… for you!
Christmas times in Barcelona…
No, I’m not in BCN at the moment, but I have over 57.000 photos of Barcelona to play with…
I’m in Paris. The view from my hospital room, as I had a stroke 4 weeks ago in Macedonia. Surgery on Monday.
As seen in Paris, recently. Could not agree more.
The exit of the Port Vell, with the Westin hotel in the background.
Some of you asked me about this style of photos… I use Lightroom 5, playing mostly with the details section, the sharpening and the noise reduction, with some DFine 2 as well.
Yes, once you managed to cross, to survive the maze in Horta, you absolutely have the right to proudly posing for the survivor photo.
The great fountains on Plaza de Catalunya. The statue is called Pastor de Pau, peace shepherd, or peaceful shepherd, a fine example of noucentisme sculptures, the spanish avant-garde. Made by a very interesting man called Pablo Gargallo, who spent a significant part of his life in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, where he lived in 1903 in the artists commune Le Bateau Lavoir, with Max Jacob, Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso….
The small fountain near Salvador Dali’s home in Figueres, north of Barcelona.
Many very specialised hops in BCN!
One of the ferries I was telling you about last night.
Cruise ship season is almost over, but we still have the ferries to the Balearics, Italy, Morocco… The next ship will arrive, one day.
One of the popular ways of seeing the marvels of our fair city.
And this is the headquarter of the water company, situated in Glories. Here is what Wiki has to say about it. It is officially called the Torre Agbar, but it has such much funnier nicknames, I let you imagine what it might be…
AgBar, or Aguas de Barcelona, is the company which is providing the water to the numerous fountains here. Without them, we would be left on dry land…
4 Gats, the name of the most famous restaurant/cabaret in town. It opened in 1893, and was frequented by quite a few famous people. Pablo Picasso had his first ever exhibition here in 1899, aged 17.
Nowadays, no cabaret anymore, the place is still a popular place and a tourist attraction. Price of a coffee (cafe solo, what Italians call an expresso): 1,57 euros.
Have a look here to know more about the place.
How often do I dream about just sailing away…
Can’t talk, can’t see, can’t hear… But I can post a shot of this, some good boys, buenos muchachos, doing a good business in the Raval.
You never know when a good photo opp might come!
One of many hidden gems you can find in Barcelona. This one is hidden in plain view, on the front of the Liceu opera house. Yeah, just lift your eyes…
A short trip to France, this weekend, to my homeland. Yes, I’m an Alsatian. No, I don’t (usually) bark.
There are wine areas, and there are beer areas. In Alsace, we are both. Many breweries still exist, and we do produce 637 AOC wines, the appellation d’origine controlee.
And where do we drink them? Well, either in a bierstub (above), a beer bar, or in a winstub, below, a wine bar…
Most streets in Catalunya have 2 names, one in Spanish, one in Catalan. Some are quite similar, but the Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona is called Paseo de Gracia in Spanish. And Consell de Cent becomes Consejo de Cien.
Surprisingly maybe, Catalan is the official language of Andorra, and is spoken in Spain, France and …parts of Italy, on the other side of the pond. Here is what Wiki has to say about it.
Casa Batlló, one of Antonio Gaudi’s masterpieces on Passeig de Gracia. Wort a visit. Or 2 or3.
Trying out a few things with Lightroom 5…
Can you see it?
No, I wasn’t on board a plane when I took this picture. I was standing on a beach in Barcelona.
This photo actually reminds me a lot of an old Mike Oldfield cover. I had it on a tape, so it must date back a while.
Every weekend, the Magic Fountain in Montjuic. Do not miss it!
Barceloneses really LOVE their candles. That explains the sheer number of candle shops in town. Which is good for me, as it is: my window is better than yours!
It is exceedingly rare that the morning mist lasts after sunrise. But it happens now and then. Here is one of those mornings, on June 15th, 2013. Photo taken at 12.02, according to the EXIF data.
One of my favorite photos, firemen (aka bombers in catalan) on strike. There is something almost messianic in this guy’s posture.
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
An absolutely essential item in the catalan heat. Even on nudist beaches, so convenient!
But not only on beaches. It is a quite common streetwear. I even saw some colleagues coming to work wearing a pareo or sarong. Women. Not men.
“Barcelona, archives of courtesy, shelter of the foreigners, hospital of the poor, father-land of the brave , vengeance of the offended and pleasant correspondence of firm friendship, and in site, and in beauty, unique”
DON MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA
The old Santa Eulalia cathedral in the Barri Gotic. Old, compared to the new Gaudi one, a kiddo, started in 1882.
You all have a sunny weekend, ya hear!
