I never do publicity for anything commercial, and this is THE exception: Altair. Simply the biggest travel bookshop in Europe, and one of the biggest in the world. They have everything you can dream of, and even their own travel agency! Wanna find out how to go to Gavdos, Aitutaki or Fakaofa, this is the place! And it’s just around the corner! Been coming here for 30 years.
What is your best bookshop in the world?
…but Richmond-upon-Thames, near London. It is amazing to be able to find places like this just minutes away from the big city buzz.
Yes, ice cream times are back, although we have a few rainy days coming up. But it’s finally nice and warm!!!
A common if unsavory sight in many many of the tourists-oriented souvenir shops in the old town. Can’t remember having ever seen a local wearing this.
Anyway, which one would be yours, should you have to choose???
News. General strike in Spain today. As this blog is not about politics, I will only share with you what will be our life here today: barely any transport, some airlines cancelled all their flights, roads barred by dozens of manifestations, many shops closed… I am not going to work today, not willing to live in a country with 19th century labor laws. Here are some links if you want to know more
441 years of Christmas market in Strasbourg… A few glimpses, a few impressions.
Let’s get out of Barcelona, even Spain, for a bit. Some swans in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, some time ago.
We spent the day in Madrid on Thursday, and we came across this very nice cafe, the pabellon del espejo, or mirror pavillion, near Plaza Colon.
Early morning traffic at BCN airport, terminal 1.
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!
Leaving Barcelona…. for about 90 minutes.
This is for the Watery Wednesday meme. Click here to see more fabulous watery photos!
… 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!
We went on a little cruise last night, and the light was amazing…
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???!!!!
We spent just over 24 hours in Madrid 2 weeks ago, together with the Pope (who we only saw on TV). These are a few impressions from this last World Youth day, and other stuff.
A ham museum, the Barcelona Football Club doll, some catholic pilgrims, some things you can see or buy in Madrid…..
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.
August in Barcelona… Many many people spend hundreds (or thousands) of euros to be here now. As for us, the people actually living here, we’re just going to work, trying to escape the intense heat (over 41 degrees in the sun yesterday at 3 PM) as much as possible… Going to the beach? Sure, in the evening!
Meanwhile, passing through Plaza de Catalunya, there are those temptingly cool looking fountains… Access forbidden, obviously. But if you go close enough,you can always enjoy a bit of the spray. Nice.
Watery Wednesday. Here.
With our longing thoughts to our friends and family in NZ, stuck in the snow. Guys, let’s swap for a day!
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!
It is brutally hot in Barcelona, so let us escape to some fresher pastures… This is Lough Corrib, in Connemara, in the Gaeltacht west of Galway, in Ireland. And the mountains are some of the 12 Bens. Aaaaahhh,a breath of fresh air!
This, of course, is for Skywatch Friday! Check it out!
Curious name for this hotel in the Raval indeed.
Click here to see more of My World Tuesday.
A novelty way for tourists to move around town, in herds. Would love to have one to go to work!
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!
Bringing up to 70.000 tourists a day to Barcelona…
High above the city, a ride to the sea…
No, not a taxi: this is one of the first buses here, in Catalunya. With his fellow old timers. We came across them last Saturday, there was some kind of old bus rally. A few more of them…
This one be came from Paris…
Not only in London…
And they came from Belgium.
That’s our world on Tuesday! Click right here to see more!
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.
‘Met’ those 2 guys at a traffic light, 2 weeks ago. They seem very happy to be using a GoCar. Little yellow cars with GPS and some funny comments that you can rent to go around town.
And here they go… Hope you had fun, mates!
One of my greatest pleasures when taking a plane are… clouds. Or rather: photos of the sky up there, at 30 or 35.000 feet. It is an enchanted world.
This is, of course, for Skywatch Friday. Please click here to see many more enchanted and enchanting photos.
And thanks to all of you who posted something on yesterday’s Food for Thoughts meme. You can still do it, as it remains open till Saturday night.
We went to Portugal for 5 days, and here are a few of the almost 1100 photos we took… Above, the Rossio square by night. Below, a train station, the Gare do Oriente, built by the Valencian architect Diego Calatrava. Both in Lisbon.
The catholic sanctuary in Fatima.
The entrance to the presidential palace, in Belem. No, we weren’t invited in.
Detail of the cloister in St Jerome’s monastery, Lisbon.
The magnificent church, in the same monastery.
The Belem Tower.
Typical tramway in the upper town of Lisbon.
Lisbon seen from above.
Welcome to Lisbon city hall!
The Marco Polo, underneath the 25th of April Bridge.
The magnificent Nasssau based MV Silver Wind moored at the World Trade Center in the Old Port of Barcelona. Just the right size, not too big, not too small.
Operator: Silverseas Cruises
Year Built / Last Refurbished: 1995/2008
Length / Tonnage: 514 / 16,800
Number of Cabins / Passengers: 157 / 296
Officers / Crew: Italian / International
Operating Area: Mediterranean, Africa, Indian Ocean, Far East, Australasia, Mexico, Panama Canal, Caribbean
I wonder if she ever made it to Livorno, Italy…
Of all train stations in town, this is by far the prettiest.
You might have seen it in the news, but if you haven’t: there have been violent clashes between 700 or so ‘anti system people’, as they call them on TV, and several hundreds riot police yesterday afternoon, less than 100 meters from where we live. Burned car, burned and upturned bins,tear gas, 59 people arrested, 58 injured. A lot of violence.
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?
And welcome, bemvindo to Rui FT Santos, a very excellent portuguese photographer, our 335th follower.
A relative newcomer on the Rambla scene, the golden boy. The victim. Depending on the time frame, he could be a victim of either King Midas, or of Goldfinger. Or, more likely, just another fashion victim.
This is our 365th post, the final post in our first year. Tomorrow, may 10th, we’ll celebrate, and start a new year! After the chinese new year, the Barcelona Nuevo Año!
Yes, sometimes the sea is really this blue here… Where does the sea end, and where does the sky begin?
Picture taken at Sant Pol de Mar, an hour north of Barcelona.
A town where we love going back is Valencia. Valencia is not in Catalunya, although the local language, valenciano is close enough to Catalan.
Wonderful train station there, with a lot of traditional tiles.
The Parque Guell, 17ha or 42 acres, was originally meant as a city. As every city, it has a main square, with a fantastic view over the city and the Med.
And there is a public bench. Just one. Well, it is the longest in the world, 826 meters, half a mile. The bench is in the shape of a sea snake, and decorated with broken tiles, in a technique known as trencadis. Here is a view of a part of it.
And some more detailled views of the tiles.