barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral

Our apartment in Barcelona was in the Gothic Quarter, literally about 200m walk to the cathedral. We quickly got used to sleeping through the bells ringing every hour throughout the night, and to be honest I now kind of miss hearing the bells at night.

Like many churches, visits were free and you could walk in anytime for a moment of quiet contemplation, or of course to take photos. The cathedral has wonderful cloisters, with several side-chapels around the edges. It is a classic example of gothic architecture, complete with gargoyles, crypts and long dark columns. I suspect that Anne Rice’s vampires could have fun here.

Barcelona Cathedral

The facade is also quite amazing. There is so much detail in the sharp and intricate edges of the building. You could sit outside one of the many cafe’s outside the cathedral, drink a sangria, admire the facade and listen to traditional Catalan music.

 While we were there, it was the Barcelona Festival, and one of the many festival stages was directly in front of the cathedral. At night they lit up the cathedral in different colours. The stage was used for traditional dancing, local music and concerts (the other stages had rock and folk music).

Finally, something that you have to see from inside is the stained glass windows. From the outside they are just windows, but fulled with coloured lights as the sun shines inside and lights them up.

You can view the gallery below.

Market of la Boqueria, Barcelona

Shot on a 35mm film camera, with a 50mm lens, using C41 black and white film. Much as I love shooting digital, there is still a special place for shooting in film, and never knowing quite how it came out until a few days after shooting.

It really teaches you to take your time, frame your pictures, check your settings, and to get the shot right in-camera (and to make plenty of mistakes).

Market of la Boqueria, Barcelona.

First impressions of Barcelona

Lois and I have been back from our trip to Spain and France for about 2 weeks now, and I am finally getting my photos into a semblance of order (well at least ordered enough to start posting them here). We had a wonderful experience in Barcelona, but I am really not sure where to start to describe it (the food, architecture, people, festivals or the culture).

Well I guess that it is best to start with my first impressions. It was noisy, hot, full of people and I loved it all! This is a city where the rule “never leave home without your camera” applied. Almost every time I left the apartment I found something to shoot. Sometimes it was a planned trip, but more often that not it was something unexpected that was not on the itenary, and certainly not in the guide book.

Like Venice, Barcelona is a city where you want to wonder around and get a little lost (something that in the Gothic Quarter where we were staying was very easy). You will find wonderful squares, fountains and moments of quiet in the most unexpected places.

Escher Square

I cannot tell you exactly where this square was or how to get there, but I think it makes for an amazing photo. It reminds me of those confusing Escher pictures of the stairs going all over the place.

Casa de l'Ardiaca

And this fountain was found in a little building called Casa de l’Ardiaca (the door was open so I just walked in), right next to the Barcelona Cathedral. I am not quite sure if it is open to the public because next time the door was firmly locked.

Neither of these two places were on my “shoot list” for out trip, but I am really happy with both shots. In my next post I will speak a little about the food in Barcelona.

By the way, in case you are wondering why the watermarks in my images have come back (I have been resisting it for ages), it is because somebody else started watermarking my images (with my name) on my behalf, so I have caved in :-)

 

 

 

Barcelona Cathedral – the cloisters

Another view of the benchmark of Gothic architecture, Barcelona cathedral. This is the vaulted roof of the cloisters. The cloisters are (slightly) less busy than the main cathedral, but there is a lovely fountain flowing into a pond, in which about 10 really noise geese live. I believe that there have been geese living there for many hundreds of years.

Barcelona Cathedral

There are also many side-chapels, but most of them are closed off so you cannot really get nice shots of them.

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