Barcelona, a photo a day




Saturday. Just another day at the Boqueria market. Getting set up for the day.

World food, with overgin


Empanadas! Anywhere, anytime! An empanada (Spanish pronunciation: [empaˈnaða]; also called pastel in Brazilian Portuguese) is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin Europe, Latin America, the Southwestern United States, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
In Spain, empanadas and empanadillas are two different types of cooking a similar thing. Empanadillas are often made from a rather thin, pliant, but resilient wheat pastry, cut into a round shape, stuffed and folded. The filling varies, but tuna, sardines, or meat are used most commonly in a tomato puree, garlic and onion sauce. Spanish empanadillas are often fried in olive oil but can also be found baked.

In Galicia, the empanada can also be prepared similar to a pie, with a variety of fillings like cod, pork loin, cockles, mussels, or octopus, the empanada galega. Empanadas can be eaten at any time of the day. As I mentioned before.

They are everywhere! More about them here.

No comment about overgin (open up the photo to know what the heck I’m talking about). Someone’s sense of humor at the Boqueria market, I hope…

Man loves dogs


At the Boqueria, Europe’s coolest market.

More B&W for this weekend right here.

Everywhere you go, always take…


… your hula hoops with you. Specially should you be in a crowded house, place…

El mercat antic del Born


The old covered market in the Born, now a culture center, complete with 2000 years old roman street. A must see!

Decisions, decisions…

I’m always having a hard time at the mercat de Sant Josep… Balancing the urge of buying a lot of this gorgeous high quality food… with my economic reality. I never managed, always spending too much.

Oh, you might know this market as Boqueria. For us locals, it is St Joseph’s market. And to photographers, it is known as ‘paradise’. There has been a market here since 1217, 797 years ago.

And, no, this is not HDR, just Lightroom and Nik filters.

The old Sant Antoni market

Better known around here as the mercat de Sant Antoni, X shaped, it was built between 1879 and 1882. It is closed now, the city replaced it by a 2 temporary plastic hangars nearby. The old market is supposed to be undergoing restoration, although I haven’t seen anyone working in those grandiose ruins in the last 4 or 5 years. Temporary things tend to last long here.

Not only in Venice…

… but in Barcelona as well, we do have some glassblowers. And glass shapers.

Yes, it is theme day again, and the theme is the creative artisan. Click here to see more entries to the theme.

Have a coffee!

While doing your shopping at the Boqueria market, it is essential to have a coffee! Either a cafe solo, otherwise known as expresso, a cortado, which is a solo with a little milk, or a cafe con leche, big coffee with lots of hot or cold milk. As you like it.

Market day…

…at the Mercat Sant Josep de la Boqueria


Happy smiling faces at the Boqueria market! And the veggies look absolutely gorgeous!

Our world Tuesday, right here.

Market day…

…is from Monday to Saturday, in any of the numerous markets in town. The quality is so much better than in any supermarket or mall!


Found that great nut place! With a very willing vendor! This guy could sell refrigerators to Eskimos!
But no, I didn’t buy anything, will come back later, no need for nuts right now.

Bon Nadal!

Joyeux Noel, Merry Christmas, frohe Weihnachten, buon Natale,Meri Kirihimete ki a koe me te whanau
feliz Navidad, E güeti Wïnâchte,
Beannachtaí na Nollag, Maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon, feliz Natal, god Jul, and

E schéine Chrëschtdag to all our friends and relatives all around this beautiful blue planet!

OK, that’s Catalan, French, English, German, Italian, Maori, Spanish, Alsatian, Gaelic, Tagalog, Portuguese, Swedish and Luxemburgish.


It is the time of the year when everything turns christmassy, bright and joyful. Yeah, let’s forget the darn crisis for a while!

Jumping cow

Ain’t she pretty!


Do you have Christmas witches in your respective cultures?

The Christmas market is on…

… and my humans took me with them!


It’s that time of the year again, it’s Caganer time! Above, some players from the Barcelona Football Club, the Barca.

