Barcelona, a photo a day




A HOG meeting during the annual Harley Days in Montjuic. What’s HOG? It stand for Harley Owners Group. Nice people!

Night ferry


We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A weekend reflection


A weekend reflection… Wishing one of those 60-footer IMOCA class monohulls in the Port Vell was mine… Friends and sponsors, start saving: 70 days left until my birthday!!! I need a bit of south Pacific, it’s good for the soul! And no worries, I can handle this! Oh well, it’s easier for 2 people. Care to join me?


More Weekend Reflections here. You know what to do.

Just leaving it all behind…

Wouldn’t you sometimes just want to step on a boat/plane/car, and leave everything behind…

Water World Wednesday, right here.

Probably the best bookshop in the world…

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?


Another of my old scanned paper photos. Somewhere in England, along the Thames, that’s all I remember.
English word of today: hobbledehoy. The spellchecker doesn’t like it!

Not Barcelona neither…

…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.

Not Barcelona…

Let’s get out of Barcelona for a bit…I am scanning some old paper photos, and I came across this one, the Taj Hotel in Colaba, Mumbai, India, taken during a weekend spent there. Didn’t stay in there, as 5 stars hotels are out of my league, even in India.
Weekend in Mumbai??? We were living 1400 km away, in New Delhi.
The hotel has hosted notable guests such as The Beatles, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, The King & Queen of Norway, The Duke & Duchess of Kent, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, Roger Moore, Joan Collins, Mick Jagger, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Deep Purple, Michael Palin, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama; Oprah Winfrey as well as professional cricket teams on tour.
We stayed at the local YMCA.

Just next to it is the famous Gateway of India, undergoing restoration a few years back.

This was 4 months before the terrorist attack on this hotel and other places. Leopold’s cafe, my favorite hang out in Mumbai, was attacked as well.

More info about the Taj and the Gateway here and here.

Nao Victoria, a welcome visitor!

Victoria (or Nao Victoria, as well as Vittoria) was a Spanish carrack and the first ship to successfully circumnavigate the world. The Victoria was part of a Spanish expedition commanded by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, and after his demise during the voyage, by Juan Sebastián Elcano. The expedition began with five ships but the Victoria was the only ship to complete the voyage. Magellan was killed in the Philippines. This ship, along with the four others, was given to Magellan by King Charles I of Spain. Victoria was named after the church of Santa Maria de la Victoria de Triana, where Magellan took an oath of allegiance to Charles V in order to be granted full access to the Spice Islands. Victoria was an 85 tons ship with a crew of 42.
The four other ships were Trinidad (110 tons, crew 55), San Antonio (120 tons, crew 60), Concepcion (90 tons, crew 45), and Santiago (75 tons, crew 32). Trinidad, Magellan’s flagship, Concepcion, and Santiago were wrecked or scuttled; San Antonio deserted the expedition before the Straits of Magellan and returned to Europe on her own.
Victoria was rated a carrack or nao (ship), as were all the others except Trinidad, which was a caravel.
Click here to read more about this beautiful Nao.

And this is a replica, built in Punta Arenas, Chile, between 2006 and 2009.

AD 1570

441 years of Christmas market in Strasbourg… A few glimpses, a few impressions.

3 hours ago…

…we were here. Flying over a beautiful world.


Let’s get out of Barcelona, even Spain, for a bit. Some swans in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, some time ago.

El Pabellon del Espejo

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…

Early morning traffic at BCN airport, terminal 1.

Out of Barcelona, a bridge on sunday

One more archive photo, from an earlier trip to Lisbon, Portugal. The bridge leading to the Torre de Belem, an old watchtower on the Tagus river. Wanna see more bridges? Check out Louis La Vache’s San Francisco blog, right here!


Bon voyage!

Many more watery pictures here.

Skywatch Friday

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!

Late cruise

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???!!!!

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 Europa was here on Saturday. So I decided to use my ‘levitating skills’ and to have a closer look. It is a strange feeling to ‘float’ above a cruise ship…
Some people were having breakfast. Bon appetit, bon profit!

53rd Barcelona to Sitges Old Car Rally

Together with at least a hundred more photographers, most of them with much more impressive and expensive equipment than mine, I went to see the cars participating at this year’s Barcelona to Sitges rally. Some beauties! Judge for yourselves. Hard to choose among the 80 or 90 cars which one to post, so here is a small sample… Which one would you want to be yours?

Weren’t they so much nicer than today’s cars??!!!

