Rooftop with a View

When in Barcelona, the last thing on my mind is taking photos of the sunset. However, if one presents itself, I’m more than happy to oblige.

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Rooftop with a View
Sunset during happy hour

This photo is another that I took from atop the Fira Renaissance. The hotel is outside the main tourist area, so most of the people here were attending conferences. They would come up to the rooftop pool to socialize during happy hour.

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It still amazes me how structurally sound these buildings must be to support a pool on the top floor – water is so heavy. There is also an indoor pool on the floor below. I guess there is no limit to what people can dream and build.

Taller de Tapas

Here are some people in the gothic quarter of Barcelona sitting outside at a tapas bar, talking late into the night.

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Taller de Tapas
A typical night scene in the gothic quarter of Barcelona

Scenes like this occur over and over, and I think, are typical of Catalonian culture. Not that I’m an expert, but it seems quite friendly and puts a lot of value on spending time with family and friends.

more night photography from the gallery

It’s not difficult to see the appeal, especially in places like Barcelona. Sure, every area has its problems, but it’s fun to see different lifestyles and wonder what it would be like to live there, if only for a spell.

Lighthouse of the Mediterranean

I’m aiming straight up at Phare de la méditerranée, which translates “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.” Despite the name, it’s not a lighthouse.

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Lighthouse of the Mediterranean
One of the attractions of Palavas-les-Flots in Southern France

The top of the tower is a revolving restaurant with views of, you guessed it, the Mediterranean. There are a few touristy places like this because Palavas-les-Flots is a French vacation town. But it’s not over-the-top commercialized as you might find in other areas. There is a casino, but it’s low-key, not overly flashy.

more architecture photography in the gallery

One thing you will find a lot of though is ice cream. For whatever reason, they are crazy about ice cream, and in tourist towns, you’ll find it on every corner.

Platja de Lloret De Mar

This scene is a nine frame high-resolution panorama of the beach at Lloret Del Mar. If you wanted, you could zoom in to see the menu at KFC.

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Platja de Lloret De Mar
A high-resolution panorama in Spain

Not that you would or that I would go to Spain for KFC, I’m just saying. Printed at full resolution, this is over eight feet across – a lot of detail.

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For panoramas to work, they need the right subject and, the Mediterranean is full of these kinds of scenes. I was here twice in September, once for an over-night and, a week later, to retrieve my lost passport. It was on the second trip that I made this. After I did, I went to an outdoor cafe facing the beach, not too far from KFC.

Carnon Plage Scenes

Depending on the time of day, the scene at this beach is entirely different. I’m not sure which one I prefer better.

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Carnon Plage Sunrise
Sunrise at the beach in Carnon
Carnon Plage Midday
Midday at the same beach.

Having spent almost a week here, I had plenty of opportunities to take in the view. I think perhaps that I like the early morning view for the stillness of the water. If I think about it much longer, I’ll probably change my mind.

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The defining characteristic of Carnon Plage is the circularity of the shore. (BTW: Plage is the French word for beach.) Breakwaters were constructed to prevent erosion such that waves passing through form rings. The beach is therefore circular and, there is more of it than if it were merely straight. In the end, it makes for good picture taking, which for me, is all that seems to matter.

Melanie De Biasio

Probably the biggest festival of the year in Barcelona is La Mercè. Of course, we knew nothing about it until we were right in the middle of it.

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Melanie De Biasio
A midnight concert in from the Barcelona Cathedral during La Mercè
Here is a perspective with the cathedral that I took with my iPhone

We were walking around and stopped to listen to Melanie De Biasio perform a midnight concert in front of the main cathedral. Her music is a hypnotic jazz fusion that’s right down my alley. Like everything else, I’d never heard of her, but now she’s at the top of my playlist. 

During the La Mercè, many of the major plazas host outdoor free concerts, plus there are fireworks and parades each night. It’s called the festival of festivals for a good reason. In my case, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart. 

School Night in Montpellier

In my next life, I’ll be born in France and, when I go to school, it will be in Montpellier. They have by far the best nightlife.

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School Night in Montpellier
Medical students hanging out in Montpellier, France

Not that I am suggesting one should go to school because of the nightlife, but if one did, this might rank high on the shortlist. But to be fair, I’m rating it more on aesthetics than academic qualities. In fact, the medical school is quite good; it’s the oldest in Europe.

more from Europe in the gallery

Anyway, I wandered around the narrow streets shooting scenes on a school night. There were a lot of people out, and I’m sure some of them had to be up for class the next day. But, I suppose that’s just training for the sleep deprivation they’ll experience the first years of residency.

Night Enchantment

You haven’t seen Barcelona until you’ve seen and heard it at night. The combination of light, shadows, and music create an exotic enchantment that keeps me coming back for more.

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Night Enchantment
A busker in Barcelona

The harpist played behind the main Cathedral, and it is here that, over the years, I have heard some of the most talented musicians. The night before, I listened to a couple of tenors belting out arias reverberating as in the best opera venues.

more night photography from the gallery

Here is where the greatest from all over Europe and America come to perform in front of passing nighttime crowds. The echoing acoustics of the gothic cathedral walls remind me of the New York subway; only here they don’t get drowned out by passing trains.

Monday Morning

This picture feels a little like a gloomy Monday morning, even though I took it on a Friday.

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Monday Morning
A gloomy morning in Southern France

I took this near our friend’s house at the beach in Carnon. I never tire of these minimalistic scenes because they leave much room for interpretation and reflection — however, calm thoughts were the last thing on my mind when I took this.

gallery images featuring minimalism

I was about to go for a swim and, the water was chilly. Getting in took two types of effort, one of the mind and one of the body. Neither my mind nor body was overly enthusiastic at the prospect. In the end, I completed the swim, which left the rest of the day to contemplate sweet nothing.

The Pool on Top

The pool on top of the Renaissance Fira in Barcelona has a fantastic view of the city. As a shutterbug, that ranks pretty high on my list of amenities.

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The Pool on Top
On top of the Fira Renaissance in Barcelona

I left the big boy camera in the room; all I had was my iPhone 7 Plus. I plan to upgrade, but this is not bad for an outdated iPhone if I do say so myself. I did indeed process it, as I do all my photos, but to get this kind of quality from a four-year-old phone is terrific.

more iPhone images

When I get the iPhone 11 with its new camera features, maybe I’ll take a trip with just the phone. We are getting to the point where big cameras are becoming more of a niche item. Perhaps they’ll always be around, but if you can get high-quality photos from a phone, why bother?