Picture of the Week

3 January 2018

Week 52: Barcelona and Christmas

Filed under: — Administrator @ 14:36

This was the last full week of the year, and of course it was mainly about family and the holidays. This year was special because my son and his fiancée came from New York to spend Christmas with us. So the nest was full again, except that we missed the four-legged members of the family who have departed during 2016 and 2017…

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Moses and Myrela had arrived in Barcelona on the 21st and spent a couple of days touring the city. I drove up there on the 23rd and met up with them for lunch at Bar Electricitat in Barceloneta. We were joined by my Catalan friend Lluis, a master street photographer. The young couple at the table, waiting for food and drink to appear:
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Bar Electricitat is a very local place. Seating is communal at long tables. This particular afternoon, things were spiced up by the Real Madrid-Barcelona match on TV:
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Wine and vermouth are stored in barrels:
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Vermouth, a traditional drink in Catalonia, served in a traditional manner:
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After lunch, the young couple went off to do some more sightseeing, while Lluis and I wandered around with our cameras. We stopped in at another Barceloneta bar with quite striking decor:
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We then moved on to El Raval, an eclectic neighbourhood, partly bohemian, partly ethnic. The sun was setting and the sharp light gave me a nice opportunity to capture Lluis:
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This is the scene we were photographing:
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We then moved on to the square in front of MACBA, Barcelona’s main modern art museum, for some people watching:
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Lots of people strolling, skateboarding or just looking:
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And we were not the only photographers around:
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An example of Lluis’s irresistible charm. This lady was sitting outside her shop, relaxing. He snuck a photo of her and she noticed; but rather than getting angry, she was friendly and curious. Here, Lluis is showing her the photo in question:
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A classic El Raval street image. The street is wet because it has just been hosed down, not because of rain:
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El Raval has many ethnic groceries, but also quirky shops like this one:
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The queue outside a local landmark, Granja Viader:
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We stopped for a brandy at another very traditional bar:
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The Catalan independence flag in a window, a common sight these days (even though the pro-independence parties actually only got about 40% of the vote in Barcelona in the December 21st election):
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Another political statement, the yellow ribbon, symbolising the independence leaders currently in jail, awaiting trial. Depending on your point of view, they have violated the law and must be punished, or they are political prisoners, a view held by many in Catalonia:
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The next day I picked up Moses and Myrela at their hotel and we drove the 540 km south to Alicante. And the following morning was Christmas morning, and the young people were children again:
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We went for the Christmas lunch at our newfound favourite, the African restaurant Baobab. One of Moses’s friends described the look on his face as “why isn’t there food in front of me yet”:
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The food did arrive soon enough, starting with an appetiser:
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Then salad:
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And then the main courses, such as saka saka:
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Or couscous royale:
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After returning home, we took the official Christmas family portrait. In retrospect, we should have done it in the morning, when the sun would have been on the other side of the house:
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A couple of days later I had my periodic physiotherapy appointment, and admired this beautiful piece of iron outside his office:
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And a final, random image taken on the same occasion–I thought that this long walkway looked visually interesting:
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