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December 14 2014

spain23275

10 of the best films set in Barcelona

December 09 2014

spain23275

10 of the best shops for bargains in Barcelona

December 03 2014

spain23275

10 of the best shops for bargains in Barcelona



Blasts from the past... Muebles RAM warehouse in Eixample, Barcelona Diaz Wichmann/Diaz Wichmann

If you are planning on visiting Barcelona the following link has detailed information on Barcelona hotel deals february.

Muebles RAM

Dark walls piled high with retro furniture; teetering piles of chairs; lights swinging from overhead beams; mirrors and picture frames leaning against shelves stacked with lampshades, baskets, and vases; ancient electronic equipment recalling a time when touch screen, handheld and wireless were still the domain of science fiction. Muebles RAM is nostalgia distilled, packed into a warehouse next to Eixample's famous Els Encants market. It's a regular stomping ground for those in the film and theatre industries – arrive early to beat them to the best picks.

• Carrer del Consell de Cent 547,+34 93 265 5780. Open from 8.30am

El Rey de la Màgia

El Rey de la Màgia Photograph: Henri Block

Living up to its name, the "King of Magic", in the Born district, has been purveying magical goods for 130 years, and was once the only shop of its kind in the country. It attracts amateur dabblers, budding enthusiasts and full-blown magicians alike – you'll find gadgets, books, manuals, playing cards, magic boxes and every kind of accessory to assist you in your conjuring career. If the historical side of the illusionary arts are more your cup of tea, head to the nearby Teatre Museu, where there's a permanent collection of magical objects, books, shop archives, and regular magic shows.

• Carrer de la Princesa 11, +34 93 319 3120, elreydelamagia.com. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm, 5pm-8pm, Sat 1am-2pm. Teatre Museu, Carrer de les Jonqueres 15, +34 93 318 7192

Flores Navarro

Flores Navarro

The only place in Barcelona where you can buy bunches of flowers (or, funnily enough, Chupa Chups lollipops) at 4am. Flores Navarro in Eixample – founded in 1960 and open 365 days a year – is one of the last of a dying breed of florists who pride themselves on both the size of their bouquets, and the quality of the flowers (or Chupa Chups). Ready-made newborn baby bouquets cross paths with funeral coronas, bonsai trees, roses, all gathered with an artistic sensibility and for a very reasonable price. Ideal for a drunken romantic gesture on the way home from a party, a thoughtful daytime purchase, or even a phone call from the comfort of your home (they deliver too).

• Carrer de València 320,+34 934 574 099, floristeriasnavarro.com. Open 24 hours

Papabubble

Papabubble

A boutique for sweet-lovers, this shop is a compact cornucopia of brightly coloured confectionery, located in the middle of the Barri Gòtic. Shelves are piled high with jars full of sugary goodies and bags of sweets swing from the walls. The staff busy themselves across the counter, combining sugar, glucose, water and a Wonka-esque imagination into brightly coloured and fantastic creations in front of your eyes. From sushi-shaped sweets (including chopsticks) to candy rings, lollipops, sucking sweets and chopped caramel sticks, the innovation and artistry of the staff at Papabubble is seriously impressive. If you have something particular in mind, they create personalised productions based on your ideas.

• Carrer Ample 28, +34 93 268 8625, papabubble.com. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm, 4pm-8.30pm, Sat 10am-8.30pm

Le Swing

Le Swing

Oddly, for a city that revels in fashion and design, and is bursting to the seams with creativity, good vintage shopping is not Barcelona's forte. Le Swing, however, is a notable exception: the two-store salvation for vintage enthusiasts. Both stores are in the super trendy Born neighbourhood: Blow is all about the accessories, with a range of 80s sunglasses, but Le Swing has the edge, leaning more towards clothing for the modern dandy. The two proprietors, Renier Guerra and Guiselle Berntson Valiente, travel constantly in Europe and to the mecca of classic glamour, Hollywood, to find the vintage gems that populate the shop. The result is deliciously eccentric ensembles from every decade of the 20th century: a Chanel bag here, an embroidered Hermès tie there, a Gucci purse or some early-60s YSL high heels.

• Carrer del Rec 16, +34 93 310 1449; Blow by Le Swing, 3 Guillem, +34 93 302 3698, leswingvintage.com. Open Mon-Sat 11am-2.30pm, 5pm-9pm

CD-Drome

CD-Drome Photograph: Alamy

Accessibility is key at this Raval music institution – in terms of price and genre. CD-Drome houses everything from indie to rock, americana, pop and electronica, and most tastes are catered for. While a broad range can sometimes damage the music catalogue of smaller record stores, here the selection of records reflects the general good taste and eclecticism of the staff. Be sure to probe them, as they usually have something interesting up their sleeves. Their Electronica catalogue is a strong point – with an excellent selection across the spectrum of house, techno, minimal and disco. And everything is clearly catalogued and meticulously presented – a pedantic browser's dream. Also a very useful place to pick up flyers and tickets for gigs and concerts.

• Carrer de Valldonzella 3, +34 93 317 4646, cddrome.com. Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-8.30pm, Sat 10.30am-2pm, 4.30pm-8.30pm

Formatgeria La Seu

Formatgeria La Seu Photograph: Alamy

Cheese rocks – so thinks cheese fanatic Katherine McLaughlin, who's set up this shop in Gòtic specialising in hand-crafted farm cheeses sourced from small independent producers across Spain. Whether it's from a cow, goat or sheep, each has its own particular taste, consistency and story. Try the intense Torta de la Serena, a soft, fluid and spreadable Merino sheep cheese made with a technique using thistle heads – perfect on toast. Or if you're in the mood for a slightly harder cheese, try the six-month matured manchego. They also offer the unique Formatgelat products: a fusion of three of the cheeses with artisan-made ice-cream. The tastings are divine: three types of cheese combined with apple slices, membrillo and a small glass of wine; and private breakfasts and lunches are also available at very reasonable prices, although you'll need to reserve in advance.

