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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.

Lunch & Dinner

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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Lunch & Dinner

Simply Superb: Semproniana in Barcelona

19th October 2017

SEMPRONIANA


Situated in what used to be a publisher’s offices, Semproniana offers a relaxed ambience in which to enjoy excellent food. 

One of my all-round favourites — equally good for lunch and dinner. 

It’s also one of the family’s favourite spots and often our first choice restaurant when we feel a need for a family celebration.

I can never help smiling whenever I dine here. It’s that kind of place — quirky, arty, fun, and free of pretension.

Chicken and prunes and pinenuts as served as part of the menú diari at Semproniana.

Price for Lunch

The Menú de Migdia (Menú del Día or Menú Diari) costs 16,70€.

The Menú offers a choice of 5 first plates and 5 second plates, ​4 or 5 desserts or fruit, water or a glass of wine.

The Menú changes every day.

A lunch menu may offer a choice of:

  • Steamed vegetables en papillote
  • Chickpea stew with chorizo
  • Cream of sweet potato soup with cheese
  • Endive salad with cod and olives
  • Scrambled egg with mussels

Followed with a choice of:

  • Chicken with prunes and pine nuts
  • Grilled leg of pork with orange and aniseed
  • Oven cooked rabbit
  • Fish of the day
  • Roast beef with mustard mayonnaise
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Civil War

Barbers in Barcelona

12th October 2017

Went to the barbers today. 

While waiting to have my hair cut I recalled this image.

Enjoy exploring the history of Barcelona.

BLOG

The News in Barcelona

30th September 2017

As you'll know there is a referendum on the future of Catalunya planned for tomorrow, October 1st.

The question on the ballot paper is:

​'Do you want Catalunya to be an independent state in the form of a republic? YES/NO'

Repression

As well as sending in an additional 6,000 National Police officers and Civil Guards with orders to dismantle and disrupt the logistics of the vote, the Madrid government has closed down more than 140 pro-independence websites​ without warning; have ordered Google to take down a Google Play app which gave instructions on how to vote; seized control of the regional government's communications centre; mobilzed an army of internet trolls; and tried to block dozens of Twitter accounts and feeds.

Madrid is spewing out vast amounts of propaganda and misinformation, much of it exaggerated beyond parody and much of it based on fabrication.

Used to be a regular reader of El País and El País in English — not any more.

For a concise, and more accurate, summary of events up until September 28th watch the introduction to Matthew Tree's English language Avui TV programme: HERE.

For more up to date information go HERE: El Nacional.

Adéu Monarquia — Hola República.​

Graffiti

Amy Winehouse in Barcelona IV

13th September 2017
Graffiti portrait of Amy Winehouse on Carrer Mozart during festes de Gràcia, 2017

One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious portraits of well-known, and not so well-known, people in unexpected places.

Here's another portrait of the singer, Amy Winehouse which appeared on Carrer Mozart in Vila de Gràcia during the Festes de Gràcia, 2017.

Context

The graffiti is on a door in Carrer de Mozart, Vila de Gràcia.

Enjoy discovering graffiti in Barcelona.

Celebrations

Festa de Gràcia, 2017, Day 2, in Barcelona

17th August 2017

Day 2, 10:30pm: After yesterday's exertions we planned to spend most of our time on one street, Joan Blanques, split into two decorated sections and with two stages featuring two very different crowd pleasing bands: A Contrablues and Dani Nel·lo's xxxxxxx

Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix

11pm: We found two chairs and a table and installed ourselves on Joan Blanques de Baix.

Carrer Joan Blanques de Baix de Tot

1am: Having decided we all needed a halfway decent mojito the four of us wended a way through the streets to Raïm. I ordered a mojito made with an oscuro (dark rum) 7 year-old Flor de Caña.

Visca Cuba! Visca Nicaragua!

Advertising poster for cigars in Raïm

2:30am ish: Having joshed and chatted with the Italian chef from a well-known and popular (or, should that be 'polpolar'?) Gallego restaurant, we left Raïm and headed down Carrer Progrés…

Collage of posters from USSR on Carrer Progrés

…and a huge statue of Lenin….

Mr. Vladimir Ilyich Ulaynov on Carrer Progrés

…where we encountered a handsome looking bloke wearing an Augusto Sandino t-shirt chatting with his poet girlfriend.

Visca Nicaragua! Visca Catalunya!

Carrer Progrés

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Skellies on Carrer Llibertat

5am: We finally called it a night and headed for bed.

Celebrations

Festa de Gràcia, 2017 in Bareclona

17th August 2017
Diablos Plaça Revolució, Gràcia 2017

Festes de Gràcia, 2017 — and we're off! 

Day One:

8am: A group of eight of us assemble for coffee and pastries at La Corrala before setting off to Plaça de la Revolució de la Revolució de Septembre 1868 to catch the start of the parade which announces the start of the festes.

En route we caught a look of Carrer de Puigmarti. 

Carrer de Puigmarti  2017

Carrer de Puigmarti

8:38am: and the Trabucaires prepare to fire their guns to launch the parade….

Trabucaires

And then…we were joined by…the Lord of the Flies himself…

Beelzeebub

Beelzebub

And, so to Plaça de la Vila — now transforned as The Little Prince square…

Plaça de la Vila during festes de Gràcia, 2017

Plaça de la Vila during festes de Gràcia, 2017

While the morning correfoc reached a climax…

Then off to explore the streets…

Plaça Rovira i Trias Gràcia 2017

Plaça Rovira i Trias

… picking up a few stragglers along the way. Now we were 10.

