Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gaudi gets his own Google Doodle

It would have been Gaudi's 161st birthday this year, and this week, none other than Google has shone its own kind of praise on the crazy-talented Catalan architect, with his very own Google doodle. Google typically re-writes the letters in a funny way, characteristic of the person they are honouring, so this time it's no  different, with different parts of Barcelona and his buildings spelling out the word. Barcelona has 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and Gaudi is responsible for 7 of those 9. Take a bow, sir, take a bow.

Google Doodle of Antoni Gaudi - barcelons sights blog

Cool eh? Recognise them all? If you don't, then there's a very good explanation here.

Fancy a trip to the Catalan Capital to see the sights of Gaudi? BCN Rentals has some great deals on apartment rentals instead of staying in a hotel.

Bowling in Barcelona

This post could carry on along some of the recent posts of mine about activities with children in Barcelona, but is one for the adults too, as it's Ten Pin Bowling in Barcelona!

As far as I could work out from a quick search on the internet, there are two places in Barcelona offering bowling - one in Pedralbes and the Zona Alta, and the one we chose, which is newpark bowling in La Maquinista shoping centre. There seemed to be one in Diagonal Mar but all the links to the web were broken so I thought it wasn't worth the risk. The one at La Maquinista was fine - free parking and it's also a rather large arcade game area, with a load of old classic Sega Games like Outrun, Afterburner, and some pretty cool air hockey tables and pool tables. But we'd gone for the bowling.

It'd been about 20 years since I'd last been bowling so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, and was hoping it would be similar as the way I remembered it. And fair play to the girl who was on (on her own, Satuday afternoon on the bar as well as the bowling desk) she took the time to explain everything, prices, shoe hire and the security bars for the kids (mine are 5 and 7).

The game was great, and the kids went first, and the bars alongside the gutter (for want of a better word, any bowlers out there feel free to correct me) came up automatically, very professional - last time I went that was manual. There were loads of different neon coloured balls to choose from with different weights, but even so they were a bit heavy for my daughter, so they had one of those handy ramps as shown in the photo above to give them a hand.

So, important things. Prices. We paid 19€ for the 4 of us with shoe hire, and took ages for the game (the toilet on the same floor as the bowling alley was out of order, so we had to keep going downstairs to the one next to Burger King. On a Saturday. But anyway.) Prices go up after 16h, and I think by chance we'd got there about 15:30, so got the cheaper price. It only goes up to around 25 € if I remember correctly so it's not a great deal of difference but still something to consider if you're looking to do more than one game. We had loads of fun, and my kids loved it as an alternative to going to the cinema or "indoor" activities as I like to call them for either a rainy day, or a really hot day when it's just too hot to wander around or run around parks. If anyone has any experience in the other one, I'd love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments!

Fancy a family holiday ? Check out these great apartments to rent in Barcelona as an alternative to a hotel and to save some money. And check out my top ten sights for children in Barcelona too!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Facelift for La Otra Carboneria

It's not often I complain, but I had a bit of a moan to myself when I went past La Otra Carboneria a couple of months ago and saw that someone had started to cover up the amazing graffiti on the facade. At the time, I wasn't sure if it had been the administration, vandals, or whatever, although little by little the picture became clearer...

Here's the one I liked and have blogged about before

Pretty cool right? Everyone would crane their neck on the bus going past, or in the car and it became part of the local geography accepted by all and even the council tried to break it up (check out the bottom corner around the furniture shop, where the facade has been daubed in brown to cover up the tentacles a bit.

facade of la otra carboneria - barcelonasights blog

So, I've been waiting for a day where I've a) been walking past again and b) the weather was good for me to take another quick snap since it's been finished (a while). I think you'll agree it looks pretty impressive and a lot more colourful, too. There's also something written on the street in Catalan about fighting against prisoners or something, but I couldn't quite make that out and don't know if they're related either.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sonar Turns 20 !!

You know the summer is on its way when it's Sonar time. After the realllly slow and wet May, it's about bloody time for some fantastic weather and this week looks to be proving to be exactly that. And it's just in time for the return if everyone's favourite Barcelona Festival - Sonar. 13th to 16th June.

Barcelona sights blog - Sonar 2013

The Electronic Festival now seems to span so many different art forms it's becoming difficult to categorise but "International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art" sounds good enough for me. One of the big changes this year is the changing of locations for the Sonar by Day events, moving from the upper Raval around the MACBA and CCCB over to Plaça Espanya. Whether or not you believe the move is to gain 7000 more party go-ers or if the organisers have finally buckled under the pressure of neighbourhood groups  the fact of the matter is that it's moved, and will likely be louder and not annoy people as much so let's not dwell too much on that! It also means an easier link up with the night events over at Gran Via 2, let's hope.

This year sees Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk as the main headliners, but as always there's a whole host of shows and Dj's to boogie on down to as well as the many bars and clubs that jump on the bandwagon this week and offer their own nights.

Organisers are actually expecting less people this year -just over 85,000 according to the press releases compared to 98,000 last year. This also despite work on the night event location to allow another 7000 revelers in. Are you going? Looking forward to seeing anyone in particular ? Let me know in the comments!

Coming to Barcelona this summer? Check out BCN Rentals for some great deals on apartments.
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