Leaving Paris, we are now in the city of Strasbourg, north east of France, at the german border. My hometown.
This is la petite France, the area known as little France, with a gruesome history to its name. There was a hospice in the area, called l’hospice des veroles, built during the 15th century, specially for people suffering of syphilis (most of them prostitutes). Syphilis was better known as the french disease, as it was brought by french soldiers. Therefore the name of the area…
Nowadays, it is the center of the old town, with a lot of very pretty houses, most of them over 500 years old, crossed by the river Ill. No hospice anymore, just lots of good restaurants. And tourists.
Have a look here to see many more weekend reflections.
More from Horta, the park with the amazing maze.
More Weekend Reflections, right here.
So, what can you do, when you’re a dog. You can either lay in the water, or drink it. Or both of course. Happy dogs, wish I could have done the same. I mean lay in the cool water…
Water World Wednesday, right here.
And don’t forget: it’s monthly Theme Day soon! Here‘s the link (not open yet). The theme is: people watching. On your cameras, go! See you all on September 1st!
The La Pepa, replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon. Galleons were the most universal Spanish ships, which played the lead on commercial and cultural relationships during more than 3 centuries, 16th to 18th, between Spain, the Americas and Asia. Or so says the provided information. They brought other stuff as well, far more evil and nasty. Anyway, the galleon is beautiful, and well worth a visit. Will come back to it later.
To see what other participants to the Skywatch Friday meme did, just click here.
Oh look, that’s me, me, me, me, me, me, me and also me! Having a ball, or several!
More Weekend Reflections here.
Yes, public nudity is legal in Spain. No, you can’t walk naked through Barcelona anymore. Or cycle.
In Barcelona public nudity used to be regarded as a recognized right, although there have been successful prosecutions for public nudity even there and a local ordinance by the local council in May 2011 empowers the authorities to impose a fine for nudity and even being bare chested.
Basically, you want to be naked, stay on the nude beaches. No worries, there are plenty around!
Our world Tuesday, right here.
One of the joys of HDR is that it can transform a boring grey sky into something rather dramatic. Did this one of Plaza Catalunya for Skywatch Friday.
I’ve been on holidays (a very busy time!) for the last week and a half. Today, back to the grind. And I will have to use this again: the metro. Oh well, it will be a short week. My world, on Tuesday.
Carrying on this little series about Montpellier. We not only met our fellow blogger Marie, but the real Snow White as well! Blanche Neige, in France. She left the 7 dwarfs at home, and came to Montpellier to give out some scratch cards, together with several super heroes. Nice way to spend one’s weekend!
This is of course for Our World Tuesday!
Photo courtesy of Mandy, and Rob was playing around with Picasa’s new features.
Just a pond with some lilies, and a bit of sky…
This is for James’s Weekend Reflections.
Yes, ice cream times are back, although we have a few rainy days coming up. But it’s finally nice and warm!!!
You don’t see this everyday… Well, in Barcelona, you do, right outside the cathedral! The guy is having a head-start with his paella…
Anyway, here is one of the many many real paella recipes.
170g/6oz chorizo, cut into thin slices
110g/4oz pancetta, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp soft thyme leaves
¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes
570ml/1pint calasparra (Spanish short-grain) rice
1 tsp paprika
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock, heated with ¼ tsp saffron strands
8 chicken thighs, each chopped in half and browned
18 small clams, cleaned
110g/4oz fresh or frozen peas
4 large tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
125ml/4fl oz good olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
12 jumbo raw prawns, in shells
450g/1lb squid, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat half the olive oil in a paella dish or heavy-based saucepan. Add the chorizo and pancetta and fry until crisp. Add the garlic, onion and pepper and heat until softened. Add the thyme, chilli flakes and calasparra rice, and stir until all the grains of rice are nicely coated and glossy. Now add the paprika and dry white wine and when it is bubbling, pour in the hot chicken stock, add the chicken thighs and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Now place the clams into the dish with the join facing down so that the edges open outwards. Sprinkle in the peas and chopped tomatoes and continue to cook gently for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil with the garlic cloves in a separate pan and add the prawns. Fry quickly for a minute or two then add them to the paella. Now do the same with the squid and add them to the paella too.
- Scatter the chopped parsley over the paella and serve immediately.
HA!Boys just love this!!!
What about you, girls?
Watery Wednesday, as every Wednesday.
Inside the Science Museum, there is a sunken forest, populated with fishes, birds, snakes, a capibara, etc…
Watery Wednesday, right here.
Nice effect found in one of my programs. This is for Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.
