Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunrise on Montjuic

This is one of my favorite sunrise pics from Montjuic.  We were walking up the hill to the top to try to beat the sun over the horizon.  I stopped to grab a quick pic between the trees as the sun was beginning its ascent.  What a beautiful and rewarding morning.

The Castle

The castle at Montjuic is an amazing place to visit.  We arrived around sunrise which meant we weren't allowed to enter, but the ivy growing up the outside is spectacular.  It has a sad history of execution and oppression during the Spanish Civil War, but is a beautiful nonetheless.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I'm a cat guy and I'm proud to say it.  Well, I'm an animal lover in general, but I really do love cats.  I've been out on a couple of early morning shoots and while seeing a beautiful sunrise, it also affords me the opportunity to see the local cats come out and explore before their homes get inundated with tourists.  I probably look like a freak photographing cats while everyone else is getting the sunrise.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I woke up early to climb Montjuic with a friend and take some sunrise photos (which I will post another day).  At the end of nearly 2 hours of walking, we found ourselves descending Montjuic near the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.  I've walked around here before, but never without people around, and it was the first time I'd noticed the railing, with these beautiful pillars.  Actually, as we were leaving, the first tour group of the morning showed up.  While I'm physically exhausted, the extra effort of waking up before the sun gives me a view of the city that's usually obstructed by tourists.  The people provide a certain energy, but sometimes it's good to get a little bit of a break.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Candles at Montserrat

Montserrat is a beautiful place to photograph as well as a place for many to connect to God.  It holds deep spiritual meaning for many.  There were thousands if not hundreds of thousands of candles lit out of faith holding so many prayers and pleadings.  The whole experience is awe inspiring and I would love to spend much more time wandering and exploring the mountain.

The sun was so intense that I had to abandon any hope of capturing this dark alcove with the text at the top, so I exposed for the inside and let the outside blow out.  I was surprised by how much I liked the result.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Night in BCN

Sometimes it's fun to look out from our terrace and just observe the world around us.  There are so many people living within throwing distance, some of which I will never know or meet.  And how many of them have I passed in the street and not known that they are my neighbors?  It's a city that is constantly moving.  Barcelona is equally beautiful by night as it is by day.  

If you look closely in the very bottom middle, you can see Tracy and Sadie walking.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Early Bird

I remember how my dad and my older brother loved to fish.  I liked it, but I was never in love with fishing.  I would tag along because I knew how important it was to them, and I didn't want to miss out. We would go camping or go to Mammoth and get up before the sunrise to get the best spot on the lake.  I wish now that I had the eyes I do now to take in the peace and the tranquility of the sunrise over the water, because I saw a lot of them.  They were some of the best times with my dad and brother, out in nature, away from the pressures of normal life.  As I got older, I remember intentionally trying to fish next to one of them, whichever one would be easier to distract, and have a long conversation.  The conversations, and the silences, were different on those days.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Capella d'en Marcús

At the corner of Placeta d'en Marcús and Asahonadors is this beautiful statue built into the corner.  It was part of the Capella d'en Marcús which is on the corner of Placeta d'en Marcús and Carders.  This statue of St. John the Evangelist was built in 1628, destroyed in 1936, and rebuilt in 1958.  Found Here.

I found this history of Capella d'en Marcús: Well worth a peek is this diminutive 12th-century chapel nestling in the tiny Placeta d'en Marcus, near the junction of calles Montcada and Carders (the latter means "Woolcomber's Street"). Originally conceived by one Bernat Marcus as a sanctuary for luckless travelers who reached the city after the gates had been closed, the chapel may have been headquarters of the country's very first postal service.

I walk by this every day and it recently caught my eye, it's so beautiful.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

If the Walls Could Speak

I wonder what stories are contained in the walls of Barcelona.  I've read Zafon's "Shadow of the Wind" and "The Angel's Game" and am further intrigued.  Barcelona is a beautiful and mysterious city.  This little section of wall typifies that for me.  Who knows what has taken place here?  If the walls could speak.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Paco Plaza

We were asked recently about things that define daily life in Barcelona.  I think this shot embodies 
it.  Life is lived outside.  This is a square near our flat that we walk through several times a day with Sadie.  We call it plaza Paco because there is a restaurant called Pizza Paco in it and one called Casa Paco.  It is a wonderful place to meet up with friends and chat for hours. 

Sadie has been a bit sick of late and as we walk through this square, people will get up to ask how she's doing and give her love, even if their food is left sitting on the table. 

How could you not want to pet this face.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar cathedral is, by far, one of my favorite things to visit in Barcelona.  I walk by it almost every day and walk through it every couple weeks and just try to take in the grandeur of it.  It is simple and unadorned (comparatively) and massive.  Depending on the time of day, it can be a wonderful place to sit and relax, whether inside or out.  These pictures were taken around 8 AM when no one is around.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Street Art Pt 2

I love seeing really large graffiti on buildings.  Sometimes it doesn't really mean anything (that I can figure out), but I am impressed by the sheer effort it took to get it done.

Walking through the Gothic near the Rambla and the Ancient Roman cemetery we saw this building completely covered in art.  It is likely an anarchist squatted building, or was until the government sealed the entrance.  