• Carrer de la Dagueria 16, +34 93 412 6548, formatgerialaseu.com. Open Tue-Thu 10am-2pm, 5pm-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-3.30pm, 5pm-8pm

Sombrerería Obach

Sombrerería Obach Photograph: Alamy

This famous family-run millinery in the Barri Gòtic was established in 1924 and has steadily developed into an institution. Timeless designs and an unswerving dedication to quality have ensured a steady flow of business – whether you're in the market for a bowler hat, a cap, a beret, a panama, a straw hat, a montero or any other type for that matter, they'll have it. Pick out the one you want from the window or ask the attendants – whose diligent service matches the 1940s atmosphere – and you'll have a stylish, exquisitely made, and reasonably priced creation sitting atop your head in no time.

• Carrer del Call 2, +34 93 318 4094. Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-1.30pm, 4pm-8pm, Sat 10am-2pm, 4.30pm-8pm

Fantastik

Fantastik

Haven't you always wanted a Mexican skull rattle? Surely you've been hankering after a robot moon explorer from China? I know you've had your eye on a recycled plastic zebra from South Africa. This curious store in Raval, which describes its products as mystic, bizarre, odd and original, boasts more than 400 products ranging from toys, household items, decor and religious paraphernalia selected from Mexico, India, Bulgaria, Russia, Senegal and 20 other countries. Truly Barcelona's leading light in kitsch. If you haven't sated your desire for buying absolutely useless (but ever-so-fun) products after leaving this establishment, well, there's no hope for you.

• Carrer de Joaquín Costa 62, +34 93 301 3068, fantastik.es. Open Mon-Thu 11am-2pm, 4pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm

Freaks

Freaks

As its name implies, this Born shop is for the obsessives among us. Alongside cult classic films, there's an exhaustive selection of B-movies, bizarre comics from Kent Williams and Charles Burns, and rare editions such as Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates and works by David Mazzucchelli. Graphic novels, tattoo catalogues from Papua New Guinea, books on graffiti, burlesque, graphic design, animation and sneaker culture: each have their place – lining the walls and piled upon every available surface. This feels like visiting an authentic nerd inner sanctum.

• Carrer d'Ali Bei 10, +34 93 265 8005, freaks-books.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am -2pm, 5pm-9pm

• Leo Pollock works for arts and listings guide Le Cool Barcelona

November 28 2014

spain23275

10 of the best shops for bargains in Barcelona



Blasts from the past... Muebles RAM warehouse in Eixample, Barcelona Diaz Wichmann/Diaz Wichmann

Muebles RAM

Dark walls piled high with retro furniture; teetering piles of chairs; lights swinging from overhead beams; mirrors and picture frames leaning against shelves stacked with lampshades, baskets, and vases; ancient electronic equipment recalling a time when touch screen, handheld and wireless were still the domain of science fiction. Muebles RAM is nostalgia distilled, packed into a warehouse next to Eixample's famous Els Encants market. It's a regular stomping ground for those in the film and theatre industries – arrive early to beat them to the best picks.

• Carrer del Consell de Cent 547,+34 93 265 5780. Open from 8.30am

El Rey de la Màgia

El Rey de la Màgia Photograph: Henri Block

Living up to its name, the "King of Magic", in the Born district, has been purveying magical goods for 130 years, and was once the only shop of its kind in the country. It attracts amateur dabblers, budding enthusiasts and full-blown magicians alike – you'll find gadgets, books, manuals, playing cards, magic boxes and every kind of accessory to assist you in your conjuring career. If the historical side of the illusionary arts are more your cup of tea, head to the nearby Teatre Museu, where there's a permanent collection of magical objects, books, shop archives, and regular magic shows.

• Carrer de la Princesa 11, +34 93 319 3120, elreydelamagia.com. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm, 5pm-8pm, Sat 1am-2pm. Teatre Museu, Carrer de les Jonqueres 15, +34 93 318 7192

Flores Navarro

Flores Navarro

The only place in Barcelona where you can buy bunches of flowers (or, funnily enough, Chupa Chups lollipops) at 4am. Flores Navarro in Eixample – founded in 1960 and open 365 days a year – is one of the last of a dying breed of florists who pride themselves on both the size of their bouquets, and the quality of the flowers (or Chupa Chups). Ready-made newborn baby bouquets cross paths with funeral coronas, bonsai trees, roses, all gathered with an artistic sensibility and for a very reasonable price. Ideal for a drunken romantic gesture on the way home from a party, a thoughtful daytime purchase, or even a phone call from the comfort of your home (they deliver too).

• Carrer de València 320,+34 934 574 099, floristeriasnavarro.com. Open 24 hours

Papabubble

Papabubble

A boutique for sweet-lovers, this shop is a compact cornucopia of brightly coloured confectionery, located in the middle of the Barri Gòtic. Shelves are piled high with jars full of sugary goodies and bags of sweets swing from the walls. The staff busy themselves across the counter, combining sugar, glucose, water and a Wonka-esque imagination into brightly coloured and fantastic creations in front of your eyes. From sushi-shaped sweets (including chopsticks) to candy rings, lollipops, sucking sweets and chopped caramel sticks, the innovation and artistry of the staff at Papabubble is seriously impressive. If you have something particular in mind, they create personalised productions based on your ideas.

• Carrer Ample 28, +34 93 268 8625, papabubble.com. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm, 4pm-8.30pm, Sat 10am-8.30pm

Le Swing

Le Swing

Oddly, for a city that revels in fashion and design, and is bursting to the seams with creativity, good vintage shopping is not Barcelona's forte. Le Swing, however, is a notable exception: the two-store salvation for vintage enthusiasts. Both stores are in the super trendy Born neighbourhood: Blow is all about the accessories, with a range of 80s sunglasses, but Le Swing has the edge, leaning more towards clothing for the modern dandy. The two proprietors, Renier Guerra and Guiselle Berntson Valiente, travel constantly in Europe and to the mecca of classic glamour, Hollywood, to find the vintage gems that populate the shop. The result is deliciously eccentric ensembles from every decade of the 20th century: a Chanel bag here, an embroidered Hermès tie there, a Gucci purse or some early-60s YSL high heels.

