔrði], Saint George’s Day), also known as El dia de la Rosa (The Day of the Rose) or El dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book) is a Catalan holiday held on 23 April, with similarities to Valentine’s Day and some unique twists that reflect the antiquity of the celebrations. The main event is the exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and colleagues. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—”a rose for love and a book forever.” In modern times, the mutual exchange of books is also customary. Roses have been associated with this day since medieval times, but the giving of books is a more recent tradition originating in 1923, when a bookseller started to promote the holiday as a way to commemorate the nearly simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare on 23 April 1616. Barcelona is the publishing capital of both Catalan and Spanish languages and the combination of love and literacy was quickly adopted.
In Barcelona’s most visited street, La Rambla, and all over Catalonia, thousands of stands of roses and makeshift bookstalls are hastily set up for the occasion. By the end of the day, some four million roses and 800,000 books will have been purchased. Most women will carry a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place on this occasion.
The sardana, the national dance of Catalonia, is performed throughout the day in the Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona. Many book stores and cafes host readings by authors (including 24-hour marathon readings of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”). Street performers and musicians in public squares add to the day’s atmosphere.
23 April is also the only day of the year when the Palau de la Generalitat, Barcelona’s principal government building, is open to the public. The interior is decorated with roses to honour Saint George.
Catalonia exported its tradition of the book and the rose to the rest of the world. In 1995, the UNESCO adopted 23 April as World Book and Copyright Day.

 And yes, Mandy had her magnificent rose, and I got a sumptuous (cook)book.

Our World on Tuesday


One morning, going to work…

Skywatch Friday, of course.


Yet another friday…

… spent watching the sky. Well, this photo was taken last Tuesday from my office, around 7.50 AM, with my phone. Yet another magnificent December sunrise above the Torre Agbar.
You will want to see Skywatch Friday, wont you? It’s here.


Skywatch Friday

The sky over Barcelona yesterday at lunch time, as blue as it gets. Skywatch Friday, right here!


Skywatch Friday

The skyline, as seen  from my office at around 7.45 AM. Getting a bit cold in the morning now, had to wear a light jacket for the first time since march.

Skywatch Friday, a wonderful meme. Check it out here.


Skywatch Friday

The sky is on fire! And I’m having fun with my pictures! All this for a good cause, of course, as it is for Skywatch Friday. You too can contribute, by clicking here.


One year ago…

… the worst snow storm since 1962, said my elderly neighbor. All of 2 inches, 5 cm, incredible!!!
Yes, even in Barcelona, we have snow! Well, sometimes. And when it does, books are written about it! Got one of them!

Yep, it is Tuesday, and this is our world! Click here please!


Skywatch Friday

Yet another flamboyant early morning in Clot.

Skywatch Friday! Check it out!


Skywatch Friday

Going to work yesterday morning, this is the view I found waiting for me at my office. It kind of brightened what became a grey, cold and rainy day.

Skywatch Friday, folks! Click right here!


Skywatch Friday

After the rain… A last picture from our terrace.

We’re changing house this weekend, and it will take a couple of days to get internet set in the new place. So, unless we find the time to go to an internet cafe, this blog will be shutting down for a little while. See you all very soon.

This is of course for Skywatch Friday, season 4, episode 3.


Fira Mercat de Bellcaire, aka Encants

I know: it says one photo a day. Well, today, we’ll do an exception. Rules are made to be broken, innit?
Anyway, before moving out of the area, I went back to this magical place which is the fira mercat de Bellcaire, the Encants flea market. Quite an amazing place, I suppose you can find pretty much everything there. Very old place, been around since the 14th century. Christopher Columbus wasn’t even born yet! Open 4 days a week, over 100.000 visitors a week…
Here is some of the things you can see and/or buy, from doorstoppers to matrasses, air guitars, clothes by the kilo, any doll ever made… And so much more!

Many of the stall owners hate photographers, so be careful when you go there, as they’ve been breaking some people’s cameras. Just play the part of the stupid tourist, as I usually do: it works.


Sunday Bridges 18

As I said before, not a lot of bridges in Barcelona. Found one nevertheless, part of the gigantic Glories roundabout. The metal structure on  top will be a part of the new Barcelona Design Hub.

Our friend Louis La Vache will be more than happy if you visit his Sunday Bridges, aka serie du pont de dimanche, to see some more bridges!

Map picture

Weekend reflections

I am lucky enough not to have to commute, as my office is 3 minutes away from where we live, walking distance. Mandy commutes for 2 1/2 hours everyday.
These are the reflections seens this morning, a nice sunshiny day, with some majestic cloud formations over the sea. They are actually my office’s windows, seen from our terrace.

Oh, it’s my birthday today, Rob that is. I am now a follower of San Francisco’s 49ers. For 1 year.

This is for James’s Weekend Reflections. To see more reflective photos, please click here.


Skywatch Friday

And yet another fine sundown, as seen from our terrace.

Skywatch Friday, season 4, episode 47.


Stuck!

Traffic advice for may 17th, latest report, 12.58 PM. Please do avoid Calle Consell de Cent, at the corner Av. Meridiana, Clot. Slow moving horsies.