A Caganer is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighbouring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia, Northern Catalonia (in southern France) and the Balearic Islands.
In Catalonia, as well as in the rest of Spain and in most of Italy and Southern France, traditional Christmas decorations sometimes consist of a large model of the city of Bethlehem, similar to the Nativity scenes of the English-speaking world but encompassing the entire city rather than just the typical manger scene. In Catalonia, the pessebre or nativity scene is often a reproduction of a pastoral scene with a traditional Catalan masia (farmhouse) as a central setting with the child in a manger, with outlying scenes of a washerwoman by a river, a woman spinning, shepherds walking towards the manger area laden with gifts and herding their sheep, the three wise men approaching on horseback, an annunciation scene with the angel and shepherds, the star pointing the way, etc., all of this usually set on moss to represent grass, with cork used to represent mountains or cliffs. Another variant is to make the setting oriental, with the wise men arriving by camel and the figures dressed accordingly.
The caganer is a particular and highly popular feature of modern Catalan nativity scenes. It is believed to have entered the nativity scene by the late 17th-early 18th century, during the Baroque period. Eminent folklorist Joan Amades called it an essential piece and the most popular figure of the nativity scene. It can also be found in other parts of southwestern Europe, including Murcia, the region just south of the Valencia in Spain (where they are called cagones), Naples (cacone or pastore che caca) and Portugal (cagões). There is a sculpture of a person defecating hidden inside the cathedral of Ciudad Rodrigo, Province of Salamanca, though this is not part of a nativity scene. Accompanying Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the shepherds and company, the caganer is often tucked away in a corner of the model, typically nowhere near the manger scene. A tradition in the Catalan Countries is to have children find the hidden figure.
Possible reasons for placing a figure representing a person in the act of excreting waste in a scene which is widely considered holy include:

  • Tradition.
  • Perceived humour.
  • A fun spectacle, especially for children.
  • The Caganer, by creating feces, is fertilizing the Earth. According to the ethnographer, Joan Amades, it was a “customary figure in pessebres [i.e. nativity scenes] in the 19th century, because people believed that this deposit [symbolically] fertilized the ground of the pessebre, which became fertile and ensured the pessebre for the following year, and with it, the health of body and peace of mind required to make the pessebre, with the joy and happiness brought by Christmas near the hearth. Placing this figurine in the pessebre brought good luck and joy and not doing so brought adversity.”
  • The Caganer represents the equality of all people: regardless of status, race, or gender, everyone defecates.
  • Increased naturalism of an otherwise archetypal (thus idealised) story, so that it is more believable, more real and can be taken more seriously.
  • The idea that God will manifest himself when he is ready, without regard for whether we human beings are ready or not.
  • The Caganer reinforces the belief that the infant Jesus is God in human form, with all that being human implies.
  • The character introduces a healthy amount of religious doubt to test one’s faith.
  • A humorous allusion to the Spanish proverb (in translation), “Dung is no saint, but where it falls it works miracles.”

Further opinions:

  • “The caganer was the most mischievous and out-of-place character of the pessebre’s [otherwise] idyllic landscape; he was the “Other”, with everything that entails, and as the “Other”, was accepted, in a liberal vein, as long as he did not aim to occupy the foreground. The caganer represented the spoilsport that we all have inside of us, and that’s why it is not surprising that it was the most beloved figure among the children and, above all, the adolescents, who were already beginning to feel a bit like outsiders to the family celebration.” Agustí Pons
  • “The caganer is a hidden figure and yet is always sought out like the lost link between transcendence and contingency. Without the caganer, there would be no nativity scene but rather a liturgy, and there would be no real country but just the false landscape of a model.” Joan Barril
  • “The caganer seems to provide a counterpoint to so much ornamental hullabaloo, so much emotive treacle, so much contrived beauty.” Josep Murgades
  • “The caganer is, like so many other things that have undergone the filtering of a great many generations, a cult object; with the playful, aesthetic and superficial devotion that we feel towards all the silly things that fascinate us deep down.” Jordi Soler

 Anyway, here are some people, Kate Middleton, her hubby Will, Prince Charles and his mum, doing their bit for England…

Some others, doing their bit for Gaul…

and for whichever planet they are from…

Harsh times…

Crisis? Hard times? No reason not to look good!

AD 1570

441 years of Christmas market in Strasbourg… A few glimpses, a few impressions.

Market scene, aka post 900

This is a mediterranean photo. Although the photo was taken in Barcelona, the food depicted can be found all around the Med, Turkey, Italy, Israel, Algeria, and further away. I read years ago in the National Geographic that people living on a mediterranean diet (they mentioned olive oil, lots of garlic and some red wine) live longer. It is probably true, and what is even better: the food is delicious!

900 posts! Who would have thought…

Pintxu d’embotit catala

This weekend, we’re having here the mercat dels mercats, the market’s market, the best of all markets around. I love what they did to these sausages!
Private message to the All Blacks: very well done, mates!!!

Just another museum.

Fed up walking around in the sun, too hot for the beach? Here is an idea: the Museum of Erotica, in front of the Boqueria market. You get a free drink,and Wifi, how’s that?

Cod, anyone?