• Carrer del Rec 16, +34 93 310 1449; Blow by Le Swing, 3 Guillem, +34 93 302 3698, leswingvintage.com. Open Mon-Sat 11am-2.30pm, 5pm-9pm

CD-Drome

CD-Drome Photograph: Alamy

Accessibility is key at this Raval music institution – in terms of price and genre. CD-Drome houses everything from indie to rock, americana, pop and electronica, and most tastes are catered for. While a broad range can sometimes damage the music catalogue of smaller record stores, here the selection of records reflects the general good taste and eclecticism of the staff. Be sure to probe them, as they usually have something interesting up their sleeves. Their Electronica catalogue is a strong point – with an excellent selection across the spectrum of house, techno, minimal and disco. And everything is clearly catalogued and meticulously presented – a pedantic browser's dream. Also a very useful place to pick up flyers and tickets for gigs and concerts.

• Carrer de Valldonzella 3, +34 93 317 4646, cddrome.com. Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-8.30pm, Sat 10.30am-2pm, 4.30pm-8.30pm

Formatgeria La Seu

Formatgeria La Seu Photograph: Alamy

If you are planning on visiting Barcelona the following link has some further information on Barcelona hotel deals august.

Cheese rocks – so thinks cheese fanatic Katherine McLaughlin, who's set up this shop in Gòtic specialising in hand-crafted farm cheeses sourced from small independent producers across Spain. Whether it's from a cow, goat or sheep, each has its own particular taste, consistency and story. Try the intense Torta de la Serena, a soft, fluid and spreadable Merino sheep cheese made with a technique using thistle heads – perfect on toast. Or if you're in the mood for a slightly harder cheese, try the six-month matured manchego. They also offer the unique Formatgelat products: a fusion of three of the cheeses with artisan-made ice-cream. The tastings are divine: three types of cheese combined with apple slices, membrillo and a small glass of wine; and private breakfasts and lunches are also available at very reasonable prices, although you'll need to reserve in advance.

• Carrer de la Dagueria 16, +34 93 412 6548, formatgerialaseu.com. Open Tue-Thu 10am-2pm, 5pm-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-3.30pm, 5pm-8pm

Sombrerería Obach

Sombrerería Obach Photograph: Alamy

This famous family-run millinery in the Barri Gòtic was established in 1924 and has steadily developed into an institution. Timeless designs and an unswerving dedication to quality have ensured a steady flow of business – whether you're in the market for a bowler hat, a cap, a beret, a panama, a straw hat, a montero or any other type for that matter, they'll have it. Pick out the one you want from the window or ask the attendants – whose diligent service matches the 1940s atmosphere – and you'll have a stylish, exquisitely made, and reasonably priced creation sitting atop your head in no time.

• Carrer del Call 2, +34 93 318 4094. Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-1.30pm, 4pm-8pm, Sat 10am-2pm, 4.30pm-8pm

Fantastik

Fantastik

Haven't you always wanted a Mexican skull rattle? Surely you've been hankering after a robot moon explorer from China? I know you've had your eye on a recycled plastic zebra from South Africa. This curious store in Raval, which describes its products as mystic, bizarre, odd and original, boasts more than 400 products ranging from toys, household items, decor and religious paraphernalia selected from Mexico, India, Bulgaria, Russia, Senegal and 20 other countries. Truly Barcelona's leading light in kitsch. If you haven't sated your desire for buying absolutely useless (but ever-so-fun) products after leaving this establishment, well, there's no hope for you.

• Carrer de Joaquín Costa 62, +34 93 301 3068, fantastik.es. Open Mon-Thu 11am-2pm, 4pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm

Freaks

Freaks

As its name implies, this Born shop is for the obsessives among us. Alongside cult classic films, there's an exhaustive selection of B-movies, bizarre comics from Kent Williams and Charles Burns, and rare editions such as Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates and works by David Mazzucchelli. Graphic novels, tattoo catalogues from Papua New Guinea, books on graffiti, burlesque, graphic design, animation and sneaker culture: each have their place – lining the walls and piled upon every available surface. This feels like visiting an authentic nerd inner sanctum.

• Carrer d'Ali Bei 10, +34 93 265 8005, freaks-books.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am -2pm, 5pm-9pm

• Leo Pollock works for arts and listings guide Le Cool Barcelona

November 21 2014

spain23275

El Messies de Haendel



El Messies de Haendel

El Messies de Haendel

Classical music and Opera | Christmas Time

8/12/2014

With Messiah, Händel broke away from his other oratorios, which were marked by Italian influence, to embrace the ancient passions and cantatas of Germany. Composed in London in 1714 and finished in just three weeks, Messiah is traditionally linked to Christmas, although in reality, the oratorio runs through the life of Jesus. This month of December, the incomparable stage of the Palau de la Música will be the setting of this magnificent work, by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Place: Palau de la Música Catalana | Palau de la Música, 4-6 08003 Barcelona

Web site: www.palaumusica.cat

November 14 2014

spain23275

10 of the best films set in Barcelona



Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother), Pedro Almodóvar, 1999

What is arguably Almodóvar's greatest work begins with tragedy in Madrid, but soon moves to Barcelona, beginning with a breathtaking night-time glimpse of the Sagrada Familia, where the sheer buoyancy of the city steers the film in a powerful and dazzling new direction. Here Manuela (the magnificent Cecilia Roth) reunites with her old friend, the witty and wonderful transsexual prostitute Agrado (Antonia San Juan) - whose flat overlooks the Palau de la Música - while inadvertently immersing herself in the world of theatre and helping a naive young nun (Penélope Cruz). Art mirrors life mirrors art in this vibrantly colourful (literally), multi-layered tribute to women ("We are all women!'" says Almodóvar) that beautifully captures the dynamism and generous spirit of the city itself.

o La Sagrada Família; Palau de la Música; Hospital del Mar; Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli

En Construcción (Under Construction; aka Work in Progress), Jose Luís Guerín, 2001

In 1998, a plan of renovation began in Barcelona with the aim of cleaning up the "Barrio Chino", a working-class neighbourhood that was also home to immigrants, prostitutes, drug dealers and the homeless. The first phase was the demolition of a block of flats for the construction of condos, displacing the locals. Guerin filmed more than 120 hours of the process, which he edited down to 127 minutes. We watch this diverse mix, along with bricklayers and builders, hearing snippets of their conversations as walls are toppling all around and a Roman cemetery is unearthed. Then comes the new set of prospective buyers, who hope the views of washing hanging out on the line soon disappear. Some did, some didn't.

