Posts filed under ‘Graffiti’

Friday to Monday (Nov 10 to Nov 13)

The weekend started in high gear on Friday night. Quico, a waiter at the cafe we go to all the time, invited us to happy hour at a wine bar in our neighbourhood. We met him at 6:30 at the cafe and walked to the bar. It was a great night where we learned more about Quico and him of us. We had cava and jamon and great conversation. I tried to follow as well as I could and I did manage to get a lot out of it. The whole night was in castellano. At the end of the night, Quico grabbed the bill and would have none of our protests to pay part of it. This myth that the spanish/catalans are cold is so wrong. Read about more of their generosity at the end of this post.

Saturday morning we had to get over to the airport to meet Christine. She was arriving (or so we thought) at 9:55 from Canada via Frankfurt. The 9:55 Lufthansa flight arrived and there was no sign of Christine. We waited until we thought all the passengers had been through and Alex went over to the Lufthansa desk to see if she had missed the flight. Well, of course they couldn’t give out that information. There was another flight at 11:30 from Frankfurt and we waited for that one. Out she came. I was a bit worried because she didn’t have our address but everything worked out ok.

We dropped off her luggage and headed off to Raval for lunch at a restaurant across from Jackie and Sebastien’s place. Of course they joined us in a fine indian meal. Both of them were a bit slow since they had been out the night before but I must say they sure picked up quickly. We walked down to where most of the action was. Raval was having it’s fiesta weekend so there was a lot going on. Live jazz was playing and it was quite good.

We managed to get some tickets for museums so we had to decide where to go. As you can see it was a group effort.

Isa and Jackie looked to see what our options were and finally came up with a plan.

We started walking towards CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona) and I was taking photos as we walked. I came across this grafitti which I thought was quite moving.

This was another photo I took while walking. It was a behind the scenes view of the apartments. I found it funny with the white arrows pointing down and the black ones pointing up,

After viewing the photography exhibit we went into the square for a coffee. Everyone was getting tired by this point so after our coffee we started to make our way home

We got up late on Sunday morning and walked down towards Placa Catalunya. Christine was getting hungry so we were going to have some hot dogs at this place in the old city. By the time we got there we found it was closed. Geee, what other place can we go to….so off to Wushu’s we went. Had a great meal and chat with Bradley and Paula.

We left Wushu’s at around 3:30 and walked towards the water. We had free entrance to Museu Maritim Barcelona so we slowly made our way towards it. I have wanted to go there since we arrived in Barcelona and I was finally going to go. The museum itself is in the royal shipyards which were designed as an area in which ships were to be constructed, repaired and maintained, as well as to serve the war fleet of the Crown of Aragon. It was a location at which the galleys were built. It ceased to be a military facility in the year 1745 so you can imagine how old these buildings are. They had many different types of boats on display

and an amazing historical representation of the region’s maritime past. Note the massive arches and space. This is where they built ships. I was amazed.

Some of the boats were very old and extremely well preserved.

Highlights of the museum’s resources include its collections of model ships, nautical instruments, ex-votos, maritime paintings, figureheads, cartography (an extraordinary feature in many respects), the schooner Santa Eulàlia, a historical vessel from 1918 and the replica of the royal galley of Juan de Austria. This is a full blown gally and it is huge. This was the back of it. You can see the oars protruding from the sides.


You get a better view of the oars from the front.

At the end of the tour was a display of pirate history in the Mediterraenean.

We pretty well called it a day after this visit.

Monday morning Alex and I got up early. Alex to head off to work and I to get to the gym. When I wooke up I realized one of my caps had come loose. I always get extremely anxious when this happens and this morning was no excepetion. I was stressing so I went to the gym and pushed some weights. It helped but I was still preoccupied. I didn’t know whether I should wait until it fell out or get to a dentist before it fell out. Alex called and said she would be home early to go to the market to pick up some groceries and Christine and I went to the cafe for coffee. Kiko was working so I asked him about a dentist. He pointed across the street to the dental school and mentioned that the professors had an office on the first floor. He said to tell them that the cafe sent us. Alex walked by on her way home so we went over to see but they were closed until 4:30. Anyhow, we all went to the market and for sushi and at 4:30 Alex and I went to the dentists. I have to say once more that the people here are amazing. The receptionist had us sit for a bit and then called us into one of the dental rooms. I guess the decision to have it fixed now had been made. Anyhow, two dentists fixed my tooth and said if it happens again to just come back. They didn’t even charge me. Here I just show up out of nowhere with a problem and they took me in without an appointment, fixed me up and didn’t charge. Amazing.

I always maintain that the catalans and castillans are warm and considerate people and actions like this prove my point.

November 13, 2006 at 9:07 pm 2 comments

Exploring PobleNou

Today is a holiday in Spain. It’s All Saints day. Waking up this morning was like Sunday morning, very quiet. A good thing because last night was a late night. Sebastien and Jackie came over for dinner and the wine and conversation flowed easily.

We have wanted to explore Poblenou for a few weeks now so we chose today to go. It was a perfect walking day, not too hot. We took the metro to LLacuna and walked over to the rambla. Lot’s of people out walking.

