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quinta-feira, junho 30, 2005

Le 30 juin

I ususally don´t really make such a big deal of my own birthday. this one is very special, though. I fell like few years have had such a strong effect on me as this. I feel old already just from thinking I´m not 21 any more. I don´t really have a creative head to write about it right now and nobody asked for a speech anyway. I´m just giving a clue for those who have forgotten (but they probably don´t read this blog either...).

Big hug to all my friends far from me today. Be patient, the Belgian pictures will come soon.

A velha (velha mesmo...) guarda da portela. Portela�s old crew playing in the Senate�s Quart. Posted by Hello

Brazilians and gringos on the drumes as an introduction to the old school of Portela. Posted by Hello

There are several bands performing on the street during the Music Day. This was among the good ones. There are some bad ones that reminded me of the Defecon days. Posted by Hello

Les canards profitent de l�ombre la premi�re journ�e de l��t�. First day of Summer, the ducks rest under the shades in the Jardin du Luxembourg. Posted by Hello

Jardin du Luxembourg, avec le Panth�on au fond. Posted by Hello

This is a Citr�en 2 chevaux, the french equivalent to the beetle (fusc�o). I love those cars, but they�re probably very uncomfortable. Posted by Hello

Still in Paris on Rue Saint Jaques during the F�te de la Musique. The car is a Fiat 500, I remember having seen one in Rio longtime ago. Posted by Hello

quarta-feira, junho 29, 2005


Bilingual countries were a mistery to me until I got to Canada. There I learnt that few people are in fact biligual and the different cultures tend to treat each other as foreigners living in the same country.

However, bilingual cities are a different thing. Montréal, Ottawa, Barcelona and Brussels have a single atmosphere that becomes very interesting if you pay attention to it. Montréal will make you dizzy each time you see certain people who can switch through English and French without leaving any detectable accent. You can notice the invisible border somewhere near Saint Cuthbert where people will suddenly start speaking english. In Ottawa I used to test how far I could get speaking French only, and to my great astonishment I was seldom forced to speak English.

Barcelona is like Montréal in that aspect. Almost everyone can speak Spanish, but they will often make an effort not to. Advertising, street names, everything they can write in Catalan they will write in Catalan. A big difference is that Catalan is a language that is spoken solely in Catalunya. It looks (when written) similar to Portuguese, Spanish, French and I would bet it´s similar to Italian too (if I only could speak Italian) but no foreigner seems to bother to learn it. Barcelona is (like Montréal) full of foreign students and professionals very eager to practice Spanish, just like many people who travel to Montréal with the goal of English language practice. If Barcelona still speaks Catalan, Québec has little to worry about the French language.

Belgium was funny. Whenever we were in flanders I would have the following dialog with clerks and servers:
-Parlez vous français?
-Un petit peu.
-That´s better!"
It looks like not everyone wants to speak both official languages, I didn´t really get the spirit of it. Maybe it was the beer, maybe I should come back for longer since there´s a lot of beer to be drunk.

PS: My trip to belgium sure was a lot more amusing than my writing, the pictures will come soon.

terça-feira, junho 28, 2005

many buildings in Barcelona look beautifull from the outside but can�t actually be admired from a proper distance. Now barcelona�s pictures are finished and next will come the belgian ones! Get ready! Posted by Hello

some more images Posted by Hello

detail on the wall Posted by Hello

Palau de la Musica Catalana Posted by Hello

Egl�sia Santa Maria del Pi, with one of the world�s biggest rosette (ros�cio? o vitral redondo). Gothic Catalan architecture. Posted by Hello

Plaza George Orwell in the gothic quarter, not much to see here. Posted by Hello

One of the few things that were missing in my visit to Barcelona was the Palau G�ell, another Gaud� work. This one was built in 1880 and has been used as a politic prison after the civil war. I had a little surprise when I finally got there. Maybe one day I might see it on tv. Posted by Hello

This is an original sculpture, but the other side of it is not as interesting as some of you may think. Posted by Hello

Les champ �lis�es? No, it�s the Arc de Triomph. Very common thing in Europe, I noticed. Posted by Hello

still in the parc Posted by Hello

Sorry, I just had to take a picture of this. What were they thinking when they chose this name? Posted by Hello

The zoology museum at the Parque de la Ciutadela. Looks interesting from the outside, but I didn�t feel like going inside. Posted by Hello

A brave old man, for the astonishment of everyone in the Plaza. Posted by Hello

Continuing... The following day at Placa Reial. One of the hottest spots in Barcelona, but very dirty as well, just like the "Lapa" in Rio. The green in the water fountain can give you an idea of how clean the water is. Posted by Hello

terça-feira, junho 21, 2005


This is just the second out of three parts of my visit to Barcelona, the rest will be posted after I come back from Belgium. I´m leaving tomorrow to visit my friend Gaël in Brussels, then Antwerpe. After that, who knows, I might even go to Germany? The journey for the holy grail of beer begins. Now I have to go to sleep.

Does this ring a bell to anyone? Well, I learnt that the bull is the symbol of Spain, while the donkey is the symbol of Catalunya. Perhaps there is some symbolism in this monument near plaza de Catalunya. Posted by Hello

Crashed window on Passeig de Gr�cia, just like in Perpignan. I guess catalans enjoy vandalism. Posted by Hello

Casa Batl�. Guess who signs it? All these houses were too expensive to get in, I prefered to keep my money and admire from the outside. I hate the fact that they were never built to be museums or monuments and the city keeps turning everything Gaud� built into a tourist ripoff. Posted by Hello

Casa Mil� or La Pedrera. No need to say it�s a Gaud� thing... Posted by Hello