18th May 2018

Hello you lucky people. Tomorrow, Saturday, May 19th is the Night of the Museums, or, perhaps, more prosaically, Museum Night.

Yes, from 7pm until 1am most of Barcelona's museums, and a few other historic sites, will be open FREE of charge, and several will be hosting special events such as concerts.

It's one of the best nights of the year — in my humble, sincere opinion.

And, I will not be able to join you — I'm in the UK because of the Wedding of the Year.

No, not that one featuring a member of the British royal family — but my daughter's. She's getting married in the Dales in Yorkshire in July. And, I'm here to meet with the groom's parents and discuss arrangements.

Have a great Night of the Museums.

Architectural Details

Architecture Week 2018 in Barcelona

15th May 2018
Architecture Week 2018 Barcelona

Yes…if you didn't know already we're reaching the middle of Barcelona Architecture Week. 

Week? This year it actually runs for 10 days — from May 10th to May 20th.

It's an ambitious programme, with several and various activities, talks, debates and exhibitions — and a music concert or two.

One of the reasons I first visited Barcelona back in 1981, and one of the reasons I love living here, is the architecture. Barcelona is the only city in the world to have been awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects gold medal; the prize usually goes to individual architects or architectural practices. And, every single day it's easy to see why.

As well as hosting beautiful antique buildings and giving encouraging approval to daring new builds the city is also very adept at re-imagining and re-purposing buildings. There are hundreds of examples — textile mills which now serve as schools and cultural centres; former Modernista sweet shops now cocktail bars; Modernista bakers and pharmacies which now house IT companies; an Arab bath and beauty spa which was once an abattoir and meat warehouse…and so it goes. 

Appropriately this year's event is headquartered in the recently decommissioned Modelo prison in Nova Esquerra d l'Eixample.

And, while the event is centred on the former city centre prison it is reaching out to every one of the city's 10 districts — with an impressive roster of tours, talks and exhibits.

All good stuff.

However, I've not yet found a reliable link, or downloadable PDF,  with programme details in English so as to help guide you.

Here are a few links about this year's programme for you, make of them what you will:

Mies van der Rohe Foundation

Barcelona Architecture Walks

Barcelona City Council

As much as I'd like, unfortunately I won't be able to join you — I'm off to the UK on Thursday so I've had to squeeze five days appointments into the space of three — meaning I will have no meaningful time, let alone energy, for exploring local space. The space-time-energy dilemma or conundrum. Gets us all.



Guinardó: Castellers and Correfoc, Sunday, May 13th

12th May 2018

The Festa Major de Guinardó continues on Sunday, May 13th.

Guinardó is the barri which is home to the magnificent Modernista hospital complex designed by Domenech I Montaner now called Recinte Modernista Sant Pau — website HERE.

The Festa has invited the Castellers de Sagrada Familia to demonstrate their human tower building skills on Sunday at 12 Noon.

And at 8.30pm there's a correfoc.

If you're in Barcelona and you've not experienced a correfoc before then you may want to go along and check it out. 

Here's a link to the programme, which is updated every day, in català: Festa de Major de Guinardó, 2018

Highlights on Sunday:


The castellers of Sagrada Familla will be giving a demonstration. This is not a competition.

When: !2 Noon

Where: Plaça de Salvador Riera

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A Correfoc featuring Els Malignes del Guinardó is scheduled to commence at 8.30pm


The correfioc is scheduled to begin at Plaça Catalana and finish at Plaça de Salvador Riera via:

Carrer de Amilcar, Avinguda de la Mare de Déu de Montserrat, Carrer de  Sales I Ferré, Carrer de  Varsóvia, Passatge Garrofers,  Carrer de  Antic del Guinardó.

See you there. Enjoy your Sunday in Barcelona.


Festa Major de Navas 2018

11th May 2018
Festa major de navas2018

The Festa Major de Navas will be closing on Sunday, May 13th.

If you're in Barcelona then you may want to go along and check it out.