Skywatch Friday

Over the clouds, once again…

Do us and yourself a favor, and click here to see the wonderful pictures posted on Skywatch Friday. You wont regret it, believe you me!


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!

Skywatch Friday

The sky over Spain…

Skywatch Friday! Check it out!

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.

Skywatch Friday

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.

Thursday’s Food for Thoughts, episode 4

I posted a couple of photos earlier about the Barcelona World Race, around the world non stop. There was a red boat in the lot, and here is it’s sponsor, La Vache qui rit, the Laughing Cow (famous french cheese). This is my contribution to Thursday’s Food for Thoughts. You’re next, please feel free to post any food related photo below, in 3 or 4 clicks. It’s very easy, try it!

Few facts about the Laughing Cow: The Laughing Cow is red and jovial, and is almost always depicted wearing earrings that look like the round boxes the cheese comes in. On April 16, 1921, Alexander Baxter trademarked his brand, called “La Vache qui rit,” in France. In the trademark, the cow is said to have a hilarious expression. Bel had made the original drawing himself, after seeing a traveling meat wagon during World War I called “La Wachkyrie,” a play on the word for Valkyrie. In the beginning she wasn’t laughing, she wasn’t red and she didn’t wear earrings. This patent was the very first branded cheese product registered in France. In 1924, Benjamin Rabier, a famous illustrator, edited the drawing into something more like the image that prevails today. The blue and white stripes around the box date from 1955. Since 1976 both earring-boxes have been shown with the top-side visible. Before that year consumers were shown a top and bottom side.

And also… Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is often jokingly referred to as ‘La Vache qui Rit’ because of his supposed resemblance to the cheese’s logo.

Barcelona World Race, part 2

Extreme sailing is a sport dominated by men, with some very notable exceptions, like Ellen MacArthur. Therefore, this is the boat I want to win, the Gaes Centros Auditivos (named after the sponsor, no names like Pen Duick anymore), the only boat crewed by 2 women, the Brit Dee Caffari and the Spanish Anna Corbella. Only 3 women amongst the 30 crew of the boats

Much more information about the crew, the boats, the race generally, can be found here.

Silver Wind

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…

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.

Theme day: wood

Today is CDP theme day, with the theme: wood.
This is  replica of the submarine Ictineo 1, launched in the port of Barcelona on September 23rd, 1859.
More info here.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


Don’t know about you guys, but we would call this magnificent creature, obviously female (lipstick, the eyes) a cow-cycle. What do you think, how would you call it/her?
Just trying to imagine someone riding it, with a would be torero facing it, proudly holding the red cape, or muleta! Ole!


Waiting… Ignoring each other…
There are people from over 100 countries living in Barcelona, many Chinese, Pakistanis, several thousands French, Indians, Moroccans, and so on. Integration is still a problem, despite of the efforts of the local gouvernment (the Generalitat). Immigrants are offered free Catalan classes, free access to culture, but still, the divide is great. Also, we are in Spain, but it’s hard to get a job here if you don’t speak Catalan. But then, Catalan doesn’t help you very much in the rest of Spain…It’s hard to get a job anyway, with or without Catalan, as the unemployment rate in Spain is the highest in Europe, with 19.3%. Over 3.8 million people are unemployed here.
The mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, recently blew a fuse about the “anti-publicity”, the bad name of the city in the news lately. Corruption, grand theft, prostitution, drugs. So, not all is fair in our fair city. So what? Welcome to the real Barcelona, a place finally like any other place, with a good side, and a bad one!

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: BIG!!!

Based in Barcelona, this is the MS Voyager of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship. It became the world’s largest cruise ship when it entered service in 1999 (for a while, anyway).
The numbers are amazing:

Tonnage: 137,276 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 1,020 ft (310.90 m)
Beam: 156 ft (47.55 m)
Height: 63 m (206.69 ft)
Draft: 29 ft (8.84 m)
Decks: 15
Propulsion: 3 x 14 MW Azipod propulsion, two azimuthing, one fixed
Speed: 23.7-knot (44 km/h; 27 mph)
Capacity: 3,138 passengers[1]
Crew: 1,181 crew

There is pretty much everything you can think of on that ship, even an ice skating rink and a wedding chapel! Cost half a billion dollars, after all!
Just behind, you can make up Montjuic Hill, and Barcelona Castle.

Should you want to know more, click here.

This post is part of the September theme day.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Le grand bleu or la grande bleue

Another picture taken from Montjuic Hill… Italy, this way.

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.