Last week (18th October) was the tenth anniversary of the death of the great Barcelonan writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. An article I wrote here on him http://www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/living/man-of-the-people—manuel-vázquez-montalbán/ and a better one here by Mike Eaude http://www.isj.org.uk/?id=187
A Griffon Vulture, which most unusually has been hanging around Barcelona harbour for the last few days, has finally been captured by wildlife agents, and is now recovering in a rescue centre. I’ve never heard of vulture landing in the city before, though apparantly a black vulture was spotted a few weeks ago above L’Hospitalet.
Remarkable and beautiful photos by Laurent Godel of Alpine swifts flying over the skies of Barcelona. More here on his website.
The Common Swift leaves Barcelona in late July / early August, but the larger Alpines will stay on till October before heading off for its African winter home.
I love the Barceloneta just before a storm breaks. This one late August 2013.
Montjüic in the early 20th century. No trees but no tarmac either. Still a mountain.
We came on this very young horseshoe whipsnake this morning on the stone steps of Guadi’s Bodega Güell in El Garraf built as a winery for the slave-enriched Catalan industrialist Güell. Albert, our toddler, was very excited by his first snake. Not venomous but this one was certainly feisty.
Very much enjoyed the peregrine falcon watch this morning in front of the Sagrada Familia. Highlight was watching close-up with a telescope a female devour with gusto a pigeon as feathers were pulled out and floated in the air around Gaudi’s spires, but must missed spectacular mid-air kill as was on swing-seesaw-slide duty at that moment. Thanks to Eduard Durany and Sergi Garcia for organsing the do. Image from Falconsbarcelona.net
I had a very enjoyable evening out last week as a punter with Crafty Beer Tours with guides-hosts Roy Cottle and Robin Barden (both in the photo). The tour takes you to two beer bars very much off the beaten tourist trail in Barcelona and is enlivened by their passionate, engaging and witty spiel on the new movement of Catalan and Spanish craft beers. Beer of course forms the connecting thread but the tour is really about local produce and alternative Barcelona with a healthy dose of contemporary politics thrown in. First stop was Cerveseria La Resistencia, interesting itself because Sergi the owner is a goldmine of family stories about the Civil War and anarchism in Barcelona https://www.facebook.com/
5 minute piece on the tours by Barcelona TV. I think Marta Ballesta the director has done a great job so many thanks to her. Some of you can have a laugh at my Catalan too. An error on my part. It was Av Meridiana that was renamed Av. de la URSS not Gran Via. See video here on iberianature