Holidays: Sagrada Familia 5

Or “being too smart for your own good”. Many photographers have nice expensive gear and then set everything on “automatic” and wonder why their pics are not that nice. Well, I’d never do that but do most of my adjustments by hand so I can get the best results. Except for when I forget about something. So here’s the question for the fellow camera addicts: Why do Giliell’s pics have this annoying blueish tint?

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here you can see the different style of later architects who worked at the cathedral after Gaudi’s death: sharper lines, more influenced by cubism than modernisme.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Write your guesses in the comments and I’ll tell you if you’re right tomorrow.

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 4

Let’s stop with all the hospital talk for a while, because I’m getting sick and tired of it. Seriously, I was not made for “long, slow recoveries, but I guess few people are. There are so many more pictures from the holiday, so let’s dwell on that beauty.

These pictures showcase the architectural elements inside the cathedral, which are just as beautiful as the windows. I love the light stones.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The Art of Book Design: I am a Cat

 

Natsume Soseki. I am a Cat. (1906) First English translation published in 1909. Translated by K. Ando and revised by K. Natsume. Tokyo, Hatori Shorten, 1906-1909.

This classic book, written by one of Japan’s most celebrated novelists, is a satire of Japanese society during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) when western customs were first being incorporated into the country. It’s written from the perspective of a supercilious and eloquent housecat who humorously comments on the people and events that fill his life.

I couldn’t find a copy of the book for you to read, but it’s been reissued many times (and in many languages) and is available at most major booksellers. If you’d like to read a few quotes before deciding to buy, the site Cocosse-Journal is the place to go. I’ll share just this one quote from the book:

“Thus, as I review the list of my friends and acquaintances, most of them emerge as stained with
 maniac stigmata of one sort or another. I begin to feel considerably reassured. The truth may
simply be that human society is no more than a massing of lunatics.”
                                                                    – from I am a Cat via Cocosse-Journal

Cover photo via: Old Timey Cats

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 3

I’m sorry. I’m a bad blog host and a worse friend, so I’ve been neglecting y’all again, but life’s been busy again, both at work and at home. No, no catastrophes, just lots to do. But here are some more glass windows to make up for it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

I know, the purpose of these windows and designs was to remind people of the greatness of god, but all I see is the greatness of humans who set their minds to something.

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 2

Last time we looked at the front, now it’s time to enter. I momentarily feared I was going to be shot at the security checkpoint because I jumped towards my backpack as they were trying to open it. But the nice people were trying to open a backpack full of camera equipment holding it so that my lenses would fall out. They afterwards agree that it’s a nice camera…

Anyway, when you enter you walk past a gate with flower and plant decoration, complete with assorted beetles. I couldn’t find out if there was something special about this fellow, but it was polished shiny from all the hands, so it seemed customary to caress it as well.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Visiting in the evening is amazing as the sun shines directly through the windows, basking everything in light and colours. We were extremely lucky with the weather. In Mataró it had rained all morning and when we set out, it was still cloudy. In Barcelona the clouds tore up, the air was clear and fresh and the sun shone all evening. When we got back we saw that in Mataró the rain had returned with a vengeance…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Tummy Thursday: Me gusta la cocina mexicana

Earlier this week I told you about our trip to the Sagrada Familia and that we wanted to see it at night time. This meant that after we left the cathedral we went for dinner. Of course a tourist city like Barcelona has restaurants galore, many of them trying to push the menu into your hand while you’re walking past them and for me that’s the most failproof way to make me avoid a place. Yet still you find lots of small places that offer good food, especially if you love international cooking. For this meal we found a nice Mexican place where we ate while it got dark.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Starters: Frijoles refritos (mushed baked beans) and nachos with cheese.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

My main course: marinated grilled beef, cactus, pumpkin flower and sweetcorn, guacamole and stuffed habanero, served with tortillas.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Dessert: Guayaba marguerita. I love guavas and they’re so rare here that I consume them whenever I can find them or their derivates. It was delicious.