o El Xino/The Barrio Chino (now called the Raval); the Apollo; the Three Chimneys; the medieval church of Sant Pau del Camp

En la Ciudad (In the City), Cesc Gay, 2003

When I travel, I'm always curious about the rooms people live in and the conversations they have. In the City zeros right in on Barcelona. It's all about interiors - apartments, trendy restaurants, studios, etc - while also giving us a glimpse of the inner lives of three solidly middle-class, thirtysomething couples and the delightfully baffling Sofia, all friends, who harbour secrets and/or frustrations as they get on with their daily lives. It also captures the social mores of the present day. Only change: as of this year, no more smoking in bars and restaurants.

o Jamboree Jazz Club; Teatre Lliure; Casa del Llibre; Barceloneta; restaurant La Verònica

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen, 2008

Barcelona loves Woody Allen but groaned through the showing I attended of VCB, a film most memorable for what Barcelona is not. Large and sumptuous homes with spacious gardens such as that of the artist Juan Antonio (Bardem) are unfamiliar to most Barcelonans. Nor do most artists drive vintage Alpha Romeos and have an airplane at their disposal. Nor is Juan's lusty, seductive character typical of a Catalan. But we can allow some poetic license because what the film gets right: fabulous shots of the city as we know it, covering the picturesque landmarks. And: the fact that many a Vicky has been "turned" by Barcelona. Woody captures the magic, but it's the city that does the seducing.

o La Sagrada Família; Parc Güell; Casa Milà (La Pedrera); Tibadabo; Miro Museum; the Ramblas; the Barri Gòtic; Els 4 Gats (The 4 Cats); Santa María del Mar; the Mediterranean near the Olympic Port

The Passenger, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975

2005 saw the fully restored release of Antonioni's existential masterpiece, merging form and content in near perfect accord. David Lock (Jack Nicholson) begins his flight from himself in Africa where he takes another man's identity. This leads him to Barcelona where he meets the "Girl" (Maria Schneider) in the dark halls of Gaudi's Palau Güell. Although the city only takes up about 15 minutes of the film, it is memorable for capturing Barcelona before its great pre-Olympics makeover. One sees a seedy Ramblas of old as well as an unkempt Pedrera which actually has laundry hanging out on the spectacular rooftop. What has not changed is the cable-car ride from Montjuïc to the beach, except that now there is a beach.

o Hotel Oriente; the Ramblas; Umbráculo del Parc de la Ciutadella; Palau Güell; La Pedrera

L'Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment), Cédric Klapisch, 2002

Have you ever wondered what life is like for an Erasmus student? You'll get a good idea by following Parisian Xavier to Barcelona for his year abroad where he shares a flat with six other students in a chaotic melting pot of nationalities. But that is part of what the experience is all about. As the group bonds, eyes are opened to cultural differences (yes, Catalan not Spanish is the language at university). Sex is part of the scene, of course, putting to the test relationships back home. This is a fun and frothy film, featuring many of the hot spots in Barcelona, but it's a smart film, too, showing how for these students life will never be the same.

Via Laietana; Plaça Reial; Parc Güell; the beach at Barceloneta; the Ramblas; University of Barcelona; La Sagrada Familia; La Paloma; Bar Iposa

Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2010

Set in the rough and grimy working-class outskirts of the city, we find Uxbal (Javier Bardem), attempting to raise his two children single-handedly while dealing with his mentally imbalanced wife and working with a ring that runs a sweatshop of Chinese immigrants for the manufacture of knock-off goods which are later sold on the pavement by the Senegalese in downtown Barcelona, known here as Top Manta. When Uxbal learns he is dying, he is moved to do something good. The brilliance of the film is that there is nothing sentimental about it thanks to Rodrigo Prieto's coarse-grained filming technique and the extraordinary performance by Bardem, who takes us to places where tour buses would never dare.

o Badalona (Carrer de Floridablanca); Sant Adrià de Besòs; Santa Coloma de Gramanet; Hospitalet de Llobregat; Plaça Catalunya; the Ramblas; Plaça Reial

En la Puta Vida (Tricky Life, aka In This Tricky Life), Beatriz Flores Silva, 2001

After a series of humorous mishaps back in Uruguay, the beautiful young Elisa (Mariana Santángelo) is lured to Barcelona by one of her johns who promises her riches in the prostitution trade. The gutsy Elisa, who only wants her own beauty salon back in Montevideo, works to hold her corner in the Raval from Brazilian drag queens until she sees the dark side of her pimp, realises there is no money to be made and no way out. Part South American soap, part comedy, this is also a drama that looks intelligently at a very real problem on these very real streets not far from the Ramblas.

o The Raval; Plaça Reial; Passeig de Gràcia; Casa Batlló

Land and Freedom, Ken Loach, 1995

Sometimes it serves to approach a city from its past. There are hardly any recognisable shots of Barcelona in Loach's homage to Orwell and the Spanish civil war, but the city played a central role even though, curiously, it rarely talks about it. In this fresh take, told in flashbacks, Englishman David Carr comes to fight for the Republican cause, landing with the worker militia POUM before moving to the communist brigade in Barcelona where he discovers how the Stalinists have hijacked the party. The notorious in-fighting among the left is marvellously portrayed in the May Days gun battle on the Ramblas where today, although they go unrecognised, one finds the Hotel Rivoli, Café Moka, and the Poliorama theatre.

o La Ribera; Carrer de les Trompetes; La Generalitat; the Ramblas

Barcelona, Whit Stillman, 1994

During the last decade of the cold war there was much anti-American feeling in Barcelona over NATO and America's presence in Spain. American buildings were targets for bombs and Yanquis Go Home graffiti appeared everywhere. Into this atmosphere comes a young American lieutenant with the 6th Fleet who stays with his cousin, an uptight businessman who at least is in tune with local feeling and embarrassed by his unwanted guest though he concedes to showing him the city - bars, discos, all of it - and introducing him to an attractive Catalan woman, who says, "You seem very intelligent for an American." Stillman delivers a humorous yet thoughtful look at Barcelona during the 1980s while providing splendid shots of the city.

o Avda Reina Maria Cristina, Montjuïc; the Cathedral; Roman Walls; the Columbus Monument; Passeig de Gràcia; Palau de la Música; El Born; Hospital de Sant Pau

(Note: Unfortunately, many fine films set in Barcelona are not available with English subtitles. One of these is Manuel Huerga's Salvador (Puig Antich), 2006, starring Daniel Brühl, the true story of the Catalan student revolutionary, who, in 1974, was the last person to be executed by garotte under the dictatorship of Franco. Highly recommended to those for whom the language is not a barrier.)

o Jill Adams is the editor of the online literary magazine The Barcelona Review

November 07 2014

spain23275

Barcelona's pool with a view



Link to video: Dive into Barcelona's Olympic swimming pool

You can keep your five-star hotels with their pools surrounded by plump oligarchs, sunglass-cleaning technicians and other nannying types pandering to a wealthy few.

