Archive for Barcelona

Panoramarama part 1

Posted in French canals and rivers, Photographs, the Mediterranean Sea, Walking with tags , , , , on May 30, 2011 by maidofmettle

Maid of Mettle is at sea, or possibly stopped somewhere without internet. Yes, this does occasionally happen.

While I will try and post occasional updates via satellite phone, they will not contain the number of photos you have become used to.

So should you miss them, please enjoy this brief pictorial interlude. Otherwise described as: I finally got around to finding a program to stitch series of panoramic photos together. Just left-click on the thumbnails to open a larger image in a new tab.

This is Valence, on the River Saone in southern France. We didn’t actually stop here, but the view passing through was quite impressive, especially the castle-topped hills overlooking the town on the left bank.

Next up is Lyon, on the River Rhone. We did spend quite a few days here – it’s not only a beautiful city, but also home to my friend (and former housemate / colleague) Caroline. The view is from the La Croix-Rousse quarter, once Europe’s silk factory. You can just see the basilica at Fourvieres on the skyline on the right- it was built in thanks after a medieval plague passed the city by.

The next couple are both from the top of the city walls in Avignon. The first looking north…

and the second looks east  across the edge of the town to the beginnings of the Alps in the distance. The most famous ~1/4 of a bridge in the world is unfortunately hidden behind a tree somewhere.

To continue the mountain theme we’re going to dash to the bottom of France, and then across the Golfe de Lion to L’Escala, just over the Spanish border. This time it’s the snow-capped Pyrenees you can glimpse on the skyline in the far-right.

Part of this walk was a bit creepy – I was going through some woodland when I saw a cat sunning itself in a spot of shade. So far, so good. But then there was another. And another. And another. The overall effect was rather disturbing..

Still, it was well worth it for the views of this tiny hilltop suburb and a beautifully blue Mediterranean.

And the mysterious phantom island on the horizon on the left. It really doesn’t look like a cloud, but I’m sure there shouldn’t be land in that direction within several hundred miles. Strange.

The next leap is to Barcelona, and the view over the city from Park Guell.

Next is a view of the west coast of Ibiza and offlying islands. San Antonio is visible on the right, but you can’t see the nightclubs from up here.

Still on the same island, here’s a long-distance view of Ibiza town itself, from the dunes by the Playa Las Salinas, named after the numerous salt-pans nearby. Apparently Jade Jagger and Kate Moss frequent this beach, but unsurprisingly not in February.

Finally (for now) a return to the Spanish mainland in Cartagena – the harbour and some of the city from a fort high above the eastern side of the entrance.

“It was the [second] time that we met…Barcelona!”

Posted in Fun, Photographs, the Mediterranean Sea with tags , on January 21, 2010 by maidofmettle

Contrary to the words of Freddie mercury back in 1992 when the city was host to the olympics, Chris and I were lucky enough to come to Barcelona in the summer last year so we have enjoyed seeing some of our favourite sites for a second time and acting as tour guides (a bit) for Pete.

We did a few days of motoring (and occasional sailing) mostly in no wind to get here and in the absence of a great forecast for moving on (and the fact we wanted to stay for at least a day) we have had plenty of time to see things and relax a bit.  It can be a bit difficult knowing from day to day what you’re going to be do and if you are still going to be somewhere because our lives are dictated somewhat by what the weather chooses to do.  The uncertainty is going to have to be something to get used to even if it is a struggle.

On the way in to Barcelona

About 3 miles from our intended port in Barcelona a motor boat came from nowhere out of the mist and head directly towards us…we moved, they moved…we moved again, they moved.  Hmmm we thought, what on earth are they doing maintaining a deliberate collision course?!  It was only when they got a little closer that we realised they were in fact the Spanish police on the look out for boats so they could check our passports, the boat’s papers and have a quick look around the boat presumably to check for drugs.  I suppose they might have wondered why anyone would be out in the misty, damp and slightly cold Mediterranean winter so were pulling boats in to the nearest port, which then added at least an hour on to our original journey plan.  The police let us go having checked everything and then refused Chris’ kind offer to take their photograph…one of the three claiming he was too shy and the other two looking slightly scary at the prospect of having their photos taken!  Anyway, we got one of their boat instead.

The guardia with another boat

It’s a little quieter than when we were here but the city still has appeal in the form of a lots of giant things… a giant fish,  a giant gherkin,  a woolly mammoth and you guessed it…the giant ostentatious cathedral courtesy of Gaudi who never actually finished making it in his lifetime.  The people of Barcelona are still finishing it but even now it is incredibly impressive and resembles a scene out of melted wax on one side and angular on the other.  I like it.

Just one of the giant things in Barcelona

The unfinished cathedral

We’ve eaten out a couple of times, both of which were very nice.  We bravely tried “carpaccio of beef”, which on its arrival turned out to be very thin slices of raw beef with a salad.  I had wrongly thought it might be some kind of beef wrapped in pastry parcels…still we have learned now and it was actually surprisingly good if a little disturbing.

Today, walking down the main tourist street Las Ramblas we spotted someone who likes vegetables even more than Pete does…

Anyone for garlic?