A popular misconception says: don’t shoot into the sun when you take photos. WRONG: do it! Just keep the centre covered (as I did here) or on the edge of the shot. Play a bit around, and you could have some fabulous photos to show us.
No, this is not HDR. Just 2 layers, a colored one and a black and white one, at 75% blending.
Have you ever wondered about who the strangers travelling with you, with their noses into their mobiles? Who are they, what makes their lives worth living, are they happy? Why is nobody talking to nobody else? Are they afraid of something? How would they react if you started talking to them? Why don’t you try it? Who knows, this ephemeral encounter might brighten your day. And maybe theirs.
Btw, this is not HDR.
If Elvis had been a woman…
Ok, let’s do colors today! Some ‘ladies’ during last Gay Pride. At least, they had a close shave…
And then, now and then, we have these strange featherless birds flying through the blue skies…
I try to go to every Gay Pride I come across, they are usually fantastic photo opportunities. Here is one from last summer.
As promised, I am stepping away from HDR. I am on a very steep photography learning curve right now, trying other things. Hope you like it! This was a jpeg, reworked with Lightroom 5 and several Nik filters. You want to know more, just leave a comment.
It’s summer, folks! Let’s pardyyyyyyy!
Or, if you prefer, watching fireworks from the beach, with good company and a cool drink…
The celebration starts here!
The courtyard/atrium/stage/… of Dali’s museum/house/theatre in Figueres. I chose to accentuate the organic feeling of it all. It was described by some as the living womb of the place, and it felt like it.
A quiet evening at the cathedral, the old one.
Talking about religion… I read yesterday that Qatar, the country, already owner of the Barcelona Football Club, aka the Barca (Barsssa), has offered the city of BCN the sum of 2.2 billion euros, for the old bullring near Tetuan. They want to built a mosque in it, the biggest in Europe, and the 3rd biggest in the world, after Mecca and Medina. I wonder what the city fathers might think… It is a lot of money, after all. And there are a lot of Muslims in town.
Interesting reflection on this building on Avenida Paralel.
As you may know, I’m not living in Barcelona anymore. But I am in touch with the city through my friends there. And they are enjoying… this! Seeing this makes one wish to be there, just for the beaches…
The unsurpassed glory of the Sagrada Familia…An absolute must, should you visit Barcelona and manage to conquer the lure of the beaches. Photographers my friends, believe me, just go there!
Yes, this is the official hour in Barcelona. What’s the time? It’s summertime!
About time… I read this week that some physicists managed to send particles back in time. Are we getting close to time travel???
Some more stuff from this fabulously surreal and totally over the top Dali house/museum/theatre in Figueres. Here is the link to their website. Go and browse!
Always ready to help, the guys from the maritime rescue. Barcelona has a big leisure port, and so do some of the surrounding towns. So, a lot of sunday sailors, not always knowing what they do… But yes, help is at hand, 24/7.
Well, no: bird fight. They’re always fighting, in Ciutadella Park.
Who knows, maybe Rod Stewart wrote this song in Barcelona… Many sailors around, some more serious than others.
Meanwhile, before learning the art of sailing, have a look at what other very talented people contributes, as this weekend is, once more, black and white.
The church at the Benedictine abbey of Montserrat
The cyclops’s big brother (gran hermano, in spanish) is watching you…
And a truly wonderful place, which I unfortunately only discovered lately, as it was closed for years (the usual lack of funds for so called non-essential things or places, like art, I suppose). If you are around, go and visit (a must!!!) the cactus garden on Montjuic hill.
Students of the faculty of pharmacy having a break. Gotta rest those brains!
On a grey and dreary november morning, going to work… And suddenly, there was light!
Earworm for today…
An empty cafe at the Maremagnum shopping center. There was a glow in the place… that I tried to render, more or less well.
Well, the feedback about continuing this blog has been quite unanimous! So, well, a big bubble for ya’all!
About the photo… Flying back from Lisbon one late afternoon, and arriving in Barcelona at the golden hour…
So, let’s see how many of you want me to carry on this blog!
I’ve stopped posting on this blog over 2 months ago, as I was moving away from Barcelona. Didn’t see the point of carrying on, whilst living 1300 km away. It just is that…
I never had so much visitors on this blog before, 600 to 900 visitors (not pageviews…) a day.
So, my question is: should I carry on? Am I a victim of this blog’s success, lol?
Over the years, I took approximately 57.000 photos of Barcelona. I used probably 2.000 of them here. Therefore, I could post a photo a day for the rest of my life… So, what do you think? I know that many of my 560 followers were sad to see me stop. So please let me know…
That’s it folks, it is the end of this blog. For the simple reason that we are moving away from Barcelona and Spain, to an economically sounder place.
