Barcelona, a photo a day

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Parque Guell, the entrance

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Parque Guell

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No, no moon photo today, but one from Parque Guell, which used to be free, but isn’t anymore. Oh well, it is really, I mean really, worth a visit.


A weekend reflection

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Color, or black and white? Why choose, if you can have both!
More weekend reflections right here!


Horta

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Part of the Horta park, north Barcelona. One of my favorite places in town! There is even a maze, so you can… get lost!


Music in the Park

A musician in the Parque Guell. This park, a creation of Gaudi, used to be free, but not anymore. It is definitely worth a visit, you can book here.


Silent majesty

I love Ciutadella park , specially in autumn. Makes me want to paint it.


Details…

… are so often more important than the whole picture. In this case, the entrance to the maze in Horta.


Birds of all feathers…

… will love this luxury bird penthouse!

I’d be very curious to know the name of this very shiny tree, if someone knows it!


Parque Joan Miro

An oasis in Barcelona city center, the Joan Miro park, just next to the former bullring, now a trendy shopping mall.


Into the blue…

Barcelona has a very fine zoological garden, inside Ciutadella park. Many people specially come to see the dolphins dancing.

Kim’s Water World Wednesday meme is here.


Monochrome 4

The park in Horta. Once again, the weekend is black and white!


From a bird’s view…

Probably the nicest bird house I’ve ever seen.


Ciutadella park, the winter garden

Oh the joys of HDR…


Monthly theme day: cobblestones

 
As you might or not know, the CDPB portal has been hacked.  But fortunately, you can still participate at the monthly theme day, thanks to a temporary blog set up specially for this occasion. Just link your post – not your blog! – to http://cdpbthemeday.blogspot.com.au/. Et voila! And of course, do the Linky thing, same as for other memes. No worries, it’s easy!
As for the portal, it’s been worked on, but it might take a while as it is a massive job to rebuild it. Thanks to those doing it, and a big go to hell to the hacker/s.
And now, let’s have a ball!
As I was wondering about the cobble in cobblestones, I checked it out. Here is what Wiki has to say:Cobblestones are stones that were frequently used in the pavement of early streets. “Cobblestone” is derived from the very old English word “cob”, which had a wide range of meanings, one of which was “rounded lump” with overtones of large size. “Cobble”, which appeared in the 15th century, simply added the diminutive suffix “le” to “cob”, and meant a small stone rounded by the flow of water; essentially, a large pebble. It was these smooth “cobbles”, gathered from stream beds, that paved the first “cobblestone” streets.
Widely used in Barcelona last Thursday to smash shop windows.


Skywatch Friday in Ciutadella Park

Beautiful skies this day. Not so blue right now, spring started with the first rain in months.

Skywatch Friday, right here.


The pelican and the fox

One of the nicer fountains in Ciutadella Park.


Horta: the girls

On October 18th of the year 1802, Don Juan Antonio Desvalls y de Ardena, Marquis of Lupia and Alfarras, owner of this country house with gardens, had the pleasure to welcome the royal persons, Don Carlos IV and Dona Maria Luisa of Bourbon, king and queen of Spain, the infants Don Carlos and Don Francisco de Palla, Don Luis the First, king of Etruria, and the Infant of Spain, Don Antonio Pasqual.

It was quite a party! And these were the girls they were all looking at!


Weekend reflections in Horta

Yet another view of the gardens in Horta.

Good shot for Weekend Reflections! And for Skywatch Friday as well.


Let’s get lost!

That’s what I told my wife, and that’s what we did when we entered the maze. Right, where’s the exit then???

Map of the labyrinth in the Parc del Laberint d’Horta in Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). 1: Entrance, 2: Sculpture of Eros, 3: Exit, 4: Nymph Echo’s grotto, 5: Temple of Danaë, 6: Temple of Ariadne, 7: Relief of Deucalion and Pyrrha, 8: Relief of two female figures (unknown meaning), 9: Place of the Sundial.


Watery Wednesday 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.


Shame on us!!!

Sooo…. After 3 1/2 years in Barcelona, we finally went to the famed maze and garden in Horta. And it immediately became our favorite place in town! Will show you much more in the next few days. For today, suffice to say that it is a right royal place!

