Barcelona: The City 5: Streets

The last of the streets photos. as I already mentioned, the city is between sea and mountains and has grown in the only possible direction, which is uphill, resulting in some streets that would make San Francisco envious. There are even some where there are escalators to get pedestrians up.

Very steep streets

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A light purple house with a lamppost with a yellow ribbon

The yellow mark on the lamp post is the sign in solidarity with the political prisoners after the failed referendum last year.
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The Daily Bird #780

We’ve been neglecting the Daily Bird, which is a thing that cannot be.

So here’s a gorgeous Sardinian Warbler for you.

The funny thing about shooting with the 600mm lense is that I sometimes don’t even know what I’m shooting and only find out at home when I look at the pics on the computer screen.

Small bird sitting on a fence

Sardinian Warbler
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Barcelona: The City 5: Streets

While there are few green areas in the centre, there are wonderful planted balconies and lovely squares. One thing is that apart from the pretty fountains there are water fountains everywhere that keep the population on two legs as well as four legs hydrated.

A balcony with overgrowing plants

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Fountain in the middle of a sunlit place.

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Pigeons bathing in a fountain.

Another pigeon bath
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As you may remember, our lovely bunny Pünktchen died some weeks ago, and of course, the first thing my dad did when he returned from their holiday was to take the little one to the breeder to get a new one. The guy breeds bunnies for shows, so those who don’t fit his breeding needs are sold as pets, which shows again that those things are stupid as the new bunny is the cutest.

So here’s the first pics of the new family member. Let’s start with Molli, being very hot and not suspecting that life would change again.


Brown rabbit dozing in the shade

Effin’ heat wave when you’re wearing a fur coat.
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And here he is, Fleckchen.

Brown and white bunny

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Face of brown and white bunny

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Face of brown and white bunny

Isn’t he pretty?
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Translating his name got me thinking again. Now, first of all, in German we make things small by adding -chen, which doesn’t always work in English. While you get a baby and a kitty, you don’t have a “cary”, meaning a little toy car. Now, the former bunny was “Pünktchen”. A “Punkt” can be a dot, but also a spot, which would be the more usual term for describing an animal’s coat. A “Fleck” is something like a larger dot. It can be a spill on your clothing, but also the colouring of an animal, so now I have two rabbits named for their coat and they could both be translated as the same word in English. So I went with “Patches” because his coat looks more like a patchwork blanket.

Brown and brown and white rabbit, separated through a fence

Molli and Fleckchen
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Here you can see the first contact between the two, with Fleckchen being in his temporary enclosure, from which he escaped the next day. Thankfully he#s still too young for making baby rabbits.

Barcelona: the City 4: Streets

Wedged in between the mountains and the sea, Barcelona’s streets tend to be narrow and dark, and beautiful.

But it’s also a place where you can see the contrast between rich and poor, with people sleeping rough, begging for change and trying to make ends meet by selling knickknacks. When you come to the harbour you will have the multi-million dollar yachts next to poor immigrants selling cheap sunglases.

I will say one thing in favour of Barcelona and that is that they don’t seem to actively work against the homeless population. There was a spot at Catalunya where our bus arrived and left where a homeless guy had his place, with a small foam mattress and a few belongings. He usually wasn’t there when we arrived, but at least nobody destroyed his things and the police didn’t remove them.

My kids were wondering about the “junk”, not knowing that this was somebody’s home, and when I explained it to them they emptied their pockets and put all their change on the mattress. I was never prouder of them than in that moment.

Narrow street with decorated balconies

Narrow street just off the Rambla. ©Giliell, all rights reserved

Small balcony with many potted plants

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Barcelona: the City 3: El Mercado de la Boqueria

Just off the big Boulevard “La Rambla” is the big market hall Boqueria. The front is dominated by the stalls that mostly offer their goods to tourists, but in the back you can find the Barceloneses doing their shopping. Fresh fish and fruit and most delicious baked goods for prices that let you forget that you’re supposedly in a tourist attraction.

Colourful displays of sweets and marzip figures.

Marzipan and sweets in the market.
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What I interestingly couldn’t find were signs and comemorative plates of the terrorist attack that happened there last year.

Barcelona: The City 2: La Plaza Catalunya

The centre of Barcelona is the Plaza Catalunya. Lined on one side by the traditional Corte Inglés shopping centre and start of the Rambla, the main boulevard, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell you’ll miss it. Most tourist buses start and stop there (our shuttle bus from the camp site dropped us off there and picked us up, and so did most others), the hop on- hop off buses stop there, the metro lines do, the regional train station is under it.

Above it are the pigeons.

Water fountain by night, brightly lit.

The fountain by night.
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Water fountain in daylight.

The fountain by day.
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Pigeon bathing in a water fountain.

Did I say fountain? What I meant was “pigeon bath”.
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Pigeons in a tree.

How many pigeons can you count?
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Barcelona: the City 1

Barcelona is home to 1.65 million people, the travel destination of 7 million people a year and one of the most densely populated areas in Europe, second only to Paris. I’ll start my series on the city as such with a few panoramic shots to give you an idea. They were either shot from the Parc Güell or the Tibidabo, both which will get their own posts in the future.

