The sun is going down over Catalunya.
Due to an ever increasing amount of work and other obligations, and a low level of energy, I am not able to browse a lot of blogs at the moment. As it is going to get even worse from September onwards, I might actually be reduced to curtail my own posts to 2 or 3 a week. Come as it may, but I promise you quality!
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.
Pudding… A restaurant with a difference. And an internet cafe.
Our World Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of Mandy
Seagulls. Plenty of them around. Definitely part of our world!
I have very little time at the moment, can’t browse your blogs as much as I would like to. Will be back soon-ish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our beautiful, very sweet and very talkative neighbor, Pippa.
To see more photos for this weekly meme, please click 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.
Linguini with lobster and cherry tomatoes.
What nice things did you eat lately?
Our World Tuesday, right here.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
It is one of those strange times in the year when summer is more or less over, when people are leaving in droves, filling planes and ships to go back to their real lives. But still, the beaches are still so incredibly packed, the crowds are still so numerous. Sometimes we wish we’d not be living in a 3 Mio people town.
Anyway, if you’re just back from holidays, or if you’re about to going back, have a safe return to real life.
School started again today. And we had a little rain for an hour to celebrate, woey-hey! Been a while!
This is for the second avatar of My World Tuesday, renamed Our World Tuesday, after the passing of it’s founder.
Had some visitors yesterday, officials from the wax museum on planet Spielberg Beta 3 Omicron… Welcome, strangers, this is my world!
Photo courtesy of Mandy
Curious name for this hotel in the Raval indeed.
Click here to see more of 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?
Message to Dave in Costa Rica/Arizona: don’t touch these bikes! lol
And yes, once again, this is My World Tuesday!
I am a big fan of the very lovely balconies we have here in Barcelona! Here is one more, in the Born, near Santa Maria del Mar.
My World Tuesday. Check what my blogmates did, it’s worth the trip!
Catalunya is a land full of wonderful doors and gates. Just have a look around you, and you’ll find one.
Our friend Louis la Vache, aka our coffee man in Frisco, started a little meme about this theme. Don’t miss it!
This, of course is my world on Tuesday. Want to know more? It’s right here!
Someone forgot his sandals? Shoe shop? A beach feature???
No! Just a decoration on the wall of a really nice Mexican restaurant in town! Why not.
This is for My World Tuesday.
Now and then, in the big city (and BCN has approximately 2Mio. inhabitants), you can find a spot where you could imagine you’re millions of miles away.
This said, to accentuate this feeling unwittingly, I was standing with both feet in an anthill when I took this picture on Sunday. I moved out quite fast!
This is My World on Tuesday, full of ants and magic places.
Yet another beastie roaming our streets in full daylight, the Foxy Van! Art assault, vandalism, made on purpose… Who knows?
Other beasties and stuff roaming our fair Worlds on Tuesday, right here.
Oops, I almost forgot… This post also celebrates this blog here. I started it on May 10th, 2009. A work of love! This is the 722nd post, I missed a few days at the end of June, early July last year, being hospitalized for a week.
722 posts, many more photos (yeah, I know, the one photo a day rule…). And we made so many friends! We even met some of you, and realized, you’re really very nice people!!! More to come, from Greece this time…
424, the number of followers so far
???, the number of visitors (who cares), from pretty much every country on Earth, including Vatican City (who might it be?)
8150, number of comments as I write this
But, the most important number is…
And the most important name is….
Couldn’t have done it without you, your love, your patience.
For a lot of very ‘good’ reasons, I’m not allowed this kind of food anymore, I am suppose to eat healthy food, salads and stuff, no salt, no this, no that. But I love it!!! So, this is a bit of nostalgia… Passed delights… OK, let’s have a raw carrot for dinner!
This is my World on Tuesday. Wednesday, Thursday, and all the other days as well.
Monday afternoon in Sitges.
This is My World Tuesday. Please click here to see more.
Poor little guy, she’s ignoring you!
On the poster, it says: you still think animals don’t love?
My World (full of gorillas in love) Tuesday. Here.
2 proud Barceloneses doing their job very well!
This is for My World Tuesday. Check it out!
Most of you bloggers have probably been through this… What to post today? Well, here I am, tired from the weekend, tired from this Monday, coming home, feeding the cat, cleaning his litter, checking my mail, posting on my blog. But what???
One cup of tea later, here is the result: some flowers from one of the florists on the Ramblas. La solution de facilite, as we say in french. Hope you’ll enjoy them. I couldn’t think of anything better.
And oh yeah, as we live nearby, this is for My World Tuesday.
A too rare glimpse of Barcelona, around 4.45 PM last Saturday, just before landing at Prat airport. The strange reflections in the water come from the sun playing on the glass walls of the W hotel, aka the sail, la vela. Click on the picture to see it bigger, it is worth it!
This is for My World Tuesday (yes, this is our world!). Please click here to see much more!
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!
…and there is also this slightly surreal shoe shop in the Barri Gotic. Selling shoes. Or should I say: selling one shoe, in many different colors and materials.
This is for My World Tuesday. Please click here to see other participant’s worlds in pictures.