And if anyone knows how to get rid of the halo in HDR, please let me know?


The kiss

Whilst having a good photo shoot in the north of Barcelona today, on our first really warm day of the year (T shirt weather, my friends!!!), I spotted this couple, kissing in the sun. Now, I don’t usually intrude on people’s privacy, but… If they thought they were alone, they were wrong! Hundreds of people around. Anyway, guys, thanks for the photo!


Black and White Weekend Reflections

Some university buildings in the Raval. James’s weekly Weekend Reflections meme is right here! And Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White, here.


Watery Wednesday

The Debod temple park in Madrid, for Watery Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Mandy.


It’s the weekend!

As the weather is very nice, 20 degrees (68 F), sun, I went to a short walk in the park, with my camera.

Please click here to see more black and white pictures, and here to see James’s Weekend Reflections.


Painting…

As you all notices, I like experimenting (well ok: playing around) with my photos. The result is never really what I expected, sometimes good, sometimes better, sometimes not good, sometimes really bad. But then, sometimes, photography can be like painting… with a little sun glare on my lense.


Merce kids

Well, this needs an explanation, I suppose. 6 weeks ago, we celebrated Our Lady of Mercy, better known here as la Merce. 4 days, big celebration, music, fireworks, hundreds of items on the program.

This is the official pooster for the celebration, projected from above.  And I guess when you’re a 3-5 years old, it’s a lot of fun to walk on the faces in the poster, and to play with the light and the colors. As I am a serious adult, I didn’t. But gosh, I wish I had!

Having very little time, and even less energy at the moment. Will be back browzing your blogs as soon as I can.


L’Hivernacle

In Ciutadella Park, between the Zoological and the Geology museum stands this building called the Hivernacle, or winter glasshouse. It was designed by Josep Amargós in 1884. The structure is an excellent example of the iron and glass based architecture from the same period that saw the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

Underneath, a fish-eye sight of the side of the Hivernacle.


Our World on Tuesday

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.


Watery ABC WedNesday

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.


Lucky post 888

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!


The secret garden

Inside Ciutadella Park, there are the Umbracles, or glass houses. One of them is closed, you can just peek through the wooden bars.
So I did. And this is what I found: a well maintained secret garden.

The same photo, activated. http://photosynth.net/embed.aspx?cid=b40e5996-550f-4c03-8570-bf1f9ae1b9bf&delayLoad=true&slideShowPlaying=false


In the Park

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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!


Watery Wednesday 148

The boating lake in Ciutadella Park, for Watery Wednesday, in it’s 148th edition.


Chasing the dragon…

… in Parque Guell.
I’m away for the weekend, this is an automatic post.


Urban Jungle

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.


Watery Wednesday

A seagull, taking the waters in Ciutadella Park, with his slightly more water-shy mate below.

Watery Wednesday again! Just click right here to see more!


Watery Wednesday

Came across, once again some bubble makers, some families with their kids, in Ciutadella Park. Would have loved blowing a giant bubble myself!

As usual, this is for Watery Wednesday. Come on, let yourself go, and just click!


Scenic Sunday

It is now nice enough here for a bit of boating on the small lake in Ciutadella Park.
This is for Scenic Sunday. Click here to see more!


Springtime!

Happy spring everybody! And if you happen to be in Barcelona, the parks are absolutely beautiful, right now!


Watery Wednesday 125

A blue-eyed duck in Ciutadella Park. Watery Wednesday nr 125. Please click here, and… you’ll see!


Wild thing

One of the cats living off the land in Ciutadella park. The way they move is quite remarkable, more like larger feline than house cats.


Watery Wednesday 109

Mangroves (I suppose) growing in the lake in Ciutadella Park.

This is for Watery Wednesday 109. Please click right here and right now to see more wonderful pictures full of water!

And once again, sorry about not browsing many of your blogs lately,  as I am extremely tired at the moment.


?

Does anyone know this plant/flower? Please let me know! Thanks!

UPDATE: thanks for your answers, it is ricinus. Had heard of it, but I didn’t know it was so beautiful.


Watery Wednesday 108

Can you understand why Ciutadella Park is one of my favorite places in Barcelona?

This is for Watery Wednesday 108. Please click right here, right now, to see more wonderful photos!