We walked around to get an idea of what the area was like and Alex bought some roasted chestnuts. They were actually quite good . Apparently they are traditional on this holiday.

We found a nice little pub to curb our hunger for a bit and Alex had her beer. This cafe had quite a selection of draft beer and Alex had her favourite. I usually order a clara and whenever Alex orders a draft with my clara the waiter always gives me the draft and Alex the clara. I guess real men don’t drink clara’s in Spain.

We left the cafe and started walking back towards the centre of town. On the way we came across lots of abandoned buildings and graffiti. The area of Poblenou is undergoing massive transformation. It is an industrial, working class neighbourhood in the midst of change. The area is becoming Barcelona’s version of Silicon Valley. The plan is to have Poblenou become the high tech centre and renewal is the current state. It’s interesting because they are keeping portions of the old industrial buildings to incorporate into the new. Here’s a window to the past and I wonder what it will look like in the future.

I think much will be lost when they renew. There is so much graffiti around. I view graffiti as an art form and here in Barcelona they are very good. Even inside broken down factories,

on the walls that keep people out

and even inside where people cannot see. I had to stick my camera lens in a small hole to get this view of the inside.

A protruding wall that is part of an image becomes the main component of an abstract photo. There is so much material here it’s hard to isolate good photo material. I wanted to capture everything and I feel I didn’t capture anything. Alex says my images are too busy but that’s what I wanted to convey. Even if the factory is no longer used, it is still productive.

Seems like we’re getting into a habit here. After getting enough photos we ended up at Wushu’s again. Great ending to another great day.

November 1, 2006 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

It’s not Sunday, It’s Photoday

You know, photography, in a sense, is a little like golf. To me, playing golf is an excuse to go for a walk in beautiful surroundings while photography is an excuse to go exploring in ways and places we normally wouldn’t consider. I think it’s the way you look at your surroundings when you have a camera in your hand. It’s just different, like you’re exploring.

Today, Alex and I grabbed our cameras and headed off to San Pere, an area in the Born. It’s streets are very narrow and sometimes surprise you by leading you into a wonderful secluded plaça.

The buildings are also very old and as a result the only colour you see has been put there by someone, either flowers or fabric.

Some little plaças invitie you to just sit and watch the world go by.

But even where there are many inviting places there are always the uninviting. I’ve never seen a dog that I didn’t want to be friends with but these two made me want to flee. I didn’t even want them to notice me taking their picture so I was VERY careful to keep well out of their reach. Thank god for zoom lenses.

There were also places that screamed KEEP OUT. I wonder what is behind this door that has this much security on it.

Near the end of our little excursion, we happened upon a blues jam session. These musicians were top notch.

They were playing blues. The drummer and bassist would set up a beat

and the guitarist would jam with that beat. He was really good at improvising. It’s exactly what I’d like to master.

Even the graffiti seemed to be watching them.

The sound man was kept busy but he did an amazing job too. There was no feedback at all and the sound, for an outdoor venue was very clean.

Well, the end of another weekend. Tonight we’ll be going to our cafe down the street to watch the football (soccer) game. It’s between Barcelona and Madrid and represents powerful rivalries.

Tomorrow, we’ll be heading back to the gym to re-establish our workout habits (groan). It’s going to be a tough week.

October 22, 2006 at 4:46 pm 1 comment

The Trip

Wow, where do I start ??? So many things to share. Ok, I’ll start with our flight. We flew Iberia to Madrid and arrived at the new Terminal 4. It’s HUGE. We had no problem finding public transportation into the city and to our hotel. Our hotel was right in the old district so Alex and I changed into cooler clothes and headed out the door. It was HOT, 39 C but I didn’t find it too bad. It’s very dry so I think that had something to do with it. We walked around the old town and found some squares with massive gates to enter and exit them.

Gate to Plaza Mayor

I didn’t find the city all that interesting but I found the people of Madrid the friendliest I have ever met. The city had the ambience of most capitals that I’ve been to. Alex will explain the city and talk about the many people we met in her blog. I did find some interesting graffiti on the side of a building somewhere in the old town.


This actually graffiti

Personally, I found haven in Parque del Retiro. This park is absolutely amazing. Right in the centre of a country’s capital is a park with so many moods that I could not even begin to describe them. I walked through one part and felt that I was in the deep woods of northern Quebec.Dark and quiet, e ven the musky smell was there. I must have been smiling from ear to ear. I was looking for the Palacio de Cristal but before I could find it I came across a small grove of cedars and pines. The morning sun was still low enough to generate a glow on the trees. I felt completely relaxed. As a matter of fact, behind me are three people who are sitting in meditation. I’ve been here for 45 minutes and they haven’t moved a muscle. It’s almost like a dream.


It took a lot to take this picture because I felt like I’d break the spell. I was right, after taking the picture the serenity was gone. Maybe I was ready to move on when I took the picture. Who knows. I’m off to findthe Palacio de Cristal but here are some more photos of the park.

June 12, 2006 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

May 2022

Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 124,898 hits