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!