29/S

Today, September 29th, general strike in Spain and in many other European countries. Here is this morning’s BBC article about it:

The Spanish government has approved an austerity budget for 2011 which includes a tax rise for the rich and 8% spending cuts.
Madrid has promised European counterparts to cut its deficit to 6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) next year, from 11.1% last year.
Government workers face a pay cut of 5%, starting in June, and salaries will then be frozen for 2011.
A tax rise of 1% will be applied to personal income above 120,000 euros.
Smaller savings include an end to a 2,500-euro cash payout for new mothers, known as “baby cheques”.
Unemployment has more than doubled – to about 20% – since 2007.

Although sympathizing with the strikers, this blog is open for business. So, here is today’s Watery Wednesday post. Ciutadella Park, our magnificent fountain

As usual, click here to see more photos for this Watery Wednesday nr 107.


Gaudi!

As my health is quite poor at the moment (gonna be fixed soon!), haven’t been out for a photoshoot in ages. Therefore, thanks to the guy or girl who invented the notion of archives!!!

So… This is just another of Gaudi’s amazing mosaics, to be found in Parque Guell.


Watery Wednesday nr 91

It is raining, which means that we have our very own watery wednesday here in Barcelona.

Photo taken in Parque Guell, A small fountain near the entrance, designed by Gaudi.

Please click here to see many more nice and watery photos!


Sunday Bridges: as Gaudi saw it…

Monsieur Louis la Vache has a thing about bridges. After being invited to join his meme, I thought: hmmm… Bridges in BCN??? Very few of them around.
Then I started looking… And you know what? I found some bridges!

Here is a particularly fancy one, created by none other than Antonio Gaudi (Barcelona’s architectural god) himself. It is situated in Parque Guell, and as you see, you can even have a picnic underneath!

We have been asked several times how we do it. Well…
First, the material. Mandy uses an old Fuji S3500, 4 MP. Rob uses mostly SLDR, a Sony @230, 10 MP, with several lenses, a Sony 17-55 mm, another Sony 55-200, and a 10 years old analogic 75-300 mm Minolta lens, with is usable on a SLDR and becomes a very nice digital 112 to 450 mm zoom (see the moon photos, for example).

Almost none of our photos are SOOC, straight out of the camera. We use a lot of enhancement programs, like GIMP, Artizen, some versions of Photoshop, Paint.net, Picassa, Raw Therapee, etc. We will go very soon into HDR, once we have a good handle on it (have a look at this one!).

We do not ‘cheat’, we simply think that these tools are really good, they do a lot to improve the quality of what we do. They are available, so we use them.

All we hope to do is a good quality blog, with good quality photos, a bit a humor now and then. And we truly hope you enjoy our… work? No, it is and will always be a hobby.

On the very first place in what we try to do is the intense satisfaction of creating a thing of beauty. This makes us happy, and that’s all we want.

Words, words words. Let us stop them and just enjoy some more bridge photos, here .


Boating in the park

The nice weather is finally back, after 2 horrendous weeks. So, let’s go boating!

 

 

Map picture

Earth Day celebrations in Barcelona


Skywatch Friday: Fire

Sky on fire over Ciutadella Park.

This is for Skywatch Friday, season 4, episode 41. To see more photos of my fellow participants, please click here.


I believe I can fly…

I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meanin’ of true love
I’m leanin’ on the everlasting arms

If I can see it then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly, I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

See I was on the verge of breakin’ down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me oh

If I can see it then I can be it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me runnin’ through that open door
I believe I can fly, I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

Hey ‘cuz I believe in me
If I can see it then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me runnin’ through that open door
I believe I can fly, I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

Hey if I just spread my wings
I can fly
I can fly
I can fly, hey
If I just spread my wings
I can fly
Fly eye, eye

R KELLY


You can’t top the Lindy Hop!

One of the nicer things to do here on a grey sunday is to swing. Everyday 1st and 3rd sunday of the month, a big gang of aficionados gather at the bandstand at the entrance of Ciutadella Park, near the fountain, for 2 hours of swing, Charleston, bop, and of course, the Lindy Hop.

And if it gets too crowded in the bandstand, you can always do it just outside!

