Thursday, November 22, 2012

Festive Season Begins with Barcelona Shopping Night

Cartel for Shopping Night Barcelona

So that time has crept up on us again, and it's just over a month until Christmas. It doesn't feel like it outside with some great temperatures but nevertheless, the kids are practicing Carols at school, the lights have been up for a while and the decorations are starting to appear in the shop windows. It's as if everyone is waiting for a special even to kick it all off - well, step into the spotlight The Barcelona Shopping Night. Tonight from 20h until 1am, the shops on Passeig de Gracia will be open for a special experience with VIP passes, drinks and red carpets, etc.

The idea came about to impulse the economy for shopping towards Christmas and encourage the people of the city - and the tourists - to spend spend spend. For those of you who don't know, Passeig de Gracia is also the most famous shopping street of Barcelona, housing most of the expensive fashion brands the world has to offer. Think Gucci, Fendi, Burberry, Armani, etc. and that's nothing to tell you about the waiting list to get a shop on this main shopping boulevard (Disney has been on the waiting list for years to open a store there, for example - rather than another location).

BarcelonaSights Blogf - Christmas TreeTonight also co-incides with the turning on of the Christmas lights and the opening for the second year running of the ice rink at Plaça Catalunya - a great thing for the city based on my experiences last year. As far as I know, the prices are the same as last year - 8€ for an hour or 6€ for half an hour including the skate hire. Take gloves if you're as you need to wear gloves (or buy them). As the event is sponsored by local businesses, there are usually freebies hanging around outside too (last year's was ready-made soups, etc) so keep your eyes open, too.

Anyone planning on going tonight? Let me know in the comments!

And if you fancy a shopping trip to the Catalan Capital this winetr, check out BCN Rentals website for some great, late deals on Barcelona apartments.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Barcelona's Greek Theatre

Grec Letters on Stone Entrance to Barcelona Theatre
I've spoken many times about the great Grec festival which happens each summer, and the actual space of the festival - Barcelona's own Greek amphitheatre  - is a diverse space used for the Jazz festival, live music, dance and puppetry as well as just normal theatre. And we're not just talking Greek Comedy or Tragedy, here, the variety of different genres who have stepped onto that stone stage are as equal as the variety of flowers and plants in the surrounding gardens.

house and palm trees at Teatro Grec Barcelona
It's also just a really nice place to just go and have a look around, and outside of the festival dates, it's an open park with free entrance at the foot of Montjuic. These photos were actually taken in August, hence the amazing blue skies and vivid colours of the vegetation, but they're just from my phone with no filters, etc. so you can't really appreciate it unless you go!

garden views of Teatro Grec Barcelona
The theatre itself is at the back, and represents perfectly a typical Greek amphitheatre. It was built  - like nearby Poble Español and the fountains of Montjuic - for the 1929 International Exhibition of Barcelona, and can house 1900 spectators.
Greek Amphitheatre in Barcelona - Side View
The metal structure you can see on the left of the photo is for hanging lights/spotlights for night-time performances.
Top View of Greek Theatre in Barcelona
The acoustics  - made by the shape of the seats and the depth of the stage, means that amplification of voices and sound are at the maximum.
Small bridge and gardens - Barcelona Sights Blog

The grounds around the theatre itself are peaceful and well attended by the city gardeners. You can find many little corners in the 460m2 to sit and read a book, or just take in the nature around you.
water features and gardens in Greek Theatre surroundings

Inside of the white house in the above picture. It's a great place for taking panoramic pictures from the views that are surrounding the park, and the actual theatre itself.
wooden beams in housing terrace at Greek Theatre Barcelona

Thinking of coming to Barcelona soon ? BCN Rentals has some great deals on accommodation - check out the web!
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