Panoramic view of Barcelona

The city in full
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Panoramic view of Barcelona

Shot from the ferris wheel in the Tibidabo.
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Panoramic view of Barcelona

You can see the big parallel boulevards running down to the harbour. © Giliell, all rights reserved.

Panoramic view of the zoo.

The Zoo, one of the few green spaces. ©Giliell, all rights reserved

Panoramic view, with the Sagrada Familia in the centre.

Panoramic view, with the torre de Agbar and the Sagrada Familia in the centre.
© Giliell, all rights reserved.

In the middle you can see the Torre Agbar or Torre Glóries. I never gave much of the interpretation that all towers are phallic symbols, but this one takes the cake.

Panoramic view of the Torre Agbar.

A PG 18 rated tower…
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The Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. The Catalan architect is all over Barcelona and we will visit one of his works, Parc Güell, later. Be advised to book your tickets in advance if you want to visit the place.

Panoramic view of the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia
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Tummy Thursday: Hello and enjoy your meal

Welcome to a new installation here, which is Tummy Thursday (after the addition of Tree Tuesday the Thursday felt neglected).

Tummy Thursday is about food, and food is everything. It’s one of the most basic necessities like breathing, but it can also be a luxury item (I still don’t understand caviar). It is something mundane, consumed while walking to the bus stop (or writing blog posts) and it’s a celebrated art form. It is public and it is private. It is political. It tells stories about race, colonialism, migration, poverty and richness. It is also damn delicious.

The idea of Tummy Thursday is to show those sides and also to share recipes and our love of food. Submissions are more than welcome. We’re such a diverse group of people here, so tell me your stories, show me your recipes, send me your pics. I can be reached at nym(86-7) Ät the google thingy DOT Com.

One more thing before we come to our first recipe: the don’t be an asshole rule applies double here, since food is such a sensitive topic. There’s nothing against saying “not my taste” or some light hearted jokes about peas being a weapon invented by the horse devils, but absolutely no food shaming. Oh, and it cuts both ways. You wouldn’t be the first person that told me that eggplants are actually delicious and the reason I don’t like them is that I haven’t tried recipe X. You won’t trick me into eating cardboard again.

Giliell’s vegan chickpea curry

Nanny Ogg’s famous cookbook features a recipe for Mrs. Colon’s Genyoom Klatcbian Curry, which is introduced like this:

Few recipes in these pages have caused so much debate as this one. Anyone over the age of forty knows how the classic recipe goes, because it has been invented and reinvented thousands of times by ladies who have heard about foreign parts but have no wish to bite into them. Its mere existence is a telling argument for a liberal immigration policy. Like real curry, it includes any ingredients that are to hand. The resemblance stops there, however. It must use bright green peas, lumps of swede and, for the connoisseur of gastronomic history, watery slivers of turnip. For wateriness is the key to this curry; its ‘sauce’ should be very thin and of an unpleasant if familiar colour. And it must use a very small amount of ‘curry powder’, a substance totally unknown in those areas where curry grows naturally, as it were; sometimes it’s enough just to take the unopened tin out of the pantry and wave it vaguely over the pan. Oh, and remember that the sultanas must be yellow and swollen. And soggy. And sort of gritty, too (ah, you remember . . .)
Not only does it show again Pratchett’s genius in bringing roundworld issues such as appropriation of food and racism to a light hearted cookbook, it also is apparently still tasty, though I haven’t tried it myself. While I keep telling myself that my curry would at least be recognisable to people who actually cook curries for a living, the recipe has absolutely no claim to authenticity whatsoever.
Veggies of choice, preferably some that become somewhat mushy. The exact combinations vary, but for me carrots are usually a must and potatoes for creaminess. Pictured below are carrots, a red bell pepper, half a Hokaido squash and potatoes. Not pictures are onions and garlic.
Bowl with diced vegetables.

Just looking at it counts as a serving of veggies. ©Giliell, all rights reserved

I lightly fry everything in coconut oil, then cover it with vegetable broth and let it simmer. Depending on whether you remembered to soak the chickpeas the night before or open a can, you add them now so they can cook, or later.

A covered casserole with veggies

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My seasoning varies as well, this time I used fresh ginger, allspice, black caraway seed, cumin and  chilli. After about 20 minutes the potatoes start to fall apart and I add some coconut milk and the chickpeas and leave it for a few more minutes on low heat. You can serve it with naan bread or rice and it keeps well in the fridge.

Enjoy your meal.

A casserole with chickpea curry

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Barcelona: Camping 4: Bougainvillea envy

This is not our first time at that camp site, but the earliest we’ve been there in summer, so many plants were still in bloom that you don’t see later, among them the big bougainvillea hedges.

I simply love that flower, but of course you can only grow it in pots in Germany and even when taken inside over winter they never reach the glory of their Mediterranean cousins.

Bougainvillea flower in front of a black background.

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Bougainvillea flower in front of a blue sky.

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Bougainvillea flowers in fromt of a white background

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Bougainvillea flowers in front of a white background

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Bougainvillea flowers

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