The world's best swimming pool is far removed from these rarefied retreats. In fact, you'll find it high on Montjuïc hill, above the beautiful city of Barcelona. Best of all, it's open to everyone, for the piddling price of around £4.

To get the full flavour of this awesome outdoor pool, I join professional diver and Barcelona native José Marillo for a tour of the place he calls his "office".

"Every morning I look forward to going to work," he says, as we take a cab from the city along a picturesque route up to Montjuïc hill. "How many people can say that?"

This is a seriously special commute, with our taxi whizzing past Gaudi's famous Sagrada Família church, arguably the planet's most impressive incomplete structure. (It's estimated that the builders will finally down tools there in 2026 or 2028. That's a whole lot of snagging.)

When we arrive, the pool looks perfect. Calm, blue and glittering in the morning sun. We have a film crew in tow, here as part of the Expedia.co.uk's People-Shaped Travel video series, which reveals unique experiences in cities around the world, and the director pronounces the setting "absolutely stunning". He's bang on. It's open to the public from 11am until 6.30pm throughout the summer but, right now, it's all ours.

Originally built in 1929, the pool came to international prominence when it hosted diving and water polo events at the 1992 summer Olympics. Since then, its panoramic view of Barcelona has provided the backdrop for a Kylie Minogue video and will host the diving events at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships. Crucially, the pool also functions as a unique chill-out zone for locals looking to escape the fierce heat of summer.

"The visitors here are the best," says José. "You get all walks of life here, a real cross section of the city. And the view is to die for. It takes my breath away every time."

José's view, to be fair, is better than most, as he surveys the city from the pool's highest diving board. Pausing to adjust his stance, he launches himself into a two and a half somersault in a pike position, entering the water with barely a ripple. Never mind the view, this is a truly breathtaking sight.

"The dive feels as good as it looks," he laughs. "I see sky, water and then sky again and that is when I know it is time to open out my body for the rip entry. That means no splash. It is a very satisfying moment."

While only the most fearless of visitors will experience José's unique view of this stunning space, anyone who spends an afternoon here will agree that there is plenty of satisfaction to be found in simply lounging around the world's most spectacular swimming pool.

o Visit the Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc, Avinguda de Miramar 31 (00 34 9344 300 46), bit.ly/olympicdivingpool. Price is EUR5.35 (£4.60) for adults. Two nights (room only) at the four-star Eurostars Cristal Palace costs from £226 per person, including return flights from Gatwick to Barcelona. Located in the Eixample district, the hotel is within easy reach of Montjuïc and less than a mile from Las Ramblas and Plaza Cataluña. To book, visit expedia.co.uk or call 0330 123 1235.

October 31 2014

spain23275

The winning proposal for the transformation of Les Glòries aims to bring nature back to the city



El futur de les Glòries es comença a dibuixar. Aquest divendres s'ha donat a conèixer la proposta guanyadora del concurs per a la transformació de la plaça. La idea triada és "Canòpia urbana", que dóna protagonisme a la natura.

Vídeo 'Proposta guanyadora del concurs per a les Glòries'

Gairebé un mes després que es triessin les deu idees finalistes del Concurs Restringit per al Projecte Urbà de l'Espai Lliure de la Plaça de les Glòries, el jurat encarregat de decidir la proposta guanyadora ho ha fet per unanimitat: "Canòpia urbana", de la Unió Temporal d'Empreses Agence Ter & Ana Coello de Llobet.

Segons el jurat (integrat per 12 experts de diferents disciplines i dos representants veïnals), "Canòpia urbana" crea un "espai Glòries" amb caràcter propi sense precedents a la ciutat, deixant de banda la dicotomia entre parc i plaça, i apostant pel desplegament de la natura.

Aquest espai central reconeix l'eix cívic territorial de la Diagonal (transformant-la en un camí fresc, transitat només per vianants i bicicletes), i la Diagonal verda de la Meridiana i el camí Comtal.

Jaime Lerner, president del jurat, ha destacat que es tracta d'una "proposta innovadora, que facilita la trobada entre persones. És sostenible i viable i sobretot és més ecoarquitectura que egoarquitectura".

Una ciutat per a les persones

Així, la idea proposa que Glòries es converteixi en una peça fonamental que uneix els parcs de Trinitat, Sagrera i Ciutadella. També es preveu la construcció d'un mirador que permetrà veure espais emblemàtics de la ciutat, com Montjuïc, la Sagrada Família o la Torre Agbar.

Segons ha explicat una de les membres de l'equip guanyador, Ana Coello de Llobet, aquest nou espai uneix la dimensió de ciutat amb la dimensió de barri i "dóna una importància metropolitana a aquest espai tan emblemàtic de la ciutat". Coello també ha explicat que en l'espai central de les Glòries, es preveu fer-hi uns nodes "que potenciaran l'ecologia i les activitats ciutadanes".

També es preveu concentrar el transport públic a la banda sud de la plaça, de manera que es permetrà la interconnectivitat entre el metro, el bus i el tram. L'ús de les tecnologies intel·ligents en la il·luminació o el reg, a més, permetrà reduir recursos.

El projecte recull, com estava previst, tots els equipaments i habitatges que estableix el planejament actual i el Compromís per Glòries adoptat l'any 2007.

