Costa Brava 4
& Catalunya Magazine
Barcelona Special From the inside Facts and Figures History Architecture
MAKE AN INCENTIVE TRIP TO CATALONIA?
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MAKE AN INCENTIVE TRIP TO CATALONIA?
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Cala Bona, Tossa de Mar. Photo: Francesc Tur. Costa Brava Tourism Board Archive of Images.
Okay, bad news first. This will be the final issue of Costa Brava & Catalunya Magazine, in Engish that is. Disappointing reader numbers are the cause of this premature ending. The Dutch version of this informative magazine on the other hand, is doing great and reader numbers are still increasing. As of the next winter issue I will put my focus entirely on the making of the Dutch version. When I started Costa Brava & Catalunya magazine, it seemed like a good idea to take a closer look at the capitals of the four Catalan Provinces. In the first issue we have looked at Lleida, followed by Tarragona in the spring issue, and Girona in the summer issue. So now it's time to take a closer look at Barcelona, the last of the four capitals. A great city that is also the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia. There is so much to tell about Barcelona, if you enter the search term "Barcelona" on Google, 189 million results are being found in 0.25 seconds, and online bookstore Amazon, sells 12.507 books about Barcelona. Reason enough to make a special, but even in a special ... There allready is so much information on the city, what could we possibly add with our magazine? What we are certainly not going to do in this issue is give you practical information on lodging, restaurants, et cetera. The Internet is a better, completer and more up-to-date source of information in this regard. What we will do is give you some of the most important informative addresses of websites. Of course we have a top 10 in this issue, this time we address the main attractions in Barcelona. The "favorites" are dedicated to FC Barcelona this time, we look into the history of the city and look at the architecture, that makes the city so special. There is also a story about the city from the inside by a resident of the city and there is a delicious recipe with dried cod, which off course you can buy best in La Boqueria, the covered market in Barcelona. We also provide you with tips to prevent getting robbed by pick pockets. I hope, even with so much information on the Internet, we will still add something with this special. I Would like to thank the readers, and I hope you enjoy this final issue. Marjolein Hooijmeijer
Photoâ€™s page 6 & 7: History: SebastiĂ Geralt Architecture: Harm Rhebergen Top 10: Wolfgang Staudt
08 Facts & Figures
Barcelona in short
From Barcino to Barcelona
Recipe for salt cod
16 Internet help
How to find what you want in 189.000.000 Google results
18 City from the inside
Barcelona, my Catalan friend
Part of the city’s charm
12345 678 90
31 Top 10
40 Paris-Barcelona By train
42 Discover Barcelona Different
45 Legal Advice
Column by Master J.W. de Haan
47 My favourite spot Favourite spots in Catalonia
48 Thievesâ€™ nest The downside
51 Barcelona in books Read all about it
51 Famous! Famous Catalans
History From Barcino to Barcelona
Photo: JosĂŠ CĂĄnovas
The foundation There are differences in opinion about the foundation of Barcelona, but it is certain that the first traces of occupation in the Barcelona area date from the period 2000-1500 BC. The first people that occupied the place where the city is now, the Layetanos, an Iberian people in the 7th century BC. In the following centuries the city was inhabited by different peoples including the Carthaginians and the Romans. The city was named Barcino in that time. In the third century AD there were approximately 6000 persons living in the town that was not more than one of the many settlements on the path from Rome Barcelona 1842, Museu dâ€™historia de Barcelona to Cadiz. Tarraco, todays Tarragona was at that time the main settlement and also the capital of "Hispania Tarraconensis", a Roman province covering most of the current Spain.
The early history In the 5th century the city of Barcino led by the Visigoths, became an important center for trade and administration. In the 8th century the Moors conquered large parts of Spain and Portugal and Barcelona also fell into Moorish hands. In the centuries that followed Barcelona was successively in Frankish and Aragonese hands. Under the leadership of Count Borrell II, the city grew out to be one of the major cities around the Mediterranean, along with Venice and Genoa in the 13th and 14th century. In the 16th and 17th century serious unrest reached the city. After the king of that time, King Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabel of Castile, long disputes arose across the country, including in Barcelona. It started with the Catalan Revolt of 1640-1651 and later the Spanish Succession War of 1706-1714, which ended the independence of all of Catalonia, and a dark period for the entire city began.
Views to Barcelona and MontjuĂŻc 1840, Artist unknown Owned by Museu dâ€™Historia de Barcelona
Recent history Only in the 19th century, Barcelona once again became an important political, economic and cultural center. In 1897 a large part of the city walls were removed so that Barcelona was linked to the surrounding villages and thus continued to grow. This expansion began with the construction of the Eixample district. In the early 20th century, the economy and the industry grew and many workers came to town. They brought new modern ideologies to the city. Only a portion of the population benefited from the economic boom and the contrast between rich and poor increased. In 1909 this resulted in "La Setmana trĂĄgica" or the "Tragic Week" where a series of bloody confrontations took place between the army and the workers of Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia supported by anarchists, socialists and republicans in the last week of July 1909.