 

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 1

This year we decided to finally visit the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s masterpiece, which just now got a construction permit. I went there 20 years ago, when you just showed up, threw a few bucks at them and then explored at your leisure. Now you have to book in advance, have a 15 Min window to enter and then have to go through security like at an airport. We bought “evening tickets” which are cheaper and give you an hour to explore the cathedral, which we deemed to be enough with the kids and also we wanted to see it again later in the dark. The entrance prices showed why the whole thing is absurd, since the kid who had to pay reduced admission was complaining and staring at her phone the whole time, while the kid who got in for free called it “the best thing she’d ever seen”.

Let’s start with the outside.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You enter the cathedral through the “Birth Portal”. Why it’s called that we’ll see in a minute.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You can clearly see the older and newer parts here.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And here we have him, baby Jesus, apparently needing a bath in a tub.

Holidays: The Moon, Part 1

I didn’t know there was going to be a lunar eclipse, but one night I decided to take the camera to the small beach next to the campsite. That “beach” was our evening retreat. It’s actually only a cut in the line of boulders put up to secure the higher coastline where the railway tracks are, but it was a nice place to sit and have a drink. Taking pictures that night wasn’t that easy since I didn’t take the tripod with me and I got increasingly drunk.

The first pictures are taken before the eclipse, with the rising moon and the sea.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved This was an old bunker, though I have no idea what the soldiers were  supposed to do in that, other then look out at the sea and get wet feet. So probably exactly that.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

I wanted to catch the moonlight on the sea, but I would have needed a tripod and a half-coloured filter to darken the upper half of the image.

Tummy Thursday: Senegalese Food

There’s a saying in German that states that “the farmer won’t eat what the farmer doesn’t know”. It’s again this intersection of class and culture, where the educated classes take pride in “discovering” new tastes, while certain parts of the working class take pride in never trying anything new, especially no “furrin food”. Of course, both positions come with their racism, where the latter is more obvious than the former. I was lucky to be raised in a family that loved food. My grandparents could never travel the world in person, so they tried to travel it with their tummy, even though some of grandma’s creations would probably not have been recognised by the people who actually invented them. Mr, on the other hand was raised in a family that sees lasagna as exotic and his parents have never eaten a single Döner. Mr has tried to shed that attitude, but mostly ended up in a position where he will eat foreign cuisines, but only after they have been thoroughly approved by white people. Italian is standard, Chinese is ok, Greek is high end. So when we came upon a tiny Senegalese restaurant in Mataró, he was not happy when I proposed to eat there and the kids enthusiastically agreed.

Guess who enjoyed his meal the most?

The restaurant was tiny (less than 2m from side to side and probably 8-9 m long). The cook prepared three different dishes, as Senegale food is stews that take time to prepare, and starters, so we simply ordered one of each and shared among us.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Fish cakes. they were absolutely delicious and already hinted at an enormous amount of onions to come.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Yassa: chicken in an onion and veggies sauce with rice.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Thiéboudienne, the national dish. Seasoned rice with veggies and fish. Sorry for the blurry pic, I was hungry.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Mafé, a beef stew with peanut sauce.

I’ll definitely try to cook some of these, hopefully with better results than grandma…

Holidays: Park Güell: Straight Lines are of the Devil

The last pics from Park Güell. The columns make your head somewhat dizzy, and we have a bunch of silly tourist pics where the kids try to keep them from falling over of where I aligned the camera with the columns and the kids “slide down”. No pics of the kids on the net, though.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Apparently even the trees decided to play along…

Holidays: More Park Güell

Some more details of the tiles at Park Güell. It certainly is one of my favourite places in Barcelona, once conceived as a settlement for workers, with a sustainable water recycling facility and communal area. It was never finished, but has become one of Barcelona’s tourist attractions.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You can see how the colourful tiles have been smashed up in order to fit them to all the curved surfaces.

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Here they look more random. Anecdote has it that the Barceloneses thought Gaudí was crazy for commissioning perfectly good tiles and the smashing them all up…

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The building to the left is not part of Park Güell but an older one.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

This area is underneath the “balconies” we saw yesterday.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s hard to see in the pic’s, but none of the columns goes up straight.

©Giliell, all rights reserved