L'alcalde, Xavier Trias, ha recordat que "la ciutat és sobretot per a les persones. Les persones porten cotxe, bici, moto o passegen. Això no és incompatible, però hi ha espais que no es poden convertir en un lloc només per al cotxe". Així, ha posat l'èmfasi en el fet que "la transformació de les Glòries és un triomf dels veïns i de la ciutat".

Ara, el pas següent en la transformació de les Glòries, serà la redacció de l'avantprojecte d'urbanització de l'espai públic, que es preveu es dugui a terme aquest 2014. La intenció és tramitar i aprovar el projecte executiu el 2015 i urbanitzar la plaça el proper mandat.

Menció especial i exposició

El jurat també ha volgut fer una menció especial a la proposta "Terra d'oportunitats". La idea guanyadora, la menció especial i la resta de finalistes es podran conèixer de primera mà, entre l'11 de febrer i el 5 de març, en una exposició amb tots els materials presentats en el concurs al Disseny Hub Barcelona. També les trobareu al web bcn.cat/glories.

October 24 2014

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Isabel Güell Concert



Experience the modernist atmosphere of the Palau Güell with an exclusive concert. Fusion of architecture and music in Gaudí’s first great masterpiede

Discover how the music fills the Palau Güell in a unique guided tour and enjoy exclusive concert of sacred music for organ and five voices composed by Isabell Güell, the elder daughter of Gaudí, s benefactor.

A glass of cava will be served afterwards.

October 17 2014

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Conversations at La Pedrera



La Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera is pleased to present the fifth edition of Conversations at La Pedrera, in which four leading figures from the world of culture will share their thoughts on contemporary issues: Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom, French sociologist Gilles Lipovetsky, Hungarian philosopher Ágnes Heller and Bulgarian essayist and cultural historian Tzvetan Todorov.

Put together in collaboration with Arcàdia, this programme aims to open up a space for dialogue that goes above and beyond the guests’ well-known work and views so that audiences can learn to see and analyse pressing issues through their eyes and their way of thinking. The wide range of different areas covered by guest speakers from many different countries make Conversations at La Pedrera a rich mosaic of well-informed viewpoints that give us a better idea of the world we live in.

October 10 2014

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10 of the best films set in Barcelona



Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother), Pedro Almodóvar, 1999

What is arguably Almodóvar's greatest work begins with tragedy in Madrid, but soon moves to Barcelona, beginning with a breathtaking night-time glimpse of the Sagrada Familia, where the sheer buoyancy of the city steers the film in a powerful and dazzling new direction. Here Manuela (the magnificent Cecilia Roth) reunites with her old friend, the witty and wonderful transsexual prostitute Agrado (Antonia San Juan) – whose flat overlooks the Palau de la Música – while inadvertently immersing herself in the world of theatre and helping a naive young nun (Penélope Cruz). Art mirrors life mirrors art in this vibrantly colourful (literally), multi-layered tribute to women ("We are all women!'" says Almodóvar) that beautifully captures the dynamism and generous spirit of the city itself.

• La Sagrada Família; Palau de la Música; Hospital del Mar; Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli

En Construcción (Under Construction; aka Work in Progress), Jose Luís Guerín, 2001

In 1998, a plan of renovation began in Barcelona with the aim of cleaning up the "Barrio Chino", a working-class neighbourhood that was also home to immigrants, prostitutes, drug dealers and the homeless. The first phase was the demolition of a block of flats for the construction of condos, displacing the locals. Guerin filmed more than 120 hours of the process, which he edited down to 127 minutes. We watch this diverse mix, along with bricklayers and builders, hearing snippets of their conversations as walls are toppling all around and a Roman cemetery is unearthed. Then comes the new set of prospective buyers, who hope the views of washing hanging out on the line soon disappear. Some did, some didn't.

• El Xino/The Barrio Chino (now called the Raval); the Apollo; the Three Chimneys; the medieval church of Sant Pau del Camp

En la Ciudad (In the City), Cesc Gay, 2003

When I travel, I'm always curious about the rooms people live in and the conversations they have. In the City zeros right in on Barcelona. It's all about interiors – apartments, trendy restaurants, studios, etc – while also giving us a glimpse of the inner lives of three solidly middle-class, thirtysomething couples and the delightfully baffling Sofia, all friends, who harbour secrets and/or frustrations as they get on with their daily lives. It also captures the social mores of the present day. Only change: as of this year, no more smoking in bars and restaurants.

• Jamboree Jazz Club; Teatre Lliure; Casa del Llibre; Barceloneta; restaurant La Verònica

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen, 2008

Barcelona loves Woody Allen but groaned through the showing I attended of VCB, a film most memorable for what Barcelona is not. Large and sumptuous homes with spacious gardens such as that of the artist Juan Antonio (Bardem) are unfamiliar to most Barcelonans. Nor do most artists drive vintage Alpha Romeos and have an airplane at their disposal. Nor is Juan's lusty, seductive character typical of a Catalan. But we can allow some poetic license because what the film gets right: fabulous shots of the city as we know it, covering the picturesque landmarks. And: the fact that many a Vicky has been "turned" by Barcelona. Woody captures the magic, but it's the city that does the seducing.

• La Sagrada Família; Parc Güell; Casa Milà (La Pedrera); Tibadabo; Miro Museum; the Ramblas; the Barri Gòtic; Els 4 Gats (The 4 Cats); Santa María del Mar; the Mediterranean near the Olympic Port

The Passenger, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975

2005 saw the fully restored release of Antonioni's existential masterpiece, merging form and content in near perfect accord. David Lock (Jack Nicholson) begins his flight from himself in Africa where he takes another man's identity. This leads him to Barcelona where he meets the "Girl" (Maria Schneider) in the dark halls of Gaudi's Palau Güell. Although the city only takes up about 15 minutes of the film, it is memorable for capturing Barcelona before its great pre-Olympics makeover. One sees a seedy Ramblas of old as well as an unkempt Pedrera which actually has laundry hanging out on the spectacular rooftop. What has not changed is the cable-car ride from Montjuïc to the beach, except that now there is a beach.

