Our first Barcelona social programme of the new decade

Proverbs 11, 25: He who is generous thrives… Plaque (not an original) in Barcelona's Jewish quarter | Photo: Tom Walton

Today (Monday 6th) is holiday in Spain (so there's no class today!) but we have a full social programme for you for the rest of the week:

  • Tuesday 7th | Our walk this afternoon takes us round the barrios of La Ribera and El Born, full of cool bars and history, home to the lovely church of Santa Maria del Mar and the Estación de Francia, as well as the fascinating remains of the medieval city of Barcelona in the old Born Market (16.30).
  • Wednesday 8th | The Call is the area of narrow streets (which is what Call means) just off the Plaça Sant Jaume that was Barcelona's historic Jewish quarter. One of the most medieval parts of the Barrio Gótico. Why not come with us and explore (16.30)?
  • Thursday 9th | The Pueblo Español (or "Spanish Village") comprises over 100 buildings, many of them traditional Spanish house types, built in 1929 for Barcelona's second Universal Exhibition. Entrance is €7.00 but if you're interested in architecture and traditional crafts (not to mention some shopping!) it's well worth a visit (16.30).

Important We've changed the start time for a social programme. As of this week, join us half an hour later, at 16.30. We meet as before at Ground Floor Reception, by the front door..

Dancing eggs, romance and street art on this week's social programme

Dancing egg

Dancing egg… | Photo: Tom Walton

We've got a bit of everything for you on our social programme this week. Because it's only four days a year, we particularly recommend the walk on Thursday…

  • Tuesday 29th | Come for a stroll around the Raval, the district on the right of the Ramblas as you head down towards the port. One of the best places in Barcelona to go to find street art, it was a rather seedy red light district but is now home to the CCCB and the MACBA and Fernando Botero's fat cat, and (in keeping with its past) to the protagonists of many of Barcelona's novelas negras (16.00).
  • Wednesday 30th | First laid out in 1791, the Laberinto de Horta is one of the most romantic of the hidden corners of Barcelona (as well as being one of the settings for Tom Tykwer's 2006 film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer). Come along and see it with us (16.00).
  • Thursday 31st | It's Corpus Christi and, Thursday to Sunday, there are dancing eggs in some of Barcelona's loveliest fountains. Cute!
  • Friday 1st | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange (19.00-21.00).

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | If you want something a bit wilder the eggs dancing in fountains, the Primavera Sound Festival (Wednesday to Sunday) might be more your cup of tea 😉 !

Chocolate con churros on this week's social programme

The street art shutter (complete with dripping chocolate!) at one of Barcelona's most famous cafés: come along, Wednesday | Photo: Tom Walton

Tuesday give you Barcelona's architecture, Wednesday an opportunity to top up those Christmas calories, Thursday the chance to walk them all off… We have it all on our social programme this week 😉 !

  • Tuesday 9th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to the Manzana de la Discordia, the block on Passeig de Gracia with three of Barcelona's best examples of Modernista architecture — the Casa Batlló (Gaudí); the Casa Amatller (Puig i Cadafalch); and the Casa Lleó i Morera (Domènech i Montaner); as well as to the Casa Milà (also by Gaudí), which is further up the street on the other side (16.00).
  • Wednesday 10th | One of Barcelona's great traditions (OK, that would possibly be other parts of Spain, too 😉 !): chocolate con churros for afternoon tea, for which we'll be heading over into the Barrio Gótico to one of our favourite granjas (cafés) on the Carrer Petrixol (now that is the Barcelona tradition!). Also traditionally consumed when you come out of the disco at about five in the morning. Price approx. €7 (disco not included!) . Yummy (16.00)!
  • Thursday 11th | Take a walk with us this afternoon along the Moll de la Fusta [see photos], which takes us from the wonderful Catalan History museum, across the old port past the Maremagnum shopping and leisure centre to the statue of Columbus and the bottom of the Ramblas (16.00).
  • Friday 12th | Join us on the terrace/in the bar this evening for our first Friday Club of 2018. Friday Club is every week, apart from the holidays, and is a great way to get yourself some extra practice for your Spanish (19.00-21.00)!

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | In the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, we have the second leg of the Barça vs Celta tie, with the score 1-1 after the first leg (Thursday, kick-off 21.30).

Taxdirt Street: Barcelona's curious streetnames

Carrer de Taxdirt

Taxdirt Street

One of Barcelona's more curious streetnames — Carrer de Taxdirt — which is funny if you think what it means in English, and decidedly unfunny if you think how Spain's politicians and footballers get away with not paying their taxes. In fact, the origin of the name of this street in the barrio of the Guinardó lies in a cavalry charge in Spain's war in Morocco in 1909-10 (YouTube).

You can discover the origins of Barcelona's streetnames on bcn.cat. Our street — Trafalgar — shouldn't need any explanation but the name of street out back — Ortigosa — where we have classrooms in our new building comes from a village in the province of Logrono, the birth place of the landowner whose family sold the land to the city so that the road could be built.

Nothing to do with stinging nettles (Sp = ortigas), in other words!

¿Eres un auténtico barcelonés?

Si eres auténtico barcelonés… solo pisas La Rambla cuando vienen amigos de fuera, o para Sant Jordi | Foto: Tom Walton

Y si la lluvia continúa, puedes comprobar si eres un auténtico barcelonés y reúnes las señas de identidad que se indican en este blog.

¿Estáis de acuerdo con la lista? Nosotros no del todo: ¿qué pensarán los periquitos del número 16?

Y, además, falta alguna: si eres barcelonés de pura cepa, conoces la dama del paraiguas. ¡Infalible para detectar nuevos fichajes!

¡Y nunca llames a la ciudad Barça o, mucho menos, Barca!