Yet another view of the gardens in Horta.
One of the many many beautiful features in the park, the reflecting pond behind the Duke’s neo-classical pavilion seen yesterday.
Watery Wednesday, right here.
…in Sitges, 30 km south of Barcelona, and not the Caribbean.
I know, it’s been my latest header photo for the last couple of days, but I couldn’t resist posting it for Watery Wednesday!
A black and white rendition of the circus we went to a few weeks ago, for Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.
Well, this is it, the big 1000. 1000 posts, in exactly 33 months. Thanks to all of you, the 491 followers, the 150.002 visitors (as I write this), and a special thanks to all of you who left a comment or 2. Or 200.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to visit Skywatch Friday!!!
Some mighty boats around… Not talking about this one, of course! Not even a helicopter pad…
Watery Wednesday, here.
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.
Couple of simple things you can do with your photos. For this, I used a small but nice program called Artizen. It is a HDR program, but you can use it for tonemapping single photos as well.
Watery Wednesday, right here.
What could be better than spending your Sunday afternoon on the beach playing dominoes? Or so these gentlemen think. Saw them before,last summer, and they’re still here. We really had a wonderful Sunday afternoon, sun, 18 degrees C (mid-sixties, Fahrenheit). Spring!
Our World on Tuesday indeed.
The things you can see in the sky…. As seen by Mandy.
Skywatch Friday, right here.
An Italian ferry, anchored at Montjuic Hill.
This is dedicated to the victims of the Costa Concordia.
Barcelona’s holy patron is Saint Eulalia, also called Laia. She was a geese shepherdess in the village of Sarria, now a part of Barcelona. She was a martyr, was killed for her faith by the Romans, says her hagiography.
Nowadays, the cathedral in the old town is named after her. And in the cloister are living 13 geese. Why 13? Eulalia was 13 when she became a martyr.
Our World Tuesday. Please click here.
Due to some spam comments lately, I had to change the settings a bit. No anonymous comments allowed for the time being, just as a protective measure. And because it’s really annoying.
And one more early December sunrise, for Skywatch Friday. It kind of gladdens my mind to see this just before starting my working day at 8 AM.
One more photo of our Christmas trip to the north-eastern corner of France, for the weekly Watery Wednesday meme. With a bit of HDR, of course!
Our beautiful, very sweet and very talkative neighbor, Pippa.
To see more photos for this weekly meme, please click here.
Splendid sunrise, but God, was it cold! Skywatch Friday, right here.
Strange title? No, not really. This is the river Ill, in my hometown of Strasbourg, Alsace, France. The Ill (yes, ill as in sick) is a sidearm of the mighty Rhine. We just spent Christmas there. Cold, but no snow unfortunately.
We will stay away from Barcelona on this blog for a bit longer, to show you something that has been happening in Strasbourg for a looooooooong time…
You know what to do now…. No? Just click here.
Close to freezing temperatures in the morning… So here’s a bit of summer!
Watery Wednesday as usual, right here.
… 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.
The sky over Barcelona yesterday at lunch time, as blue as it gets. Skywatch Friday, right here!
Ice-skating on Plaza Catalunya…. Very controversial, as many many Barceloneses think that the 700.000 euros cost to operate it is a slap in the face of the 4.4 Mio unemployed in Spain. And the rising poverty and misery which goes with it, as unemployment benefits are very low in Spain, and hundreds of thousands don’t even get them anymore.
But it brings a smile to this little girl’s face.
Our World on Tuesday, and until Christmas.
As my health is ever so slowly, but steadily, improving, I did last Saturday what I’ve been willing to do for 3 years, without it ever coming to it: I went to visit the old Poblenou cemetery.
Well, it is a beautiful place, the mausoleums are an open air museum. Recognized many names of the Barcelona bourgeoisie.
But… Why is this door open/broken???
I couldn’t resist taking a photo, of course, and posting it for Louis la Vache’s excellent Monday Doorways meme.
And of course, being me, I just had to photoshop it a bit!
Here is some more info.
As the weather is very nice, 20 degrees (68 F), sun, I went to a short walk in the park, with my camera.
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. ~George Elliot
Skywatch Friday, right here.
Don’t you sometimes wish you could just go fishing, instead of going to work or to school?
Watery Wednesday, right here.
Linguini with lobster and cherry tomatoes.
What nice things did you eat lately?
Our World Tuesday, right here.
Saw this nice door today, and I thought that would be just perfect for Monday Doorways!
Some of you wanted an update on yesterday’s general elections in Spain. Well, Mr Mariano Rajoy will be the next prime minister, his party, the Popular (or populist) Party having won the absolute majority. The socialists are out.
