OK, I confess… Now and then, I’m taking photos of pretty girls. Don’t tell my wife, LOL!
In this case, at the Fiera de Abril, andalus mega-party in the Forum area, every year in April (…). Place and time where you pay 10 euros for a can of Coke. BYO!!!
If you are lucky enough to be in Sitges in 2 weeks, you will enjoy the floral festivities. The whole city is covered with living carpets made of hundreds of thousands flowers. This year, it will be on the 6th and 7th of June. Don’t miss it!
… your hula hoops with you. Specially should you be in a crowded house, place…
Can I touch the horsey? Yet another festivity on the Rambla. The Rambla (which has several names, depending on which section of it you are) is one of the 3 main thoroughfares through the old town, together with Paralel and Laietana. It is actually a dried riverbed, recovered along the centuries with dirt and other stuff. Now, it is the promenade, always full of tourist and photographers watching people go by. A narrow passage through the old town, it is as best a very slow going, driving down the mile or so of its length. And well, whenever there is a festivity, the city closes it. But when it’s open, almost every taxi driver in town chooses to pass this way, doesn’t matter where you are going. The perfect tourist trap: it’s nice, it’s slow, and the meter is turning and turning… Even at 4 in the morning, when you have an early plane to catch, just on time for the slow moving street cleaning machines…
But hey, it’s a photographer’s paradise!
One of the tall ships present in Barcelona during last summer’s Merce festival, had this figurehead. And I just can’t figure it out. Can you?
Another street in Gracia, the theme for this one is A to Z, all about letters. Here is how it looks on the floor, with the strong and hot sun we’ve had for months now. Anyone wanting to send us some rain will be extremely welcome and popular here! They’ll probably even name a street after you!
Every august, in the Gracia area, there is a big festa, with a lot of music, food, drinks. And whole streets get decorated with recycled materials. The theme for this street was…you guessed it, under the sea!
The Gay Pride parade, yesterday. Thousands of people, gay or not, lining the streets to watch this festival of life and joy.
Big Earth Day festival here last weekend, like every year. Lots of fun, of strange people, exotic food, fun, music… Here are some guys from one of the bands playing. And no, they didn’t play the Crocodile rock, but rather something much more jazzy.
We might take a small break… We are moving this coming weekend, but the telecom technician will transfer our line tomorrow. So, unless we find access to some free WiFi, or if we can use a smartphone as a WiFi hub, we’ll see you all next week.
Special theme day today, as it is St George’s day. Or Sant Jordi, as we say here. George is a truly universal saint, as he is the patron of such places like England, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Timbuktu, Egypt, Bulgaria, Russia, India, Palestine, Moscow, Beirut, Rio de Janeiro, and so on and so forth, as well as of the Scout Movement, and a large range of professions. Well, he died this day in 303AD.
The tradition here in Catalunya is for the boy to offer a rose to his Dulcinea, and for the girl to offer her boyfriend/husband a book. Why a book? Well, William Shakespeare died on the same 23rd of April, in 1616, 397 years ago. He was actually probably born on a 23rd of April as well, but historians differ on this subject. So, hail to all Georges, Jordis, Jorges, Yorgos, and to all Bills, Wills and Williams! Read a book, find a florist! Being a George myself by my second name (Georges, in French), I WILL celebrate!
More about this theme day right here.
And here comes Bill, courtesy of the world wide web.
A short lesson on how to make something delicious out of sugar cane.
Press the canes
No. Stand on me… Would love it!!!
I am very glad he has time to read his book.
A celebration of wind energy was the main theme of this year’s Earth Festival, 2 weeks ago. So the organizers mounted a big…no idea what this is called… oh yeah: a pinwheel (thanks guys!) underneath the Arc de Triomf. And it was turning and humming in the wind… Here is a closer look, from behind.
This is for Skywatch Friday. Please click here to see other Skywatcher’s photos.
And yes, I missed the supermoon, and I’m extremely unhappy about it. Next time.
During the recent Earth Day festival, these people were singing and dancing in Ciutadella park. I suppose they are dressed as Mayans. And I think they had central American accents. Does anyone know more about them?
Yes, this photo was taken last Sunday in Barcelona. Barcelona is a very very multicultural place, and we love it!