A typical scene on the Rambla, but someone has painted "IDIOT" on the very top of the building, only visible through these trees.

This building is one of the ugliest I've seen in Barcelona, probably built in the 70's and has no character.  This is on the garage door to the building.

This is the left side of a pit.  A whole building was removed and this is what remains.  You can see the wall broken on the far left.  It's been sitting like this for as long as I can remember.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Street Art

In the big city I tend to walk around focused on the ground or the people around me, making sure not to trip or bump into someone.  I love it when I remember to look up and at my surroundings. I can't get enough of street art.  Truly there are some amazing pieces around Barcelona.  These are a few that I saw the other day that I loved.  

I wanted to utilize the mirror in the art and take a picture of myself.  So, if you look really hard, you can see me, or at least the red strap of my backpack.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I struggle to find myself in this city.  Moving to a new country means that you become unknown.  I am just one in 1.6 million and only a small handful of people know I exist here.  There are days when my heart and my soul cry out to be known, to be heard.  On days like that simply seeing the beauty in this city brings me back a bit.  The morning sun shining through the streets and illuminating everything helps me to remember that all of this is bigger than me and I'm fortunate to be a small part of this world.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sunrise in the Harbor

Sunrise and water are a magical combination.  These photos were taken at the Port Olympic Marina at sunrise.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I got up early this morning and walked out to the water with my friend Ben.  This is one of my favorite shots of the morning and matches my mood.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Hole of Shame

There is a square near our flat which has a very sordid past with the government of Barcelona.  This is fascinating article about it.  

For my purposes, though, it is a place where a very different side of Barcelona can be seen.  On the weekends, it is bustling with activity.  Just walking a few hundred yards into this square removes you from the tourist-heavy Borne and into a much more local environment.  It is yet another example of Barcelona trying to preserve its own culture.  

Monday, June 11, 2012


I mentioned in yesterday's post about the fin de semana (weekend) fiesta.  As we were standing by the Mercat de Santa Caterina where a food and wine festival was also taking place, this group of folks walked through.  
They are actually Castellers from Castelldelfels, but unfortunately I failed to get any pictures of the human towers.  It was fun to see many of them playing instruments as they walked through the crowd.  I will get them at some point this summer, though.  The group was led by these two.

This culture consistently amazes me.  They are working so hard through multiple generations to preserve their cultural identity.  An identity that Franco and some before him have tried to wipe out.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I was having a chat with the man who owns the bakery just downstairs from our flat last night and he said in Spanish, "Are you enjoying the fiesta?"  And I said, "Yes, which fiesta is it?"  He replied, "It's a summer weekend in Barcelona."  He then proceeded to tell me to be careful with my camera because of the thieves.  The bread we bought was delicious.  His statement was so true, though.  On any given weekend you can walk into several neighborhoods and see so many different amazing activities taking place.  

One of the great cultural experiences in Catalunya is to walk down to the Barcelona Cathedral plaza on one of these days and watch the live band play while young and old dance the traditional Sardana. They all hold hands while dancing in a circle.  

If there are benches nearby and something special going on, people just lineup on the benches, chat, watch, and wait their turn.

Here is the beauty of the whole scene.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Still Useful

I am amazed at how old much of this city is, especially coming from the US.  It still surprises me to see things like this electrical panel cover on the street that looks so old, but likely still serves a purpose.

This is a working water fountain where people fill up water bottles, or hydrate their pets, yet it's so old, beautiful, and artistic.

I feel fortunate to be in a city that is embracing its artistic and beautiful past, rather than trying desperately to modernize (although the remnants of those efforts can also be seen throughout the city).

Friday, June 8, 2012


As I've mentioned before, you can get a lot of stuff from the streets in Barcelona.  In fact, the majority of our apartment is furnished from the streets*.  We found this old chest of drawers which had woodworm, which I had to eradicate immediately.  Last week, we were walking and found this volume of books that have the perfect amount of wear and tear.  Our friend Manuela found a shoot of this plant laying in the street and she gave it to us with the instructions to put it in water.  We found this vase in the back of one of our cabinets when we moved in.  It's amazing what can be done with the stuff that no one else wants.

*Check out these blogs for other posts about this: Memory Board, Texas-Shaped TableIkea Book Shelf

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Passage Way

There is an old passage that connects Sant Pere Mes Alt and Trafalgar.  It is completely enclosed and used to be a place with Kiosks and shops.  Now there is a bar at the front of it.  There is something so retro about this picture and I really liked how it turned out.  I may be the only one.

Sadie attempted to guide us through it but didn't get very far.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Small Things

I am always overwhelmed when I step into a cathedral in Barcelona.  It seems like any tiny piece of it is worthy of staring at for hours, but they are made up of thousands of things.  It's almost too much for the senses.  I can't figure out what to look at.  Is this what they had in mind when they were building them?  "Maybe if we can put in enough cool stuff then people will be focused on God, or won't drift off so easily."  Anyway, it brings up a lot of crazy questions that I don't want to get into here.  Here is the view of the Montserrat Cathedral as you walk in.

This is just one light hanging from the ceiling.  It's in the left side of the larger picture, but completely lost.  In and of itself, it is a magnificent work of art.

I wonder how many of the small things we miss in life because we're too focused on all the big things going on around us.