lunes, 29 de octubre de 2012

The Blue Tram - El Tramvia Blau

I know, I know, it is clearly something for tourists, but there someone from Barcelon who never used the Tramvia Blau (Blue Tram)? And if there is, what is he waiting for?
I remember nothing that made me as happy as boarding the Blue Tram to, and then the Funicular to take me to the Tibidabo amusement park with my family!
Obviously, for me the most important thing was not that we were riding the only tram left in the city, or travelling in a wagon built in the early twentieth century, but getting closer to my dream destination, the amusement park. Specifically, the 1276 meters it takes, bridging a height gap of nearly 100 meters, from Kennedy Sq to Doctor Andreu Sq, who, for the record, was the driving force behind this tram line.
The Tramvia Blau was the only one circulating in Barcelona from 1971, after the other lines were replaced by buses, until 2004, when the Trambaix started to circulate. 
Of course, if someone came from another planet and saw these two trams, he surely would doubt that the modern tram along Diagonal Avenue and the old one in Av Tibidabo are individuals of the same species!

martes, 23 de octubre de 2012

Cobi (the best mascot)

Cobi the mascot

We recently celebrated the 20th anniversary (yes, twenty years already!) of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Those of us who are old enough have a big amount of mental pictures and memories of those two weeks that changed Barcelona.

And we all have in mind which was the mascot of those Olympic Games, Cobi. We must admit that there were very few who loved him from the beginning. Perhaps we were not prepared to love that groundbreaking, cubist-inspired, Catalan shepherd, who apparently had no volume and had his nose on the side of his face.

But gradually we were able to overcome the cold welcome (to say it in nice words) welcome and get to love him, to the point that he became one of the most popular mascots in the history of the Olympics. Then came Petra, Jordi, Olivia and Forçut, who formed the Cobi troupe.

lunes, 15 de octubre de 2012

Cinema at Montjuïc

One thing about traditions is that they are established over time. In Barcelona we have some very old ones (like the dancing egg or the Fira de Santa Llúcia) but fortunately we are also creating new ones.

For me, a recent tradition that has a special place on my agenda is the cinema outdoors in the summer. I do not know how long it takes to turn a habit into a tradition, but I do know that for me it is enough with the 10 years that the Cinema at Montjuïc has celebrated.
And do not tell me it's not an important tradition to be preserved. Going up the mountain with friends up to the castle of Montjuïc, installing oneself on the lawn, having picnic while hearing live music and then watching a movie is priceless!

And feeling the need to wear a jacket in the summer heat of Barcelona is also priceless!

lunes, 8 de octubre de 2012


Motorcycles Barcelona

You just have to walk down through streets of Barcelona to see that it is one of the European cities with more motorcycles. In fact, only Rome has more of them. When you see how they position themselves in the red crosslights to leave first then you understand that they are the queens of the asphalt.
It's one of the things that often draws attention to people who visit, especially if they have to drive around Barcelona, and they are not used to having to think about having motorbikes everywhere around! Even us, people from Barcelona, who are used to them, find sometimes in tnese situations created between motorbikes and other vehicles.
I am, myself, sometimes a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorcyclist and motorist in Barcelona, and  I also use public transportation. I think we can all live together if we all are willing to cooperate. Actually, problems are caused not by the type of vehicle, but by who and how they are driven it!

martes, 2 de octubre de 2012

Flip-flops and socks

Flip-flops and socks

I remember there was a time, long ago, when you could walk around the city center and find more locals than tourists. Now that is almost an almost impossible experience, and it becomes more evident during the touristic peak season...although I am starting to think that Barcelona is always in "high season".
By the way, and for the record, I have nothing against tourism itself, I am only pointing an objective fact.
Well, we have always associated the word tourism with another word, which may be a little unfair, "guiri", a word including some characteristic as blond or red hair, extremely burned skin by sun exposure (known as "prawn effect"), flowered-printed shirts, hanging cameras.... and sandals or flip-flops with socks!

lunes, 1 de octubre de 2012


I was 10 and I had fallen asleep in the back seat of the car. Back then, it was not mandatory to fasten your seat bealt. I was accompanying my mother to run errands around Barcelona. 

Traffic is chaotic, perhaps even more than usual for a Friday afternoon in June. Sirens began to sound. Ambulance, police, firefighters. Something has happened. My mother turns on the radio and confirms her suspicions.
She looks at me through her thick glasses and cries.
Surely many locals have memories of that fateful day. I usually write other kind of entries for this blog, but it is still part of our recent history. Twenty years later, fortunately, the scenario is completely different. The future is unwritten but that kind of past will not be repeated.