A few impressions from this year’s Earth Day Festival in Barcelona.
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.
One of the many things to see at this year’s Earth Day fair. Excellent job!
Quite a few interesting stalls around, during the celebrations, all Chinese businesses in town, or Catalan companies doing business with China. One of the stalls was this one below, the photographer. One of the things they proposed was taking your photo in Chinese clothes.
This month’s theme day is about animals. Which is fine, as it allows me to stay a bit longer on the Chinese new year celebration.
I realize that, even though I’ve seen those cats very often (even have one in my office), I don’t know their exact meaning. A luck bringer??? Anyone?
Lots of kids singing and dancing on a big stages. We do to believe in flower power!
As there are so many Chinese citizens in Barcelona, this is dedicated to them!
Our World Tuesday, here.
Maybe a bit late, but Barcelona celebrated this weekend the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dragon, l’ any del drac in Catalan. Plenty do see, plenty to do, and plenty to eat. So, happy new year! We do have a very important Chinese population in town.
Now, have you ever been inside a Christmas tree? This is what the big one on Madrid’s Plaza del Sol, sun square, looks like.
And here is the same, from outside.
Photos courtesy of Mandy, who was there on Tuesday.
Going through Ciutadella Park on Sunday night, we came across this exhibit. No idea what it was, but it looks nice. Maybe some alien landscape .
Computer problem solved: it was cheaper to buy a new one then to have the old one fixed. Fortunately, all my stuff was safe.
2 weeks ago, I found that one of my photos had been ‘pirated’ by some website. After I complained, they removed it immediately. Watch out. Just google-images the name of your blog now and then, and check where your photos are. There are other ways as well. Firefox, for example has a ‘who stole my photo’ add on.
This is for the weekly Our World Tuesday meme. Check it out!
The pig and the cops.
No Merce would be complete without several big fireworks. Here is one, by the french company Les Artisans du Spectacle.
… as it says on the front of the Barcelona city hall. In Russian. This year’s special guest of the Merce: Saint Petersbourg.
One more detail of the street decoration during the festival.
And another detail…
We were away for a few days, in Andorra and Madrid. Back to normal tomorrow.
A detail of the fantastic street decoration, made of recycled plastic bottles.
Yes, there is even this…
This week, like every year, the highlight of the summer: the Festa Major de Gracia, or the big street festival in the hip Gracia area. 15 or 20 streets, decorated with mostly recycled stuff, music,theater, food, drinks… It’s just wonderful! More in the next days.
Click on the picture to see it better!
Closing the parade on friday was this fascinating Hispano-Suiza, probably from the late 1920es-early 1930es. Hispano-Suiza was a car company founded in Barcelona in 1904, making luxury cars. Here is what Wiki says to it.
Who’s the guy saluting? Your guess is as good as mine.
During the Merce Festival, several times during the evening, the facade of the Barcelona City Hall changes quite drastically… Enjoy!
The guest city this year being Dakar, the capital of Senegal, some of the photos have a very african inspiration.
Even more colors in Gracia…
We are starting today a few posts about the yearly Festa Major de Gracia, which starts today. Gracia is the arti part of Barcelona, the place where everybody under 30 wants to live and party.
Every year, a dozen streets in Gracia are decorated, with a different theme for each street. An amazing fact is that absolutely everything is made from recycled stuff.
But honestly, not quite sure what the theme for this street is…
During the Earth Day Festival, we spotted this: hemp flavored ‘special beer’. Not everybody’s taste, I suppose! Would you drink it?
As for us, we are wine drinkers.
Last weekend, we had here a Festival for Chile, Xile in Catalan, to help rebuilding Chile after the big earthquake they had there. An afternoon of dance and music. The photos above and below are from the Grupo Folklórico Renacer Boliviano. Very good and very colorful.
There also was a very talented catalan juggler, whose name we didn’t get.
Free entrance, but by selling food and Tshirts, they made just a bit over 18.000 euros. Well done!
One of our main treats this month will be to watch the new Tim Burton movie, Alice in Wonderland.
This is what Barcelona had to say about it last summer during the Festa Major de Gracia, the cartoon way.
During last summer’s Festa Major in the Gracia area, one of the squares was made up as a garden under the sea. Here is a small part of it. Everything is made of recycled materials. Great idea!