Navas is the barri in the district of Sant Andreu which straddles the Meridiana, squeezed between Guinardó, Camp de l'Arpa and La Sagrera.

Here's a link to a PDF of the programme in català: Festa de Major de Navas, 2018

Highlight on Saturday:


A Correfoc featuring Els Diables del Clot at 8.30pm


The correfioc is scheduled to begin at Plaça de la Mainada and finish at Plaça Ferran Reyes

Plaça de la Mainada — C/Joan de Garay — C/Navas de Tolosa — C/Murcia — C/Biscai — C/Bofarull — Plaça Islàndia — C/Esprornceda — Plaça Ferran Reyes.

Route of Correfoc in Navas, Saturday, May 12th.

Route of Correfoc in Navas, Saturday, May 12th.

Highlights on Sunday:

Grand Sardana Popular

When: 10am

Where: Plaça Ferran Reyes

Havaneres — Traditional folk song based on experiences of Spanish Cuba and featuring a ron cremat — a flaming rum concoction.

When: 8pm

Where: Escenari Josep Estivill on Carrer de  de Josep Estivill

Location of Escenari Josep Estivill

Castell de Focs/Fireworks Display

When: 9.30pm

Where: Plaça Ferran Reyes

Metro: Navas



Castellers & Gegants & Sardana Saturday, May 5th, 2018 in Barcelona

4th May 2018
Diadas de Gegants & Castellers maig 5 2018

A Super Saturday

If you're in Barcelona this Saturday (May 5th) and you'd like to experience three cornerstones of Catalan culture then you could be lucky. May 5th is looking like a Super Saturday.

This coming Saturday both the Gegants of Gràcia and the Castellers of Gràcia will be out in the streets doing their thing, and there's a sardana planned on the same day. 

However…and it's a big however…the Gegants and the Castellers will be strutting their stuff at the exact same time in the same district, although a mile apart.

If you want to experience both then you'll need to be a little agile as the busses connecting the two locations will be re-routed. 

Let's hope for good weather.


In the district of Gràcia.

The Gegants will be in Vila de Gràcia and the Sardana and the Castellers will be in Plaça Sanllehy in La Salut


The Gegants will be celebrating 25 years since the 'new' gegants were added to the family of gegants.

The Castellers de Gràcia will be competing against two other colles (teams) to crown a day of activities organised by local community groups. The poster below outlines the programme.


The Sardana is programmed to commence around 4.30pm in Plaça Sanllehy.



At 5pm the Gegants will assemble at the junction of Gran de Gràcia and Carrer de Nil Fabra — very near Lesseps Metro stop.

At 6pm the Parade will commence.

At 7pm the Parade will finish in Plaça de la Vila —where the gegants live for most of the year.


The route of the Parade is straightforward — the Gegants will process from near Lesseps metro station down Gran de Gràcia to the junction with Carrer de Goya then head along Goya until they reach Plaça de la Vila.


The Castellers are scheduled to commence at 6pm in Plaça Sanllehy.

To be or not to be…here or there?

I can't tell you what you should do — would never dream of doing so — but I can help you do what you want to do.

You'll need to decide whether you want to experience the Sardana and the Castellers and head for Plaça Sanllhey and stay put, or head up to Gran de Gràcia (maybe Metro Fontana Line 3 - Green) and tag along for the parade of Gegants and other local folk culture groups, e.g. bastoners  (folk dancers) and hang around in Plaça de la Vila, OR try a bit of both.

If you decide you want to try to experience a bit of both then go watch the parade for 20 minutes then head toward Plaça de la Vila and follow the suggested directions below.

However, what ever you decide to do you'll have a great time I'm sure. 

How to get from Plaça de la Vila to Plaça Sanllehy

You could try  Barri Bus 114 on Traverserra de Gràcia. (Normally I would use the Number 24 which stops at Plaça Sanllehy — but the Gegants route includes Gran de Gràcia which will be closed for the Parade and the 24 bus will be re-routed).

When in Plaça de la Vila situate yourself with your back to the Ajuntament (Town Hall) and walk to the left-hand corner of the square and Carrer de Matilde.