• Hotel Oriente; the Ramblas; Umbráculo del Parc de la Ciutadella; Palau Güell; La Pedrera

L'Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment), Cédric Klapisch, 2002

Have you ever wondered what life is like for an Erasmus student? You'll get a good idea by following Parisian Xavier to Barcelona for his year abroad where he shares a flat with six other students in a chaotic melting pot of nationalities. But that is part of what the experience is all about. As the group bonds, eyes are opened to cultural differences (yes, Catalan not Spanish is the language at university). Sex is part of the scene, of course, putting to the test relationships back home. This is a fun and frothy film, featuring many of the hot spots in Barcelona, but it's a smart film, too, showing how for these students life will never be the same.

Via Laietana; Plaça Reial; Parc Güell; the beach at Barceloneta; the Ramblas; University of Barcelona; La Sagrada Familia; La Paloma; Bar Iposa

Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2010

Set in the rough and grimy working-class outskirts of the city, we find Uxbal (Javier Bardem), attempting to raise his two children single-handedly while dealing with his mentally imbalanced wife and working with a ring that runs a sweatshop of Chinese immigrants for the manufacture of knock-off goods which are later sold on the pavement by the Senegalese in downtown Barcelona, known here as Top Manta. When Uxbal learns he is dying, he is moved to do something good. The brilliance of the film is that there is nothing sentimental about it thanks to Rodrigo Prieto's coarse-grained filming technique and the extraordinary performance by Bardem, who takes us to places where tour buses would never dare.

• Badalona (Carrer de Floridablanca); Sant Adrià de Besòs; Santa Coloma de Gramanet; Hospitalet de Llobregat; Plaça Catalunya; the Ramblas; Plaça Reial

En la Puta Vida (Tricky Life, aka In This Tricky Life), Beatriz Flores Silva, 2001

After a series of humorous mishaps back in Uruguay, the beautiful young Elisa (Mariana Santángelo) is lured to Barcelona by one of her johns who promises her riches in the prostitution trade. The gutsy Elisa, who only wants her own beauty salon back in Montevideo, works to hold her corner in the Raval from Brazilian drag queens until she sees the dark side of her pimp, realises there is no money to be made and no way out. Part South American soap, part comedy, this is also a drama that looks intelligently at a very real problem on these very real streets not far from the Ramblas.

• The Raval; Plaça Reial; Passeig de Gràcia; Casa Batlló

Land and Freedom, Ken Loach, 1995

Sometimes it serves to approach a city from its past. There are hardly any recognisable shots of Barcelona in Loach's homage to Orwell and the Spanish civil war, but the city played a central role even though, curiously, it rarely talks about it. In this fresh take, told in flashbacks, Englishman David Carr comes to fight for the Republican cause, landing with the worker militia POUM before moving to the communist brigade in Barcelona where he discovers how the Stalinists have hijacked the party. The notorious in-fighting among the left is marvellously portrayed in the May Days gun battle on the Ramblas where today, although they go unrecognised, one finds the Hotel Rivoli, Café Moka, and the Poliorama theatre.

• La Ribera; Carrer de les Trompetes; La Generalitat; the Ramblas

Barcelona, Whit Stillman, 1994

During the last decade of the cold war there was much anti-American feeling in Barcelona over NATO and America's presence in Spain. American buildings were targets for bombs and Yanquis Go Home graffiti appeared everywhere. Into this atmosphere comes a young American lieutenant with the 6th Fleet who stays with his cousin, an uptight businessman who at least is in tune with local feeling and embarrassed by his unwanted guest though he concedes to showing him the city – bars, discos, all of it – and introducing him to an attractive Catalan woman, who says, "You seem very intelligent for an American." Stillman delivers a humorous yet thoughtful look at Barcelona during the 1980s while providing splendid shots of the city.

• Avda Reina Maria Cristina, Montjuïc; the Cathedral; Roman Walls; the Columbus Monument; Passeig de Gràcia; Palau de la Música; El Born; Hospital de Sant Pau

(Note: Unfortunately, many fine films set in Barcelona are not available with English subtitles. One of these is Manuel Huerga's Salvador (Puig Antich), 2006, starring Daniel Brühl, the true story of the Catalan student revolutionary, who, in 1974, was the last person to be executed by garotte under the dictatorship of Franco. Highly recommended to those for whom the language is not a barrier.)

• Jill Adams is the editor of the online literary magazine The Barcelona Review

October 08 2014

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How To Protect Your Valuables While Traveling « Cbs San Francisco

Thats because not only do you have to watch out for pickpockets, but you also have to protect yourself from cyber criminals. While the vast majority of travelers will enjoy an incident-free trip, others might have something valuable stolen, such as a laptop, camera or a smartphone. To minimize the risk of theft, try using these five important tips on protecting your valuables while traveling. ATM Machine (credit: Randy Yagi) Bring Only Whats Necessary There shouldnt be any reason to carry a large amount of cash regardless of the length of trip. ATM machines can be found most everywhere although its important to be mindful of any charges when using one that isnt in your interbank network. If you plan to bring along more than one credit card, keep them in separate spots like one in the wallet and the other in a secure place such as a money belt. Lastly, consider leaving valuable items like jewelry and expensive electronics at home.


To read more interesting articles about Barcelona please visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g187497-Barcelona_Catalonia-Vacations.html

October 03 2014

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Color-changing Ice Cream: Mix A Physicist, Dairy, And 'love Elixir' (+video) - Csmonitor.com

Video Ice cream that changes color when you lick it Prof . Linares is keeping quiet as to his trick, as the special recipe is patent pending. But he insists that the ingredients are all natural. Before the ice cream is served, it is sprayed with a concoction Linares calls a "love elixir" that accelerates the reaction. When Linares left academia for culinary arts, he took courses at the Hotel Business School Hoffman in Barcelona . There, he took an ice cream class. But when the instructor encouraged the budding chefs to come up with a new flavor of ice cream, Linares shocked his classmates by aiming for looks over taste. "When he asked me what type I was going to make, I said one that changes colour," Linares is quoted as saying in the Australian Times. " Everyone laughed , but as a physicist I know that there are various possibilities that might work and I was delighted when I managed to crack it and create an ice cream the changes colour." Linares was inspired by the glow-in-the-dark ice cream concocted last year by British food inventor Charlie Francis. This color-changing food may seem a little unsettling, but many ice cream enthusiasts and curious eaters have flocked to Linares's store, IceXperience .