What I think of it? 1 winner, 46 million losers. We’re the next Greece.
Seems the weather is changing in the mountains, high up at the catalan-french border. I haven’t heard about snow yet, but when it will be here, this will be the best way moving around.
This is, as every friday, for Skywatch Friday.
Still stuck at home, with a big stock of watery photos I’ve used before. So, let’s do a wee trip over to the very western part of Europe, the strikingly beautiful Connemarra, in Ireland, our old and beloved home. More photos from all around the world right here.
Yet another photo from our archives, a door, Sanctuary of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal.
More magnificent doors here.
One more archive photo, from an earlier trip to Lisbon, Portugal. The bridge leading to the Torre de Belem, an old watchtower on the Tagus river. Wanna see more bridges? Check out Louis La Vache’s San Francisco blog, right here!
I am stuck at home for a while, so here is one more archive photo, the entrance of the Caixaforum museum of modern art.
This is for Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.
None other than Mister Christopher Columbus himself, who graciously accepted to pose for Skywatch Friday. Very nice of him. Mille grazie, Signore Colombo! Did anybody tell you that you’re looking towards Italy? America is right behind you.
And happy 11.11.11 to everybody!!! Will think of you all at eleven minutes past eleven.
Other news. I have been struggling with my health lately, and my good doctor just gave me 3 1/2 weeks of forced holidays. Therefore I will finally browze your blogs again, whenever I’ll be feeling better.
(Video removed as it seemed to have a virus attached)
Behind the greenery.
Please check all the lovely watery photos for this wednesday, here.
OK, a few ‘trade secrets’. I took 3 photos, with a 0,7 bracket (with 0,7 dioptries difference between each photo). Ideally, these photos should be taken with your camera on a tripod, but it works if you’re really steady.
Passed the photos through a HDR program, Photomatix Pro, version 4.1. Tonemapped it, changed it into black and white using Picasa, worked a bit with saturation and shades. Et voila!
Lots of cats living wild on Montjuic Hill. And they need to drink as well. Spotted this one on a very warm and sunny afternoon, last sunday, just a few meters away from the Magic Fountain. A fine pussycat for a fine Watery Wednesday!
Weather update: rain rain rain, for the next couple of days. Which is a very good thing, as the catalan water reserves are very depleted after 6 months of quasi rainless summer.
Autumn has finally arrived. Guess it is the end of the leisurely cruises on the little lake in Ciutadella Park for this year. It is actually raining (Yipeeeee!!!) while I write this.
For more photos on the Our World Tuesday weekly meme, click here.
Our friend Robert in Athens had a very interesting post yesterday about his evolution as a blogger. I will come back to this soon, but let’s say for today that when I started this adventure 2 1/2 years ago, I remember several (many…) comments about the color riot in this blog.
Part of my evolution lately has been a switchover to some more advanced techniques (well, advanced for me anyway), like HDR, 360 degrees photos and panoramas. And I literally fell in love with the challenge of black and white (might actually start a new B and W one of these days, time permitting). So, here is the other version of the photo above. Hope you like it.
A black and white view from the Avenida Maria Cristina, the fairgrounds, the venitian towers, the MNAC (catalan national art musuem) and the Olympic Torch, dating back to 1992.
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.
I usually publish a water picture of some kiNd on wedNesdays, for 2sweetNsaxy’s Watery WedNesday meme. Let’s chaNge, and do somethiNg else as well this week. So there is a meme called ABC Wednesday, a photo a week ceNtered arouNd a letter. This week the letter N.
So let me show you this very Nice fouNtaiN in Ciutadella Park, Near the Arc de Triomf, a paNoramic view.
Only 2 months and 8 days left till Boxing Day!
Our World Tuesday, right here!
On a more serious note, it was a lucky day for a young guy in Israel as well. Welcome home, Gilad!
There are 4 international airports in Catalunya, Barcelona, Girona, Reus and Lleida. BCN airport, with it’s huge and brand new second terminal, is one of the big hubs in southern Europe. And that makes for magnificent skies! Very good for Skywatch Friday!
Whilst watching the Barcelona Airshow last week, saw this guy just passing by.
The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (also known by its acronym, CCCB) is one of the most visited exhibition and arts centres in Barcelona.