Franco regime With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936, came to an abrupt end to the growing season in Barcelona. The city was bombed several times and was finally captured in January 1939 by the nationalist forces of Francisco Franco. Dictator Franco took power and stayed in control for 36 years. With his power, the autonomy for Barcelona and Catalonia ended immediately. In the beginning Barcelona was nothing more to Franco than an industrial plant, which enforced a disproportionate growth of the city. Thousands of Spaniards came from the south of Spain to Barcelona for work. A large proportion of them lived in shacks with no utilities or water. This phenomenon was called in Spanish "barraquismoâ€?. Only in the 1960s, economically better times began, especially by the massive arrival of northern European tourists. These tourists focused not on Barcelona, but on the surrounding small fishing villages on the coast. But it brought more jobs to the area, and also the people of Barcelona, to some extent, benefited from this growth.
Juan Carlos I When Franco died in 1975, 36 years of oppression and isolation ended. Spain got a new king, Juan Carlos I. Juan Carlos was born in exile during the Spanish Civil War. General Franco brought him to Spain in 1948, where he received special training. Franco had formally restored the monarchy in 1947, but without appointing a king. For a long time, Juan Carlos' father, Juan, seemed the logical candidate, but his uncle Jaime and his sons Alfonso and Xavier of Bourbon-Parma also claimed the Spanish throne. Juan was the second child of four. Juan earned his bachelor's degree in Madrid and attended a special training at the Military Academy. In 1962 he married Princess Sofia of Greece. Together with his wife, he maintained good relations with Franco. In 1969, the Spanish council ratified Franco's proposal to give King Juan Carlos the title of king, and He was sworn in on the constitutions. He took the job as head of state during periods of sickness of the dictator. After Franco died he was, by swearing on the Bible and on the laws of the Movimiento, successor of the fascist Falange, proclaimed King on November 22, 1975 and many saw in him a puppet of the dictator. To the surprise of many, however, he quickly changed course in a democratic direction. Yet he never has condemned the Francoism in spoken or written word. After taking office he spoke fairly quickly conciliatory words to the (forbidden during Franco), socialist and communist parties.
The king has thus played an important role in the largely peaceful transition to a modern democracy in the country. On December 28th, 1978, the new democratic constitution was adopted in Spain. During the attempted coup in 1981, led by some conservative military and Colonel Antonio Tejero of the Guardia Civil, the king appeared on television within one day, dressed in the uniform of Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, condemning the coup. Beforehand he had it secured the support of the largest part of the army. This coup attempt quickly lost the support of potential sympathizers and ultimately failed. Carlos earned a lot of respect for his actions during the attempted coup inside and outside of Spain. This led the way for a final reconciliation between the warring factions of the Civil War and Spain's accession to the European Union. It also insured the position of the constitutional monarchy in Spain. With the transition from dictatorship to democracy Barcelona got the chance to develop freely. The Catalan language and culture could again be used freely.
Summer Olympic Games of 1992 In 1986, when it became known that Barcelona would organize the 1992 Summer Olympics, a massive transformation of the city began. As part of the Olympic Games, the Metro system was modernized, the current bypasses built, the airport expanded and a large part of the center was 'cleaned-up'. The crime was successfully fought, and many historic buildings (including some of Antoni GaudĂ's work) were completely restored. The Olympic summer Games of 1992 have given the city a huge boost. Barcelona used to be in the periphery, in terms of visitor numbers in Europe, but for a long time now, the city is been in the top three of most visited cities in Europe.
Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer, Jerry Lodriguss
Casa La Canyera Detached house for sale in Llagostera. In urbanization with garden around. 20 minutes from the beach and 5 minutes from the center. Classification: • Land 475 m2 • Constructed 212 m2 • 27 m2 Porches • Detached. • Garden rustic and easy to maintain. • Terraces. • Large garage. • Built 19 years ago, very good quality. • Interior and exterior recently painted. • Window blinds. • Central heating. Ground floor (81 m2) • Garage. • Installation of heating (oil) • to serve as a study or gast area with its own entrence. Access floor (94 m2) • Living – dining room with fireplace • Kitchen • Toilet • Three bedrooms • Bathroom • Covered terraces
Price now € 225.000,Costa Brava Immo can also provide a financing on this property
Costa Brava Immo 0034-972.319.527 0034-663.324.36 firstname.lastname@example.org
When visiting the market La Boqueria "is a good idea to have a nice piece of salt cod (bacallĂ in Catalan) to prepare this simple but delicious dish. Rice with cod, chopped almonds and hazelnuts Ingredients 250 g rice 250 g bacallĂ (dried, salted cod) 750 ml water 2 cloves garlic 1 bay leaf 7 hazelnuts 7 almonds 1 garlic clove
Rice with Stalt cod Photo: Javier Lastras
Preparation 1 - cook the rice in plenty of water with the bay leaf and 2 cloves of garlic. 2 - Six minutes before the rice is cooked, add the desalted cod.