Cod. Extremely popular in Spain and Portugal. Literally thousands of recipes. Here is a Catalan one, which I will try soon:

Catalan fish stew


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 fennel bulbs, chopped
  • 150g/5oz chorizo, diced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 2 cloves new season garlic, crushed
  • ½tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp saffron strands (optional)
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz fish stock or water
  • 150ml/5 fl oz white wine
  • 500g/1 lb 2oz mussels, cleaned
  • 650g/1 lb 7 oz firm white fish (bream, pollock, cod, monkfish), filleted, dredged in flour and fried in olive oil
  • 100g/3½ oz toasted almonds, ground
To serve

Preparation method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, fennel, diced chorizo, chilli, ground fennel seeds and garlic for a few minutes.
  2. Add the paprika, thyme, saffron, bay leaves and tomatoes and cook until reduced to a thickish sauce.
  3. Add the fish stock (or water) and white wine and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the cooked mussels and cook until they are all open. Discard any that have not opened.
  5. Put the fish pieces into the stew and stir in the almonds.
  6. Heat for a minute or two and serve with seasonal greens, steamed potatoes and wedges of lemon.

My World Tuesday

Shopping trolleys. Everybody’s got one, young, old, male, female, posh people, students, rich, poor, etc. We have 2, an old orange one and a brand new purple one. In the supermarkets here, you need to leave them near the tills. But no worries: you put one euro in the thingy and you can chain your trolley up, so nobody can take it.
Some trolleys even come complete with a foldable chair, so you can sit down anywhere. Very convenient. Some are made of fabric, some of leather, plastic, moleskin, and so on and so forth. Some are real pieces of art, made by designers. It is truly a fashion statement here. And they can be extremely expensive, of course!
When will you get your own?

Please check out how other people’s World looks like on Tuesdays!

Mercat Sant Josep de la Boqueria: the bar

Shopping, even for food, makes you thirsty…

Sant Josep de la Boqueria

I love the Boqueria market, the people the colors, the animation! But although it is very close from where we live, we seldom go there. And I only rarely posted pictures from the place. Let’s change this during the next few weeks!
And bonne fete a tous les Francais! Tomorrow is the Quatorze Juillet, aka Bastille day. So I’m wishing all my countrymen and women a happy one. May your hangover be kind to you!

Market day in North Catalunya

How to choose a good melon? One of the last great remaining mysteries on this planet.

We spent the weekend in Argeles sur Mer (catalan: Argelers de la Merenda), in the french part of Catalunya. And yes, Saturday was market day. And no, I did not forget the camera!

Before you buy, you need to check the ware! And if you’re good at it, you’ll get the best tomatoes in the world!

PS, much later… I slightly re-modeled this post, as many of you seem to prefer what is now the first photo.

Madame Sarkozy’s bum.

Traditions, traditions… Let’s talk about… yep: Christmas. In Catalunya, it is tradition to have someone having a poo under your Christmas tree. It is called a Caganer, a shitter. Why? Here is what Wiki says about it:
Possible reasons for placing a man who is in the act of excreting waste in a scene which is widely considered holy include:

  • Tradition.
  • Perceived humor.
  • A fun spectacle, especially for children.
  • The Caganer, by creating feces, is fertilizing the Earth. However, this is probably an a posteriori explanation, and few cite this reason for including the Caganer in the Nativity scene.
  • The Caganer represents the equality of all people: regardless of status, race, or gender, everyone shits.
  • Increased naturalism of an otherwise archetypal (thus idealised) story, so that it is more believable, taken literally and seriously.
  • The idea that God will manifest himself when he is ready, without regard for whether we human beings are ready or not.
  • The caganer reinforces that the infant Jesus is God in human form, with all that being human implies.

So, why not? You can have your own, just click here.

Anyway, being French, I just had to show you Mr. S. and Madame doing it together with their friends Mrs M. and Signore B.

More tradition(al), the Yule log come in all sizes.

What’s your funny or weird Christmas tradition?

This is for My World Tuesday. Click here to see more.


One of the stalls at the colorful little market next to the Corte Ingles, in the old town. Some ladies forgot their legs.

Mercat Santa Caterina

El mercat Santa Caterina, St Catherine’s market. In the Old Town, it has been a market since 1848, and was Barcelona’s first covered market. Totally renovated in 2005 with brilliance by the architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, is a little marvel located in the district of Ribera. Beautiful architectural idea for this multicoloured ceramics roof having the shape of wave posed on an air structure of wood, which shelters all the stalls of the market.
The last time I was there, ready, my camera on hand, they had just closed. I’ll be back, to show you the inside!

