Barcelona, a photo a day


Port Vell


Many ways to see the old port.


What is your favorite?


Or maybe the original, SOOC?


Drama on the high sea


This is the Sorrento, italian registered ferry, entering the Port Vell in BCN. He was doing the route Barcelona-Menorca. I used to see him every day at around 8 PM, from my office at the World Trade Center.
The Sorrento caught fire last night, between Palma de Mallorca and Valencia (other route, other markings), and sank this morning. All 156 passengers and crew were fortunately evacuated on time, nobody was hurt.


Photo from the El Periodico news website.

Port Vell


Another view of Port Vell, the old port. You might have noticed: I LOVE BOATS!!!

More on my new website, paintings with my camera!




Looks sometimes quite ‘hitchcocky’ in the Port Vell area… Be afraid, be very afraid of the white bombs!

Alien abduction in Barcelona!

Walking along the Olympic port the other, I saw this dinghy heading out very fast to what seemed to be a group of stranded windsurfs. But…


They went, they saw (what?), they came back. Don’t know what was happening there, why those windsurfs were left alone in the water… An alien abduction??? A local section of the Bermuda triangle??? Some people from Star Trek having been beamed up by Scotty after a bit of fun in the water???

Marina and the big fish

Scorching sunshine, heat, makes you want to sail away…

Ritter Johann von Österreich’s Real

Ritter Johann von Österreich, aka Don Juan de Austria, in English John of Austria, an illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, had this gem built here, in the Barcelona Drassanes shipyards. With its 60 meters lenght, the Real was the largest galley of its time, and Don Juan’s flagship in the battle of Lepanto, in 1571, when a fleet of the Holy League, an alliance of Christian powers of the Mediterranean, decisively defeated an Ottoman fleet under Grand Admiral  Müezzinzade Ali Pasha.
In 1971, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the battle, a replica of La Real was built and displayed in the Museu Marítim in Barcelona where it can be viewed today. The ship was 60 m long and 6.2 m wide, had two masts, and weighed 237 tons empty. It was equipped with three heavy and six light artillery pieces, was propelled by a total of 290 rowers and, in addition, carried some 400 sailors and soldiers at Lepanto. 50 men were posted on the upper deck of the forecastle, 50 on the midships ramp, another 50 each along the sides at the bow, 50 each on the skiff and oven platforms, 50 on the firing steps along the sides near the stern, and 50 more on the stern platform behind the huge battle flag. To help move and maneuvre the huge ship, it was pushed from the rear during the battle by two other galleys.
Befitting a royal flagship, it was luxuriously ornamented and painted in the red and gold colors of Spain. Its poop was elaborately carved and painted with numerous sculptures, bas-reliefs, paintings and other embellishments, most of them evoking religious and humanistic inspirational themes.

The painter

Remaining on this week’s maritime theme (wasn’t planned, just came out like this), here is the Horizon, out of Valetta, Malta. Needs a wee bit of painting, it seems. I wonder if the people underneath the painter are aware of his presence? One more of these ‘ invisible’ workers who make our life what it is.


We forget easily that Barcelona is still a working fishing port. Here is one of the rare remaining working boats.

Chinese new year, part 4: the photographer

Quite a few interesting stalls around, during the celebrations, all Chinese businesses in town, or Catalan companies doing business with China. One of the stalls was this one below, the photographer. One of the things they proposed was taking your photo in Chinese clothes.

Lolita y Encarnacion…

… are 2 of the Golondrinas (swallows) taking tourists around the port and along the coast. It is a very nice thing to do when you’re visiting Barcelona… and the sea is not too choppy!

Wasting time…

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
Wastin’ time

Thanks, Otis, you’re still the best!

Watery Wednesday, the place to be!


One early morning in the ferry-port…

National holiday here in Catalunya today, la Diada. Don’t you hate it when holidays fall on a weekend???!!!!

Black and white Port Vell

The Port Vell, or Old Port of Barcelona, with the ferry terminal and the World Trade Center.

The Weekend in Black and White. Check here to see more!

Watery Wednesday

Now there’s something else… The small port in the beautiful lebanese town of Sidon, or Saida, in Arabic. Had a fantastic lunch there, once.

Click here to see what my mates did for Watery Wednesday!

The cruise ships

Bringing up to 70.000 tourists a day to Barcelona…

Weekend Reflections 77

One evening, flying back to Barcelona… The sun reflecting from the W Hotel’s glass front onto the sea.

James, master and commander of the Weekend Reflection meme, will be very happy if you visit him, here!

Our thoughts are in Japan today.

Watery Wednesday

A very familiar scene in the Port Vell, the old port (which is actually the new one… Don’t ask). I think the fishes actually wait for for the tourists to feed them. Hello, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov!

This, of course if for Watery Wednesday.