But stay tuned, as there will be a new blog coming up soon, from out new place.
One clue: tulips… And some windmills as well. No, not Zimbabwe, lol!
You can follow our new adventures here, in Amsterdam.
A late night chat in front of the Church of saint Philip Neri. On the wall, you still can see the bullet holes dating back to the civil war. General Franco’s goons used to shoot people here.
Carrying on a little with yesterday’s theme day…
Trains, planes, automobiles… and those two.
Although I am not a fan of seagulls, aka flying rats, they sometimes make for great shots.
Everybody knows about Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral. Well, this is the lesser known, much older cathedral, Santa Eulalia, named about the patroness of Barcelona. It’s just nice to be there and to watch people go by.
A quiet evening on Plaza Real
Great sky over the Port Vell, the old port, last night.
Click here to see more skies
Some really great new graffiti in town!
Got the t shirt?
Good place for a Guinness, or a mojito, or to watch a game.
You might have heard of Desigual, the fashion company. Well, they are from Barcelona, and this is the entrance to their HQ. They do nice stuff, should you need a last minute idea for your Valentine…
Have a look here for more weekend reflections.
Next to the W hotel.
… is the name of the spa at the 5 stars W hotel on the seafront.
My incredible trip to the moon, to see the moon chicken, on a ‘Love Boat’ theme, with a chance of meatballs
Well, what do YOU do on a rainy Saturday night???
Constitutions and other rights of Catalunya. To live free.
A small part of the maze in Horta, in the north of Barcelona.
Another view of the Piazza dei Miracoli, the square of miracles, in Pisa, Italy. In the forefront, the giant baptistery, followed by the duomo, aka Santa Maria Assunta cathedral, and it’s bell tower, better known as leaning tower.
The sky was really this threatening!
And back to Pisa, Italy, to the so-called Piazza dei Miracoli, the square of miracles. This is one of the miracles, Santa Maria Assunta cathedral, a Romanesque church, with strong Byzantine and Islamic influences (check out the ablaq style). It is a marvel! More about it here.
And, oh yeah, it has something to do with Catalunya, as it was financed with the bounty the Pisans amassed after ransacking the Balearic Islands, about 950 years ago! The islands are a part of Catalunya, should you not know it.
I’ve seen these signs in other cities, but this is the first one I see here in Barcelona! Can’t wait seeing more of them!
How about some boating on the lake in Ciutadella park?
Some of the few remaining fishing vessels in the port of Livorno. Very few people are still living from fishing, but still more than in Barcelona.
The sky was really that grey. We had the same evening one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve ever seen, biblical in violence and amount of rain. The water was ankle deep while I was trying to catch my boat in the Darsena Toscana.
One of the medaillons at the entrance to the royal palace of the house of Savoy, in Turin, Italy. No, this is not Louis XIV, the french sun king! There was no sun anyway.
I was in Pisa, leaning against a lamp post, watching tourists posing. It was sooooooo wet, I thought I was turning into a frog. Rana, in Italian.
Came home last night from Italy by boat, from Livorno to Barcelona, on a greek ferry. It was a very wet trip!
‘The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain’. Dolly Parton
Tuscany, Toscana. Yes, there is more than Florence and Pisa, there is Livorno as well! Wet Livorno tonight.
Want to see more??? Well, you can always check out VP’s Livorno Daily Photo blog!
Anywhere else, it would be a cliche. But not here. This is the hairdresser near my hotel, in Torino/Turin, Italia.
I wish! No: after Lyon, I crossed the french Alps. This is one of the peaks above the high Maurienne valley, at the Italian border
I was lucky enough to be in Lyon, central east France, this morning, for this absolutely stunning sunrise over the… Now. Lyon is crossed by 3 rivers: the Rhone, the Saone and the Beaujolais (or so say the locals, it is a red wine). Not knowing Lyon at all, I cannot tell you which river this is… Certainly not Beaujolais! Very misty morning anyway.
Taking this photo (and about 60 more), was like watching an bloody amazing impressionist painter at work. Will show you more later.
This is a country house, here in Barcelona. It used to belong to none other than Don Juan Antonio des Valls y de Ardena, the Marquis of Lupia and Alfarras. He had the great honor of welcoming to his (quite) humble abode Don Carlos the 4th, and his queen Dona Maria Luisa de Borbon, together with some princes and princesses, infants and other Grandes. Wonder what they talked about. The weather?
My little corner. Perfect place for reading Shakespeare or Lord Byron.
‘I’m a very early riser, and I don’t like to miss that beautiful early morning light.’
Well, I think Hockney is quite a good example to follow. Meanwhile, please join us on Skywatch Friday!