Want to know more? Click here!
And there are many schools where you can learn it!


Sundown

Sundown over Ciutadella Park


Zoological museum

Let’s stay in the Ciutadella area a little longer.
Among other nice buildings in the Park, there is the zoological museum. And you can have an idea of the content of the museum even before entering it!

Oh yes, I just added the possibility to either send a free ecard of our pictures, or even to buy some prints! Don’t hesitate!


A question for today

Question: what do you get if you combine yesterday’s and today’s picture?
Yes! It is

Duck a l’Orange

INGREDIENTS

2 Duck Legs or Breasts (with Skin left on)
Feshly ground Salt & Pepper
1 oz (25g) Butter

For the Orange Sauce…
1 Large Orange
4 fluid oz (100ml) French Red Wine
4 fluid oz (100ml) Fresh Orange Juice
2 fluid oz (50ml) Duck or Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon of Honey or Brown Sugar

METHOD

Zest* the Orange Skin and set aside the thin strips of Peel. Remove as much of the Pith as possible from the Orange. Break into Orange Segments and set aside.

Clean the Duck Legs or Breasts under cold water and pat dry with Kitchen Towels. Score the Duck Legs or Breasts skin with a sharp knife and then season well with Salt & Pepper.

Heat the Butter in a large Frying Pan until frothing, but do not allow to burn.

Place the Duck Legs or Breasts in the pan and brown nicely on both sidess (2 or 3 minutes).

Once browned place aside on a plate and cover with Tin Foil to keep warm.

Spoon out most of the Duck / Butter fat from the Frying Pan. Add the Red Wine, Orange Juice, Honey, Duck or Chicken Stock, the Orange segments & and some of the Orange Peel. Reduce the sauce for a couple of minutes, stiring often.

To serve place a Duck Leg or Breast on each plate, pour over the Orange Sauce and sprinkle with the remaing Orange Peel.

Serves 2 as a Main Meal.

And a happy St Patrick’s day to all Irish and assimilated!!!

Big

Should you go for a walk through Ciutadella Park, you will come upon this friendly creature, grazing in the shade. No, it is not a tame elephant, it is a mammoth. Built there for the 1882 Universal Exhibition.

Lately, the mammoth was feeling a bit down. So, that’s me, always helpful, blowing it up again. He felt much better afterwards.


Stones

 
After some tiles, some wood, here are some stones, in the vivid imagination of Antonio Gaudi.
These are some of the walkways and corridors in the Parque Guell. And no, I wasn’t drunk with some discounted minnesotan wine when I took the first photo!


Thankful Dragon

For the invisible man we posted yesterday, it must be quite easy during summer: I suppose he just takes his clothes off, puts on some suncream, and keeps the hat, supposing, of course, that he really is invisible. If he isn’t, no big problem: enough people roam the streets totally naked in the summer in Barcelona. Legally.
Must be much more difficult for this Dragon Man, in his very fancy, and seemingly very hot costume.

And a warm welcome to Regina from Kilauea, Hawaii, our 250th follower!

Il fait 13-14 degres en ce moment, voici le meilleur moyen de rester chaud: se deguiser en dragon. Mais le pauvre va souffrir cet ete! Pour l’homme invisible d’hier, c’est beaucoup plus facile quand il fait tres chaud: il lui suffira d’enlever ses vetements et de garder le chapeau. En supposant bien sur qu’il soit vraiment invisible… S’il ne l’est pas, ce n’est pas tres grave, beaucoup de personnes totalement nues dans les rues de notre bonne ville en ete, tout a fait legalement…

Invisible?

Yes, we saw him, with our own eyes! In the Parque Guell!


Gaudi’s pet

I have a couple of days off, the weather today is awesome, so we decided to go to Parque Guell, on a photo shoot. Parque Guell, or Guell’s park, was built between 1900 and 1914 by Antonio Gaudi, and named after Count Eusebi Guell, Gaudi’s patron. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Well, the park is a fantastic place. We took over 230 photos, so we do have plenty to show you, a bit later.

Let’s start with the dragon, aka the lizard, aka the thing. You’ll find his picture in absolutely every single guide book about Barcelona. I was a bit reticent showing it earlier, as I didn’t really want this blog to be just another tourist thing. But it didn’t happen, so here it is.