Airy Barcelona!!!

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!


Other day, other boat. This is the 202 m long GNV Excellent, arriving from Genoa, Italy and en route to Tangiers, Morocco. Photo taken from the top of the Mirador de Colon, the Columbus Column.

It is a ferry, not a cruise ship,  going from places in Italy to Barcelona, Tunisia, Morocco and Malta. The Excellent can hold up to 2230 passengers, 760 cars and has 425 cabins.
Grandi Navi Veloci means Big Fast Boats in Italian. Which is a funny name in a way. Let us rename Porsche  ‘ Too Fast German Cars That Should Not be Driven by 18 Years Old’, and Nespresso ‘ Georges Clooney’s life and death’. Can you think of anything else?


Temperatures are going down, but we still have 27 to 29 degrees most days, low to middle 80es. Good enough weather to relax and watch the sea, the boats passing. We’re very good at this here. And you?

זמנים טובים

Watery Wednesday

You see it? Yep, that’s mine. Care for a little boat trip, darling?

¿Cuál es el nuestro, querido?

On va ou, cherie?

Wo soll’s hingehen,Schnuckipuss?

Querida, onde vamos?

This is for Watery Wednesday 104. Please click here to see more watery photos.

Post 475: going somewhere?

We are going to Lourdes next week (not by boat, as it is a mountain town). Are you going somewhere nice in the near future?

Vamos a Lourdes la semana próxima (no en barco, pues es una ciudad de la montaña). ¿Usted va en alguno puesto agradable en un futuro próximo?

Nous allons a Lourdes la semaine prochaine (pas en bateau, c’est dans les montagnes!). Et vous, où allez-vous ??

And welcome, bemvindo to Rui  FT Santos, a very excellent portuguese photographer, our 335th follower.

Watery Wednesday nr 96

OK. Let us assume for a moment that YOU (yes: YOU) are absolutely and utterly filthy rich (and we hope it is true). YOU obviously have several luxury super yachts all around the world, but can’t use all of them (what’s  the use for a yacht in Barcelona when YOU live in the Seychelles???).

Obviously, having spent an enormous amount of money on your toy, YOU don’t want it to get dusty. So, this is the ideal solution for every yacht-owning housewife: a dust cover, duh!!!

The wonderful world of Watery Wednesday! Don’t know it yet, have a look! Know it already? Have a look anyway!

Sunday Bridges numero seize (nr 16)

This is a pedestrian passage in the Port Vell, the old port, crossing the Marina to reach the Maremagnum shoppig mall area. Part of this passage is a turning bridge, to allow all the leisure yachts to leave or enter the port.

This is for Louis La Vache’s Sunday Bridges. Click right HERE to see more.

I still have very little energy (even turning around in bed makes me tired), so I can’t browse your sensational blogs at the moment, and I really miss it! Will be back asap, on a really slow burner.


Barceloneta, or little Barcelona.

La Barceloneta is a neighborhood in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona. The neighborhood was constructed during the 18th century for the residents of the Ribera neighborhood who had been displaced by the construction of the Ciudadela of Barcelona. The neighborhood is roughly triangular, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Muelle de España of Port Vell and the El Born neighborhood. The neighborhood is serviced by its own stop on the Barcelona metro. Torre Sant Sebastià is the terminus of the Port Vell Aerial Tramway (better known as the cable car) opened in 1931 and connecting Barceloneta with Montjuïc across Port Vell.

Barceloneta beach gained status as the best urban beach in the World and total third best beach in the World, according to the documentary film “Worlds Best Beaches” produced by Discovery Channel in 2005. And even Miguel Cervantes talks about it in book 2 of The man of la Mancha. Although I have to say, being almost incredibly crowded, it is not our favorite beach in Barcelona.

Going to Ibiza

The SF Alhucemas, en route to Ibiza, with up to 1000 passengers.

Watery Wednesday

Down at the old port.

This is for Watery Wednesday nr 87. Please click here, you’ll see many more beautiful pictures.


Reflections on the glass ceiling at the entrance of the Maremagnum shopping center, in the Port Vell.

This is for James’s Weekend Reflections. To see more photos, please click here


Watery Wednesday

Participating today at 2sweetnsaxy’s Watery Wednesday.
The Norwegian Jade in Barcelona. In front, the tiny one is a Golondrina, Spanish for swallow, one of the little boats you can take to go around the port, or along the Barcelona beaches.

To see more Watery Wednesday photos, please click here.

And by the way, hope you like the new ‘summer layout’!

Colon at night

The Christopher Columbus tower at the bottom of the Ramblas last night, in a tropical environment suited for him. His Spanish name is Cristobal Colon.

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Rock the boat

Seen this on some rocks in northern Catalunya.

 I will be away for a couple of days, taking my wife to one of the most romantic and beautiful places on earth. Therefore, automatic postings for the next few days .