To read more from the author please visit http://www.timeout.com/barcelona
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El Lissitzky



El Lissitzky

El Lissitzky

Exhibitions and activities

21/10/2014 To 18/1/2015

The Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera presents the work of El Lissitzky, one of the most influential, innovative and controversial artists of the opening 30 years or so of the 20th century, who worked with the Soviets and the European Avant-garde movements of the 1920s and as a propagandist for the Stalin regime in the 1930s.

A painter, designer, architect and photographer, Eliezer (Lazar) Markovich Lissitzky (born 1890 in Pochinok near Smolensk – died 1941 in Moscow), better known as El Lissitzky, was among the creative figures most committed to the renewal of art for the ‘new man’ who sprang the October Revolution. His entire career was guided by his conviction that the artist could be an agent of social change.

The agenda day by day

Here you’ll find other events you might be interested

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Agustí Puig

Exhibitions and activities

15/9/2014 To 22/2/2015

Art Show

Exhibitions and activities

2013 To December 2014

September 30 2014

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Ytl Hotels Expands Partnership With Travelclick As Business Booms - Yahoo Finance

This long-term partnership will maximize transactions and drive revenue for ten of its world-class properties through the use of TravelClick's market-leading iHotelier suite of reservations solutions. Through the relationship, YTL Hotels' properties will not only have access to TravelClick's world-class iHotelier Central Reservations System (CRS), but the company's entire suite of reservations solutions including TravelClick Channel Management, iHotelier Property Management System (PMS) Integrations, iHotelier GDS, iHotelier Web 3.0, and iHotelier Mobile. YTL Hotels first implemented iHotelier and TravelClick's web reservations solution three years ago. Since that time, the booking engine has proven to be extremely instrumental in YTL Hotels' growth strategy, enabling them to increase web bookings. "TravelClick offers the most compelling and competitive solution in the industry, and there is no question they remain our CRS of choice among all the other competing technologies out there," saidLuke Hurford, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, YTL Hotels. "TravelClick's solutions have ultimately helped to strengthen our digital brand and increase bookings through our 'owned' channels, and we're pleased to expand our partnership with the company." "YTL Hotels has learned first-hand the impact iHotelier can have on their brand presence," saidPaul Southey, Vice President of Asia Pacific, TravelClick. "Because of the company's collection of resorts inMalaysia and beyond, they require a sophisticated and robust distribution system that effectively allows them to market their services to discerning travelers. We're thrilled to see that after three years, they have decided to expand their relationship with TravelClick.


To read more from the author please visit http://www.barcelona-hotel-bookings.co.uk/page15.html

September 25 2014

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Stubhub Scam Leads To Arrests In U.s., London, Canada, Spain - The Santa Fe New Mexican: News

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To read more from the author please visit http://www.timeout.com/barcelona

September 22 2014

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That Was A Relief; Now If Only Alibaba Cooperates: Opening Line - Bloomberg

Next is A Walk Among the Tombstones , the latest vigilante vehicle for Liam Neeson, who, we swear, used to be a an actor with more discriminating taste in roles. Anyone who saw him, as we did, in Eugene ONeills Anna Christie on Broadway in 1993, must join us in dismay each time he comes out in one of these Charles Bronson roles. Tombstones has Neeson as a private investigator on the trail of a kidnap-murder syndicate. Travis McGee , he is not. It appears to be a period piece because he uses one of those tape recorders that with the mini-cassettes in them. Lastly, This Is Where I Leave You is this falls dysfunctional family dramedy, as Jason Bateman and Tina Fey play grown children of Jane Fonda sequestered at the family home after the death of their father.


To read more interesting articles about Barcelona please visit http://wikitravel.org/en/Barcelona

September 21 2014

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Guestdriven Enters Partnership With Design Hotels?

We have had great success with implementations in Design Hotels lab hotel properties, and look forward to providing each of their members with the same success. About GuestDriven GuestDriven is a Mobile Guest Engagement platform that enables hotels to interact directly with guests via their mobile devices. Valuable marketing data, including guest preferences and behaviors, is passed to hoteliers, which can be leveraged to elevate guest experience and increase revenues by offering personalized perks, promotions, and rewards. An integrated suite of specialized tools for targeting, campaigning, and interacting with guests at every stage of travel assists hospitality brands in enablement of customer advocacy, allowing hotels to reward loyalty in real-time. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, GuestDriven has implementations in over 60 cities and more than 215 properties. ABOUT DESIGN HOTELS Design Hotels represents and markets a curated selection of more than 270 independent hotels in over 50 countries across the globe. More than a collection of hotels, the company is a collection of stories. Each property reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier, an "Original," someone with a passion for genuine hospitality and cultural authenticity, for thought-provoking design and groundbreaking architecture.


To read more interesting articles about Barcelona please visit http://www.barcelona-hotel-bookings.co.uk/page17.html

September 18 2014

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Tampa Bay's Fall Tourism Push Starts With Giving Tourists Plenty To Do | Tampa Bay Times

After the movie opens, there will be a steady stream of events. In Pinellas, the Super Boat National Championship starts Sept. 26 in Clearwater Beach; the Clearwater Jazz Holiday (featuring Earth, Wind & Fire and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros) runs Oct. 16-19; and the Blue Ocean Film Festival is Nov. 3-9. Hillsborough County will also have events such as ZooBoo, which starts Sept. 26 at Lowry Park Zoo; Busch Gardens' popular Howl-O-Scream, which begins Sept.


To read more interesting articles about Barcelona please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcelona

September 14 2014

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Germany Wants History And Title In South America - Wsmv Channel 4

"Miroslav Klose is the only one (from 2006) still on our team," Schweinsteiger said of Germany's 36-year-old veteran striker. Klose is also the only player who remains from the team that lost the 2002 World Cup final to Brazil. However, the entire team has plenty of experience from big matches, including major cup finals in club competitions. "We don't have pressure, we know how to deal with such a situation," Schweinsteiger said. "We are focusing on what makes us strong.
For the original version of this particular article including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.wsmv.com/story/26003483/germany-wants-history-and-title-in-south-america

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