Corazoncito de frutas

Discovered at the local Forn de pa, Catalan for bakery. It was absolutely delicious!


Skywatch Friday

Another picture of the gorgeous Barcelona sky, taken as usual from our terrace.

This is part of Skywatch Friday, season 4, episode 43. To see more wonderful photos, please click here.


AgBar

It has been a while since I last posted the AgBar tower, the Agua de Barcelona, the waterworks here, HQ. Well, here is a close up. There are many people working in there, many offices. Shame that you can’t actually visit it!


Cloudy days

We’ve had a few rainy days lately. Rainy day: dry day with one or two 15 minutes long… events, where you think the end of the world has come, when it is raining so hard you can’t see anything anymore, with hail and thunder, when the day becomes night. You know what I mean.
But the good thing about it, apart of the WOW, NATURE ROCKS!!, is the beautiful light it brings.
So, here is a few over the roofs of my area, Clot, taken from my terrace, 5 minutes before one of the storms started.


Le Tour… is gone


After a very rainy day yesterday, with some accidents, today’s departure of the Tour was much dryer. No rain, not much warmer, a bit of sun. 224 km to Andorra.
I took this picture yesterday, sorry about the bad quality, was taken with an old phone.
For us living here, it was a bit of a nightmare. The routes of 60 bus lines have been changed, many roads barred, many Bicing stations closed (the bicycles you can rent everywhere). But it was the 3rd biggest event in Barcelona in 20 years, after the 92 Olympics and the ???? football world championship (need some help here with the dates!). IT WAS GREAT!!!
Anyway, if you want to see much better and sharper pictures of the Tour, please have a good look at Monte Carlo Daily Photo!


Le Tour de France in Barcelona!

Well, what a day!!! After 44 years, Le Tour came back to Barcelona! On the wettest day in months! It actually rained non stop almost the whole day, till about 4.30 PM, despite of the Mayor’s prayers. Those guys made 180 odd kilometers in the rain. At least, it stopped, 30 minutes before the end of today’s stage, Girona to Barcelona. I took a longer break from work (sorry, boss) to see them pass at the end of the street, armed with my phone. Got a few nice pics of the speeding cyclists, but I chose to post this picture, courtesy of my wife, a nice view of the speed involved… Suppose they were in a hurry to finish! Take a look at Monte Carlo Daily Photo to see wonderful (and sharp) pictures of the Tour!


There is this absolutely beautiful house just down the road from where I live, at the corner Meridiana and Consell de Cent. I don’t know anything about it. Was it built between 1914 and 1918, does it commemorate something? If anyone knows anything about it, please do let me know. Thank you!


Late at night… Many strange creatures in the bars and pubs here. Maybe this one was just having a drink at the Clot community house (Clot being the name of the area here).
Silly hat, anyway.


Encants flea market

I am living just down the road from the Encants Nou flea market, one of the oldest flea markets in Europe (since the 14th century!). It’s called nou – new – because they moved to the present location 80 years ago, and will move again soon. 100.000 people pass through here every week, and you can find… everything, just absolutely everything.
Well, I found these 2 angels and the Virgin Mary. It reminded me somehow of the movie I saw the other day, Night at the Museum 2. Watch it, you’ll understand.


FUTBOL!

Several things are really important here in BCN: food, politics (and I will come back to this subject later – objectively, through my lens only!), and…
FUTBOL!
The Barcelona Futbol Club, aka Barca, pronounced Barssa, is on it’s way to glory. And it eclipses everything else, crisis or not.
Picture taken in a chocolate shop. It says : more than a club. Buy your european cup, pictures of players, medals, etc, all in chocolate. God knows I’m not a football fan, but chocolate is definitely my thing!!!!!

A very popular and cheap way to go around town is the municipal bicycle rental, Bicing. It’s easy: just take a bike from one of the stands (200 or so of those), and drop it on another stand when you reach your destination.
The same idea, which originally started here as far as I know, has been taken over by Paris and Washington DC.
PS: several people asked me fora a picture of the Torre Agbar at night. Well, it’s coming, friends! But not quite right now. Bit of patience required.

Torre Agbar

I am a really lucky guy! Yeah! Amongst other reasons, I am fortunate enough to have a large terrace in my flat on the last floor of my building, and this is the view! The thing in the back, the same you can see in the title bar, is the Torre Agbar, Agbar Tower, so called because it is the headquarter of the Barcelona Waterwork, AGua de BARcelona, therefore AG BAR.

A few facts… 142 meters, built by the french architect Jean Nouvel, sustainable, and illuminated at night (on weekends and public holidays). They also have a nice website, http://www.torreagbar.com/, check it out!

Anyway, this is the view from the breakfast table!!!

Oh yeah, before I forget… Thanks for all your comments, nice morale booster! And I am extremely happy to welcome my first follower, Julie from down under!


Lucky!

By day, it’s a haberdasher shop. Boring!
But by night, when the shop is closed and the curtains are drawn…
Here comes Lucky Luke!