Sunday, 21 July 2013

Montjuïc and Poble Sec...

Summer in this city tends to gravitate around the beach, but one of my favourite ways to get out of the heat and escape to somewhere a bit more peaceful is to take a walk up Montjuïc, which is the hill that you see to the left of the city as you stand on the beach looking up, or to your right as you look down from Tibidabo.

I spent a few hours there this morning, recovering from the partying of last night in Poble Sec, of which more later.

I like to say hello to a few of the local ladies each time I visit.

Today the cicadas were in full song but apart from that, it was wonderfully quiet and peaceful (well, there was a bit of music from Piknic Electronik later, but that sounded pretty good so it was OK).

The park has museums, art galleries and the Olympic Stadium, and still manages to fit in a fort, numerous gardens and a cemetery. The history of this place is fascinating and I love that I keep learning more about it all the time.

We needed to blow away the cobwebs after a fun night previously in the adjacent barri of Poble Sec for their Festa Major. The streets were full of people and music and much fun was had, but some clean living was called for today.

You can also find some more pictures from last night on my Instagram account @yvonnesedition, if you'd like to see what the evil looking cat was up to check the ones that are tagged #correfoc. 

By the way, if you do find yourself in Poble Sec do yourself a big favour and head to the Spice Cafe to try their cakes. They are beyond delicious, and they aren't paying me to say that. I'm burning through my coffee loyalty cards at a disturbing rate as I just can't stay away from there. They've recently added bagels with various fillings to the menu as well, in case you don't like cake (weird, but I hear that this affliction exists).

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Perfume shops in Barcelona...

My latest feature for miniguide magazine with two of my favourite perfume shops in Barcelona. Click the picture to make it bigger or read it online here

I'll be back soon with a proper post on the events of the last two weekends, as well as tons of photos. I'm off out now to get some sun and music on Montjuic at Piknic Electronik.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Barcelona Art - From the Street to the Gallery...

People who follow me on Instagram (you can find me at @yvonnesedition) will know that I'm a bit obsessed with street art. I have a few favourites and lately a lot of my photos have shown the work of Francisco de Pájaro who may be familiar to some of you as the guy behind 'El Arte es Basura' or 'Art is Trash' in English.

As well as painting and drawing, he's famous for his installations, using the rubbish left on the street to create temporary art that asks pertinent social questions and challenges our preconceptions.

The Base Elements Urban Art Gallery currently have an exhibition of his newest work 'Indian Joe' which I strongly recommend you go to see. If I had the cash I would buy the lot as I think he has such a unique style and I can only see him becoming more popular as time goes by. But mainly I would buy his work because I love it. If anyone fancies getting me a present, feel free.

The photos I took below will give you an idea but you really should make the effort to go to see them at the gallery if you can.  

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Museum Nights and Fiesta Days, Barcelona...

Last weekend saw the return of two annual events here in Barcelona. 'La Nits dels Museus' on Saturday night where all the major museums open for free from 7pm till 1am (yes, past midnight!) and 'Los Coros de la Barceloneta' which is an annual parade that happens on the Saturday and Monday for Pentecost, which is also known as 'Segunda Pascua' (second easter) here and Whitsun in the UK. I'm not religious but I enjoyed the holiday from work on Monday and the music, dancing, drinking and street fireworks were great fun too.

It's very difficult to find information on Los Coros, it doesn't really get a lot of publicity in the city. I think this may be because it tends to get a bit raucous as the day progresses on Monday. The parade consists of marching bands who belong to various local workers' associations. They all march through Barceloneta all day making stops at various points, finally finishing beneath fireworks at midnight. Saturday is a bit of a practice run, they all take off somewhere for a jolly on coaches on the Sunday, then back to go at it full pelt on the Monday. Check out the video of one of the bands this year. I've also taken some photos to give you a bit of a taster. They're not great but that's what happens when you're wandering around drinking beers, dancing and generally forgetting that you have your camera with you ;-)

Band in St. Miquel's Square


Dancing in the streets

The museum night was obviously a lot more subdued but it was good to have the contrast otherwise the whole weekend may have ended up a bit too lively. We decided to visit MNAC, the national art museum of Catalunya. I did hear of huge queues at some of the others but we waltzed straight in to MNAC. The building is massive so was well able to cope with the hordes of extra visitors. My favourite part is the Romanesque collection. The murals have to be seen to be fully appreciated but you can get an idea here of how beautiful they are.

I was too busy looking to take a lot of photos and I don't think they would have done the art much justice but I did get a few of the main auditorium to give you an idea of how big the building is.

Pillars in auditorium of MNAC

Free jazz concert

Main auditorium

Roof of central hall at MNAC

Primavera Sound is this weekend and even though I'm not going to the main event there are also some smaller gigs being arranged by the organisers to coincide with the big festival, so I may pop along to some of those. After that we have Sonar and Sant Joan to look forward to so there'll be no rest for a while yet.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Shopping in El Born, Barcelona...

My latest feature for miniguide magazine giving the lowdown on two of my favourite shops, Colmado and Co-Shop. Both are in El Born, which is my favourite area to shop in Barcelona. Click on the picture to make it bigger, or you can read the feature online here  if you like, as well as checking out the magazine for ideas on where to go in the city if you're here now or planning to visit at any time.

This weekend is a long one for the Pentecost bank holiday (I'm not religious but I'll take the days off if they're offered!) and this coincides with a fiesta of marching bands in our barrio. I'll be taking photos and putting them up here early next week. Hasta pronto!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Barcelona on Screen...

I'm always seeing camera crews on the streets of of Barcelona and in our little barrio of Barceloneta. The city seems to inspire everyone. I've just been looking at the blog 'Living in Barcelona' which is written by a German Yvonne who introduced herself to me in a comment on this blog, and I found the following video which shows loads of scenes from literally right outside my door and all over the barrio. If your German language skills are good then you can read her post about it here or if they're as bad as mine you can use Google translate.

I love the way some of our local characters have got in on the action in this video, there are loads of familiar faces here. The beach is a big star too and the old guys playing dominoes make sure they don't miss the action either. The video really is a great snapshot of Barceloneta and the rest of the city too.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Streets Speak...

For anyone who likes art, graffiti, street art or Barcelona, the documentary linked below should be of interest. We saw it at a launch night last week and the full film is now online. Please let me know what you think of it and who your favourite street artist is. I'd also love to hear about the artists in your city, wherever you are.

I would embed the video here but Vimeo and blogspot don't appear to get along.