The Santa Eulàlia

The Santa Eulalia. This gorgeous schooner was built in Torrevieja, near Alicante in 1918, and launched one year later. Under different names, it was active for almost 80 years, until it was auctioned off, and bought by Barcelona’s Maritime Museum.

That purchase saw the museum posed with one of the most significant and difficult challenges it had ever faced, namely the recovery and restoration of a historical vessel, adhering to the strictest criteria in terms of the protection of cultural heritage.

You can now visit it on it’s mooring, in the Port Vell.

Here is some technical data:

Previous names: Carmen Flores (1919-1931)
Puerto de Palma (1931-1936)
Cala San Vicenç (1936-1975)
Sayremar Uno (1975-2000)
Santa Eulàlia (2001)
Year of construction: 1918
Probably launched on 14 January 1919
Shipyard: Astilleros Marí, in Torrevieja (Alicante)
Dead weight (maximum load): 190 tons
Displacement in service: 215 tons
Gross / net tonnage: 156 tons / 116 tons
Material of hull: Wood
Overall length: 34.6 m (47 m including the bowsprit and the boom)
Length between perpendiculars: 29.3 m
Maximum breadth: 8.5 m
Depth: 3,8 m
Maximum draught: 4.05 m
Surface area of sails: 526,4 m2
Number of sails: 12
Height of masts above deck: 27 m
Engine: Volvo Penta 367 CV (291.9 kW)
Current crew: 7 (captain plus 6 sailors)
Maximum no. of passengers: 30 people

Theme day: contrast

!st day of the month, theme day. Today’s theme is contrast.
Contrast of colors, shapes… And also, after the huge crowds of the last weeks, it is very nice to be able to have a quiet stroll in the evening. What you see here is a bit of Gehry’s Fish, the Mapfre Tower, the Barcelona Casino, all on the beach promenade near the Port Olimpic.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


Back to Barcelona. This horseshoe shaped building on the beach, just next to the Casino, the Hospidal de Mar and Gehry’s Fish, is the Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, the towns very own biomedical research center. Don’t know much more about it, those interested can always have a look at their website.
Nice view of Tibidabo in the back, which seems much closer as it actually is.

Norwegian Gem

This is by far the fastest way to go around town! Located at the cruise port, this helicopter company offers flight over Barcelona. You can also reach some hotels this way. You arrive with your huge cruise ship, like the MS Norwegian Gem, and 10 minutes later, you’re in your suite! Amazing. And very posh…
I’d love to take one of these copters, to make my own Arthus-Bertrand kind of photos!

PS: Thanks to Vogon Poet, here is the Norwegian Gem in Livorno, Italy.

Industrial port

Another side of Barcelona, far away from the tourist trail, is the industrial port, just a bit further down the coast from the ferry terminals. No much fishing here anymore, they put a marina and a shopping center in what used to be the old fishing port.
Lots of industry around, as Catalans remind me often of busy bees or ants. Hardworking people. Several car factories, amongst others.

Where is it, can you see it?

Not quite sure what these kids were looking for… Urchins, fishes, Atlantis… But it was an intense searching, on that evening at 9PM. Good luck, kids, find the sunken treasure!

My blog of note for today is Cezar and Leia’s Luxembourg. For those who don’t know the place, Luxembourg is a small but beautiful country north of France. My best memory of the place is a fabulous Banana Split in Luxembourg Ville. Enjoy!

Sundown over Barcelona

The 2 boats you see are ferries, from a company called Acciona. The go to the Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Minorca and, of course, Ibiza, Eivissa in Catalan. Photo taken from Montjuic Castle.

Port Vell Marina

Amongst the many urban regeneration plans the municipality here had to welcome the 1992 Olympics was the transformation of the Port Vell, or Old Port. Once an industrial waste site, full of rusting machines, ruined warehouses, chemicals all over the place, it is now one of the places you go on a weekend. Several cinemas, restaurant, the Maremagnum shopping mall, one of the biggest aquariums in Europe. All this on an purpose built artificial island. And, of course, the Marina. More about it here.

Frank Gehry’s Fish

Another very hot summer day in Spain. Well, this photo was taken on a wet, cool and windy day in April. The longer I stay in Spain, the more I love rain! They promised us some for today, but nothing yet but heat, sun and more heat.
This is Frank Gehry’s Fish in the Port Olimpic. 35 x 54 meters of steel lattice and copper. It is situated in a zone full of restaurants, night clubs, Irish pubs, right on the beach. Just underneath is the Barcelona Casino.
More about Gehry here.


Oh yeah, I’d like to start something new (to me anyway) today. I’d like to invite you to have a look at blogs I like, now and then. Not necessarily CDP blogs, just… nice blogs.
Entirely up to you all, of course.
Here is my first… coup de coeur. Toronto, city dear to my heart, has it’s very own Daily Toronto Photo now. Check it out!