Situated in the Raval district, about 3 minutes walking distance from where we live, the Centre’s core theme is the city and urban culture. Its success is based on quality, its rather eclectic approach, attention to a broad cross section of publics and the unique way it addresses issues with the aim of linking the academic world with creative processes and citizens in general. The CCCB organizes and produces exhibitions, debates, festivals and concerts; programmes film cycles, courses and lectures; encourages creation using new technologies and languages, explores and promotes the ongoing fusion of languages and different genres, and takes in-house productions to other national and international arts centres, museums and institutions. The underlying aim of these activities is to generate debate, thinking and reflection on the theme of the city and public space, and other issues that define current affairs. The CCCB is also an open space for creators, associations and freelance programmers with whom it has forged links over the years.
The CCCB offers the public access to part of its holdings, a manifestation of its activities in the form of a multimedia archive comprising materials created by the Centre during its years of activity. A wide variety of materials (documents, publications, digital files, audiovisuals, etc.) on key themes of contemporary culture and society are available for consultation in the CCCB ARCHIVE, which is constantly updated. Also available for public consultation is the Centre’s XCÈNTRIC ARCHIVE, a digital archive of experimental and documentary film, comprising over 700 titles related to its programme “Xcèntric. The CCCB’s Cinema”.
Thank you, Wiki. And here is a kind of 3D panorama of the fabulous courtyard of the same CCCB, one I made earlier, as they say on TV cooking programs.
For those interested, I used a (free) program called Photosynth. It’s very easy to use, and I absolutely love it!!! You’ll find it here.
OK. This post is for James’s Weekend Reflection meme. You’ll find it here!
Over the roofs of the Eixample…
Skywatch Friday, click here.
Photo courtesy of Mandy, reworked by Rob.
We got this extremely nice panorama-making program the other day. Here is one we did last sunday. 11 photos stitched together… Very happy about the result!!!
Watery Wednesday, have a look!
Just before arriving at my favorite beach, there is this skating ground/place. As I was a bit early for the airshow on sunday, I decided to risk my life, and got a bit closer to the action. This is what came out, some guy almost landing in the bold spot on top of my head! Was close!
This for Our World Tuesday. Have a look!
Aaaaahhh…. Second post for today, as I totally forgot about the theme day, as usual. Must be getting old.
So, mystery object. What is it, you will ask… Have a look:
It is a lover’s park bench! Any volunteers for sitting down on it?
Let’s hope the link below will work this month!
Yes, April 2011 in Barcelona. The guy is sharpening knives and scissors with the machine on the back of his bike, in Gracia.
My Weekend in Black and White.
The television emitter in the Collserola hills behind Barcelona, one nice summer evening. Summer is officially over, but we had 28 degrees centigrade today, low 80es in other countries. Going to the beach tomorrow.
Skywatch Friday, as usual, you should really click here!
One of the great things to do here…
This is for the weekly Watery Wednesday meme. Click here!
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!
A nice and quiet sky above Barcelona a few days ago.
Yesterday was not only the first day of autumn but also the official start of the yearly Merce festival. La Mercè is the annual festival (festa major in Catalan) of the city of Barcelona. It has been an official city holiday since 1871, when the local government first organized a program of special activities to observe the Roman Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, La Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Catalan. Although the actual feast day is September 24, the festivities begin a few days beforehand.
So, this weekend, big party! Hoping to see and to hear some good music, some major fireworks, giants, devils, human towers, Swan Lake… on a lake (yep), etc. Will show you all this, of course.
Meanwhile, this photo above is for the weekly Skywatch Friday meme. Click right here to see more about it!
Leaving Barcelona…. for about 90 minutes.
This is for the Watery Wednesday meme. Click here to see more fabulous watery photos!
Second post about the Museum of Ideas and Inventions. This is a dunk-mug. Fabulous!
The sun is moving, your plants don’t get enough light? This is the solution!
Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Thanks, Otis, you’re still the best!
Watery Wednesday, the place to be!
That’s the way it’s done, boys!
Incidentally, I learned yesterday that in what once was one of the biggest fishing port in the Med, there are only 45 working fishing boats left in Barcelona, barely making a living, and often coming back empty. Shame.
Our World Tuesday,right now, right here!
The sky, one evening above the roofs of the square just behind your house.
This is for Skywatch Friday, as usual.
Something else. I came upon a website today, offering one of my photos to download. I don’t actually mind, except that they never asked. My photos, and yours as well, are protected by copyright.
So I wrote them. I haven’t received an answer yet. If they do not answer within a decent amount of time, and if they don’t remove my photo, I will name and shame them.
So, whoever you are, if you want to use one or several photos on this blog, please feel free. BUT PLEASE ASK ME BEFORE YOU DO IT!!! If you don’t, it’s a criminal offense, and I will need to take legal steps. This is my work of love, not yours!