You’ll almost have to queue to get a picture of the dragon alone, as EVERYBODY wants to be on a picture with it. Anyway, 10 minutes, and a bit a cropping to get to this. Enjoy!
Much more about the park in the next few days, or here, as soon as I choose and post something.

Tres beau temps aujourd’hui, nous sommes donc alles au Parque Guell, voir la bete de Gaudi. La bete, ou plutot le dragon, est partie d’une fontaine a l’entree du parc, et il faut vraiment faire la queue pour pouvoir prendre sa photo seul: tout le monde veut SA photo avec le dragon.
Bref, 10 minutes et un peu de rafistolage photographique plus tard, voici le resultat.
Nous avons pris beaucoup de photos, je vous montrerai donc beaucoup plus du parc dans les prochains jours. Si vous ne pouvez pas attendre, cliquez simplement ici dans quelques heures!

Parrots, finally!

There are quite a lot of these green parrots living free in Barcelona, but they are very shy, and therefore really hard to catch on camera. This afternoon, just below Montjuic Castle, I came across this little gang and, oh joy, they weren’t shy at all. I managed to go very close without them flying away. They are as big as a common pigeon, to give you an idea of their size.


Tea, anyone?


It is getting really hot here now, not a day under 30 degrees anymore. I lived in the Eastern Med for quite a while, in several countries, and I always thought that tea, chai, is the best drink to fight the heat off. So, tea, anyone?


Gaudi


Another picture from Parque Guell. Gaudi made several of these round tile things, on ceilings. Quite amazing.
By the way, in Parque Guell, you will also find the longuest park bench in the world, over 800 meters, or half a mile, entirely covered with multicolored tiles, snaking it’s way through the park. I hope being able to post something about the bench soon.


Park Guell


No, this is not a gingerbread house!
It is one of 2 buildings at the entrance to Parque Guell, one of Barcelona’s 8 World Heritage Sites.

Designed and built from 1900 to 1914 by the Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi (of Sagrada Familia fame), and named after Gaudi’s friend, benefactor and sponsor Count Eusebi Guell, it was originally meant as a commercial housing estateWould love to live in that kind of estate, Gaudi or Hundertwasser, doesn‘t matter!

To know more about it, please check here.

Nowadays, you can find the park‘s Gaudi souvenir shop in here, prosaically.

Anyway, enjoy the view. And be aware that it is a hard climb, should you want to go there! And bring your own drinks, as the 2 or 3 bars in here will ruin you!


Colors

First and foremost: thanks again for all your birthday wishes!!! Love it!

I took this picture a few months back, in Ciutadella Park. I loved the sheer elegance of the gesture! And what better way to celebrate the first summer day than with… colors!


Summer is almost here, in the northern hemisphere anyway. It’s already quite hot, 30 degrees most days now. There are still a lot of flowers around, and I wonder how long they will survive in the coming heat. Scientists say that summer 2009 will be an average 1,5 degrees hotter, whatever this means.
Heat explains some of the habits here. Many shops and offices are closed from 2 to 5 in the afternoon: siesta time. And dinner does not usually start before 9 PM, when the heat abates a little.
Today is my birthday, after me: the summer! Happy summer, everybody!

21/06/09: thanks for all your birthday wishes! Appreciate it!


Parque de la Ciutadella

A bit of history… This is the Ciutadella Park. Formerly a part of the Barcelona Citadel, the grounds were given to the city in 1869. The Park hosted the Universal Exhibition in 1888.
Today, you can find here 3 museums, the Parliament of Catalunya, the zoo, a military church, a giant mammoth near the Museum of Natural History, a boating lake, and a bandstand where you can find every sunday dozens of couples dancing the swing. And it’s just 5 minutes from the nearest beach!
It is the green lung of Barcelona, and a wonderful place to spend a few hours!


After deciding to join the Daily Photo idea, well, this is my first posting about where I live now, the beautiful city of Barcelona.
This was taken in a park on the Avenida Icaria, in the area known as Poblenou. Poblenou was an industrial area, and was totally transformed in time for the Olympic Games in 1992. Lots of art everywhere, some a bit weirder than others. Well, I like this statue.