Asignar imagen

This is for My World Tuesday. Please click here to see many more photo of my co-blogger’s world.
Also, a very warm welcome to Jules, aka follower 356.

Fresh fruit!

October. Here, in the northern hemisphere, it is slowly getting cold. Big big storms in our area here, with 7 meter waves battering northern Catalunya, floods, etc. Time for some vitamins!


Still waiting to find the bargain of the century…

Todavía esperando para encontrar la ocasion del siglo…
En attendant l’occasion du siecle…

Le dimanche, mangeons des crepes!

It is sunday, perfect day for some crepes, french pancakes!
This is the french guy who is making and selling them at the Boqueria market on the Ramblas. My favorite? Nutella, bananas and whipped cream. What is yours?
Well, actually, every day should be crepes day!

Boqueria market

Fruit is good for you!


This is the eggman at the Boqueria market. And yes, you can buy the ostrich eggs as well. Nice big omelette!

Gracia market scenes

Many many covered markets in Barcelona, and we love them. Here are a few scenes from the one in Gracia.

Jamon serrano

Ubiquitous jamon serrano… Wherever you go in Spain, you’ll find it, in shops, bars, restaurants, everywhere.
The name means mountain ham.
The way it works. You buy a whole leg, and the special outfit to hold it. Take a very sharp knife, keep it as flat as possible, and start cutting the finest possible stripes of delicious ham.
One thing though: you’ll need some good ans sharp teeth to eat it.
Recipes? Hundreds, probably thousands!
More info here!

The weaver

Occasionally, not early as often as we would like, we come across some more traditional markets and fairs.
This guy was weaving (and selling) baskets. He was teaching some kids, and they seemed totally enthralled by his art.Nice gentle and patient face too.

Map picture
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Sagrada Familia market

I took this photo this morning, at the market next to the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Haven’t stopped since then trying to find a silly slogan to promote shrimps. Came up with:
-Who needs a shrink? Have a shrimp!
-Shrimps are not just for Christmas!
and some more, far too silly to mention. What would be your silly shrimp slogan?

And a warm welcome to Raf, our 227th follower!

Little boxes

1. Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

2. And the people in the houses
All go to the university,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
And there’s doctors and there’s lawyers
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

3. And they all play on the golf-course,
And drink their Martini dry,
And they all have pretty children,
And the children go to school.
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
And they all get put in boxes
And they all come out the same.

4. And the boys go into business,
And marry, and raise a family,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

Malvina Reynolds

Baby dolls

Now and then, there is an antiques market on the square in front of the Cathedral, in the old town. I really liked the dolls!

About the structure on the beach in yesterday’s post, I do agree with many of your comments. It’s called modern art and, in this case, it is quite awful in my opinion. It symbolizes the former heavy industry in the area, before the 92 Olympics. They were building trains and carriages.

Live long and prosper!

In the south of Europe, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal amongst other places, people live long. To live to be 100 years old is quite normal in these countries. The secret, according to some scientists, lies in their diets. Chillies, garlic, olive oil and red wine are supposed to ensure a long and healthy life. If you don’t overdo it, obviously.
Plenty of it around here, in the Boqueria market. And in my cupboards. So let’s talk about it again in 50 years!
Prosperity? Easy: start your own garlic, chillies, olive oil and red wine business!

Market day

Market day at the Boqueria. La Boqueria, or Mercat Sant Josep de la Boqueria, is a huge market near the top of the Ramblas. For those of you who have been to Barcelona, I am sure you went in there.
You get everything in here! The best looking vegetables, fruit, juices, fish, tapas, greek finger food… The place is surrounded by some restaurants serving what they call market food in the guides. A few great seafood restaurants.
It is a fantastic place to look at the world, the people. A photographer’s place.

Drink, anyone?
Photo taken in the Boqueria, the big old market on the Ramblas.

Encants fleamarket

And once again, I had a stroll through the old fleamarket. Many things to see, many weird and wonderful.

Enjoy the doorknobs! May they open many doors…

Flowers of the Ramblas

You can find all sort of things on the Ramblas, street entertainers, restaurants, pet shops (mostly birds and rabbits), people walking around, tourists, etc.
And you can also find quite a few flower stands. Here is one which had a particularly nice presentation. Enjoy!
I’ ll come back to the Ramblas later.

I just had dinner, so… let me show you some food! This is the biggest loaf of bread I’ve ever seen!
One of the many nice specialities here is pan amb tomaquet, bread with tomatoes. Take a slice of bread, put some olive oil, grill it a bit. Then take a ripe tomato and rub it unto the bread. Que approveche!