VW camper van in Carrer Providencia

VW camper van in Carrer Providencia

But, before Carrer Verdi we lost two fainthearts. We were again 8.

Carrer Fraternitat

Carrer de Puigmarti

Carrer de Puigmarti

After visiting every decorated street we wended a way home via Carrer Perill…

Carrer de Perill

…and a bar on Bailén before getting home for a shower, lunch and a nap.

6pm: And, four of us strolled out again to watch the cercavila.

Mean looking hombres from outta town looking to party

And here comes the T-shirt man…

…and the Castellers…

Castellers on Travessera de Gràcia and Torrent de l'Olla

Castellers on Travessera de Gràcia and Torrent de l'Olla

11pm: And, so, after mazing and grazing around, and after choripans and empanadas at Plaça Joanic, the four of us ended up on Passeig Sant Joan to see A Contrablues and meet a few friends.

From the very first vibrato chords the band had all assembled in the palms of their sticky hands. A brilliant band who never fail to deliver. 

A Contrablues on Passeig de Sant Joan

A Contrablues on Passeig de Sant Joan

All in all a great day out in the 'hood.

Bones Festes!

Activities

Bobbing about on a boat in Barcelona

4th August 2017
Gemini sailboat off the coast of Barcelona

CLASSIC SAILING ON GEMINI


On a good day, with good weather, nothing beats bobbing about on a boat on the Mediterranean, except bobbing about on a boat while chatting, drinking, and laughing with friends.

Gemin boat trip Barcelona

Happy voyagers enjoying cava and laughs off the coast of Barcelona aboard Gemini on a beautiful day in November. (Photo: Marvin Wycoff)

WHAT

Gemini is a beautiful classic sailing boat available for 3 hour long private trips expertly skippered by

Dr. David Baird.

Gemini is a sleek and stylish 41 foot long wooden hulled yacht, with a 9 foot beam, designed in 1936 and launched at Lymington in the UK in 1947.

Because of its ocean-going design it feels and handles like a much larger, steadier boat.

Sailing yacht Barcelona

Gemini off the coast of Barcelona.

WHY

To chill out and relax.

To find some relief from the rush, buzz and push of the city.​

You’ll get a completely different perspective of the city — perfect for snapping out of the ordinary holiday photos and Instagram moments.

You may well want to chill off during your stay — temperatures out on the water are a good few degrees lower than on the streets. Beats hanging around the frozen foods section in the supermarket or dipping in and out of over air-conditioned cafés.

When you get out on the water you may get lucky and encounter dolphins or porpoises splashing around.

You may want to dive in and enjoy a swim. No problem.

If you feel up to it Dave will gladly encourage you to lend a hand sailing the boat. If you ask politely he'll let you take the tiller and patiently teach you a few navigational tricks.

You and your family and/or friends, and only you and your party​, will be aboard. You will not be sharing the deck with anyone you have not invited aboard.

Dave is an all round, amiable guy and very knowledgeable about both the waters around the city and the city itself. You'll enjoy his company as well as being impressed by his sailing skills.

The CNN Travel show, 24 Hours in Barcelona was suitably impressed. 

Gemini under sail.

HOW

You can book trips through the website HERE.

If you want to check a few details before you book you can call Dave on +34 65 333 1545, or send him a WhatsApp message or email: dave@sailing.barcelona.

Here's a link to a map of Gemini's mooring: HERE

Dave does not serve food or drinks — but you are more than welcome to board with your own supplies.

Kids under 16 years old go FREE.

Gemini off Barcelona.

WHEN

Dave will gladly take you out at sunset for an unforgettable prelude to your evening’s dining and drinking adventures and general gallivanting about the city.

Or, he can take you out mid-morning or midday. It's up to you.​

Trips are scheduled at 10am, 2pm and Sunset, every day of the week, all year round.

A view of Hotel W  from Gemini.

QUALITY & SAFETY ASSURANCE

Gemini is a UK-registered vessel and is licensed by both the UK Maritime and Coastguard Authority and the Spanish Capitania. She undergoes regular official inspections to ensure her seaworthiness and that she carries all the required safety equipment.

Dave holds the RYA / MCA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate, and is a Master of Yachts for vessels up to 200 tonnes. He also holds and regularly renews certifications covering Survival at Sea, First Aid, Short Range Maritime Radio Operator Certificate, and Professional Practices and Responsibility Certificate.

All inspection and qualification certificates are available for viewing on board.

Gemini's skipper, Dave Baird.

I’m a Skipper’s mate.

In the spirit of transparency, and just so you know, I should tell you that I’m a very good friend of Gemini’s skipper, Dave. We known each other a fair few years now.

We became friends before he brought Gemini from Scotland to Barcelona and established his business. In fact, Dave asked me to join the crew for that journey — what an adventure that would have been (and very well was by all accounts)! Sadly, I wasn’t able to.

Anyway, I am not affiliated in any way with Dave’s business, and will not receive any commission should you link through to his website from this website and book your adventure. However, being a decent sort of guy he will probably buy me a drink by way of saying thanks for passing you onto him.

Gemini leaving harbour.

Bon Viatge!