La Parella, Catalan for couple, is a beautiful work from Lautaro Diaz, on the Moll de Fusta, in the Port Vell area.

What I could find out about Diaz is that he is Chilean, from Valparaiso. He studied in Warsaw, and came to fame here, in Barcelona.

How do you call a mermaid when it’s a man?
A merman?

This picture’s got me thinking

Many things one could say about this picture…
Marine: got that sinking feeling
Philosophy, the french way: I sink, zerefore I am.
Musical: I’m sinking in the rain… I’m happy again

Anyway, you won’t see this kind of things… I mean: sinks, everyday! This photo was taken in a trendy restaurant in the Port Olympic.

Can you sink, think, of anysink else to say on that subject???
And sorry, these puns just don’t work with wash basin. Unless… any idea?
Photo courtesy of ML

Cable car to the beach!

Following yesterday’s posting, I had a question about the tower you can see on the photo. This is actually, and litterally, the cable car to the beach. It goes from/to Montjuic |Castle to/from the port and the Barceloneta beach. Much faster than taking several buses and metros. Convenient, but not cheap.
On the right hand side of today’s photo, you can see a small part of a second tower, just above the World Trade Center, the round building. And just underneath the biggest cable car, the Maremagnum shopping center, complete with restaurants, one of the biggest aquariums in Europe, 2 cinemas, one of them an IMAX cinema.

Grandi Navi Veloci

Grandi Navi Veloci, big fast boats to Italy. Barcelona is an important ferry hub, boats to the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Mallorca, Minorca), to Italy (Genoa, Livorno, Sardegna, Civitavecchia, near Rome). Many cruise-ships stop here as well. And they are in fact really affordable, almost (but not quite) cheap. I will hopefully do the trip to Italy quite soon to eate la pizza, will show you the pictures, promised!
This picture was taken on Montjuic Hill, from Barcelona Castle. The guy at the canon is not me, and nobody shot anything or anyone from here for a long time. Ciao!


This is a special post for all my friends and followers in the Americas, on a very special day. 40 years ago today, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the Moon. I actually remember watching it on television. I was 8. This is the event which probably started my lifelong passion for science fiction.

Another traveler came back from his first trip to another unknown place, America. Barcelona is the place where he was received by the Catholic Kings of Spain.

A 7 meters high statue stands now on top of a 47.10 m high cast iron column, in the port area, just next to the ferry terminal and the Maritime Museum. It was erected from 1882 to 1888, the year it was dedicated.

Much more about the Cristobal Colon Monument here.

Top manta

Everywhere in town, you can find people, mostly Africans or Asians, selling stuff on a blanket (top manta means on the blanket), stuff like DVDs, fake Louis Vuitton bags and belts, watches, perfume, all from famous brands, obviously all fakes. A couple of months ago, you could get Slumdog Millionaire DVDs (if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? Go!) the very day the movie came out in the cinemas, for 2/3 euros. The sellers are mostly illegal immigrants, obviously without a trade licence. Whenever a policeman shows up, they scamper and disappear, to come back 5 or 10 minutes later. Their system: 2 wires attached on opposing ends of the blankets, the whole ware can be picked up instantly.
It is of course illegal. And it is also illegal to buy from them. Someone made a bargain in my area a couple of months ago, bought some fake branded jeans, got caught, got a nice big fine and 6 months in jail. So, please watch out, next time you visit Barcelona!

A little taste of France…

I know what you will think… Barcelona is NOT in France! You’re obviously right, although France is just about 90 miles, or 150 km, away.
Well, I stick to me french-ness. Yesterday, I went to a french countryside market in the middle of Barcelona, right in the port, and had a little taste of my old country, which I left so many years ago. Feeling nostalgic, now and then. But no worries, going there in 4 weeks time.
Anyway, we made a little gastronomic trip, had some cider, some wonderful brown bread, my wife loves her croissants…
And no, I can’t stand snails!!! The garlic sauce they usually come with, yes, but not the snails!


An interesting place for taking pictures… The Maremagnum shopping center in the Port Vell area. Cinemas, one of them an IMAX, restaurants, one of the biggest aquariums in Europe, all this on an artificial island right in the middle of the port.

Is it a boy? Or is it a buoy???
You decide.
Anyway, you can find this, and others, in the old port, Port Vell.
The sailing boat, along with several more, was waiting for the raising of a pedestrian bridge, to be able to go to the moorings. Quite a spectacle for the tourists, who are luckily still coming, despite of the economic crisis. Barcelona’s tourist industry has been severely hit, so the papers say, but you wouldn’t think it, seing the crowds in town.
Well, what can I say: it is a beautiful town indeed!