Walk up Matilde to where it joins Travessera de Gràcia (about 2 minutes) and turn right  — you should be now be able to see the bus stop for the Number 114.

Wait for the bus. Have your T-10 ready. 

When you see the bus approach, and If there is no-one else at the stop, wave a hand to indicate you want to board.

Hop on. Validate your T-10. Tell the driver that you want Carrer de Praga. It’s 7 stops — about 10 minutes. 

Bus 114 starts its route at Plaça Ga·la Placidia and crosses Gran de Gràcia. The bus route will be affected by the Parade/cercavila. Because of the parade I am assuming that the route will be re-scheduled to start at stop number 2475. However, I may be mistaken.

Now, if you find Bus 114 is not running from this stop then continue walking along Travessera de Gràcia — about until you come to the junction with the top of Passeig de Sant Joan, take a left and walk a 100 metres or so up Carrer de I'Escorial and you will see the Metro station on your right.

Route from Plaça de la Vila to Plaça Joanic

Route from Plaça de la Vila to Plaça Joanic.

Take the Metro (Line 4 - Yellow) just one stop in the direction Trinitat Nova to Alfons X. See map below for walking route from the Metro station to Plaça Sanllhey — about 10 minutes.

Map of route between Alfons X and Plaça Sanllehy

Route between Alfons X and Plaça Sanllehy

OR when at Plaça Joanic walk up the right hand side of Carrer dePi I Maragall until you come to a bus stop and take the Bus number 55 just two stops to Carrer de Praga.

Get off at the stop on Carrer de Praga — the first stop after crossing the busy Ronda del Guinardó — then walk back to the Ronda and turn right

Route betweeween Carrer de Praga bus stop and Plaça Sanllhey

Route betweeween Carrer de Praga bus stop and Plaça Sanllhey.

Walk along the Ronda until you reach the junction with Carrer de Camèlies and Carrer de Sardenya

Cross Camèlies to put yourself on Carrer de Sardenya. 

Walk along Sardenya for about 2 minutes and you're there— Plaça Sanllehy.

What ever you choose to do — best of luck — and have a great day.

Enjoy a Super Saturday in Gràcia.

La Salut

Gaudí’s Dreamlike Park: La Salut, Gràcia in Barcelona

29th April 2018
La Salut, Barcelona
Map of La Salut, Gràcia, Barcelona

Map of La Salut neighbourhood in Gràcia,

Dreamlike park and hilltop views.

The small hillside barri, La Salut is one of the most visited neighbourhoods in Barcelona. Why? Gaudí’s Park Güell.

As well as the Park there’s the Gaudí House Museum situated within the Park, and the interactive Gaudí Experiència, with its 4D cinema-ride, at Carrer de Larrard, 41 on the approach to the Park.

It's a curious, residential barri and…

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Feliç Sant Jordi 2018!

23rd April 2018
Sant Jordi rose by Oscar Astromujoff

A rose for you, as created by my friend, Óscar Astromujoff.

You may have seen Óscar's illustrations for La Vanguardia and other periodicals.

To explore more of Oscar's artwork go HERE.

Ok, so now you have your rose you'll need a good book to go with it: HERE.

Enjoy Sant Jordi.


Honest, hearty homemade Catalan scran in Barcelona

18th April 2018
Meal at Bar Bodega Restaurante Gelida, Barcelona by Bill Sinclair
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Bar Bodega Restaurante Gelida

Situated on the corner of Carrer de la Diputació and Carrer de Comte d'Urgell in La Nova Eixample Esquerra, Gelida offers good food at a good price. Simple. 

It's  one of my favourite places to eat — especially during autumn and winter. 

Cigrons (chickpeas) as served at Bar Bodega Gelida, barcelona

Cigrons (chickpeas) as served at Bar Bodega Gelida.

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Price for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Gelida does not offer a menú diari/menú del día, all the dishes offered throughout the day are priced between 3€ and 5,10€.

Full meals available from 7am — making it popular with night workers coming off shift.

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