(Begin least 24 hours prior to soak the cod in water, even 36 hours is not too far ahead. Fill the bowl with cold water and dried cod. Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator. Change the water in the bowl at least three or four times a day. The more the better. Befor use, taste. When it is still too salty, change the water and after a couple of hours test again. There is desalted salt cod for sale, ready to use. 3 - Chop the almonds, hazelnuts and a clove of garlic and sprinkle over the fish, once on the board.
Practical information How to find what you are looking for on the internet, quickly
We are not going to give you practical information on lodging, restaurants et cetera. The internet is a better, completer and more up-to-date source of information in this regard. On the other hand, when looking for information about Barcelona on the internet, you'll soon run into all kinds of organizations that are trying to sell something. The easiest way to find general information, is to visit the official BCN website. Next to Spanish and Catalan, this site is also available in English. In the list below we give you direct links to information in different categories, so you can find the desired information in a single mouse-click. Hopefully this will make it a little easier to find the information you want, in about 189 million search results found for â€œBarcelonaâ€? on Google.
Tourist information points
Photo: Brian Chiu
The city from the inside Barcelona, my Catalan friend I'm Mike Schreuders, born in 1965 in Amsterdam. Since 1991 I live and work in Barcelona. I married a Catalan woman from Barcelona. Our two year old son is a real Dutchman "from the inside" in Barcelona, he babbles in Dutch, Spanish and Catalan. My work has brought me to this city. Transportation & Logistics. Currently I'm working in the Port de Barcelona, on an important project for Barcelona, container rail links to the rest of Europe, particularly France. A big challenge for the city, the port and for me. In my spare time I am artist and I create oil paintings. The light in Barcelona is spectacular and inspires me. I exhibit my paintings in Barcelona and Sitges, where I have a studio.
Photo: Mike Schreuders
Over the years that I lived in Barcelona, the city has changed, but a lot stayed the same as well. I think what really changed is the way I enjoy the city. Unmarried on arrival, Barcelona to me was first and foremost a city with a particularly vibrant nightlife. The first few years I surrounded myself mainly with Dutch and other foreigners, rather than with Catalans (for then). I formed, like almost all newcomers, a private island with like-minded. And well, integration is not necessary, life's good in the subculture of your own "little island". And yet, as the years go by you integrate imperceptibly, more and more in this fantastic city. In the beginning I lived in the north of the city, where Calle Balmes crosses Av General Mitre, and I drove every day on this road to the Zona Franca, hours in traffic jams and evenings at home driving around until I found a parking spot. Now I live in downtown, and I have a private car park in a parking lot and I can cycle to work, using a different bike every time; www.bicing.cat. There are even cycle paths, which at some points just end. Then you have the choice either to ride on the road, where no one takes you into account, or on the sidewalk between the pedestrians...
City perils Many pedestrians ignore the traffic and cross in and out of season. The municipality has written texts on the pedestrian crossings, to alert people to wait for a green light. It's easy to lose your life. Barcelona, a city of art, modernism, Picasso, architecture. Large groups of tourists, some from the large cruise ships that dock in the harbour every day, are guided in double-deckers, busloads full, past all the attractions. If you are a tourist bended over a map, or do you want to buy a subway ticket, friendly help offering people come at you. After the kind advice they ask you for money, or have gone off with your wallet. Taxi drivers like to cheat unsuspecting foreign passengers also. When they notice that you live in Barcelona, and speak the language, the ordinary price is neatly settled. The same happens to me still after all these years occasionally in bars and restaurants. Anyway, these things can happen to you in other cities as well, and the inhabitants of the city are here just as mad about these things.
The same city, yet differently Today our lives are dedicated to the education of our son Peter. On September 5th he will be 3 years old and start to visit school. It is a small international school in the higher part of town. Here he will be taught in English, Spanish and Catalan. In our spare time we enjoy the beach and many parks Barcelona has.
Barça If you like sports, Barcelona is the right place. In the era of the Dream team of FC Barcelona (Koeman, Romario, Zubi led by Cruyff, etc.), I visited the Nou Camp stadium a few times, even though I do not like football. Socios led me and my Dutch friends through the catacombs of the stadium to a predetermined seat, in exchange for several thousand pesetas. Beer and soggy bread with ham. Delicious! It was always a lot of fun, we sat next to elderly and entire families with small children. Needless to say all dressed up in the colors of Barça. My 2 year old son already has his first Barça outfit, which my brother in law, a fanatical Barcelona fan and member of the club, bought for him. For the first time in years, I watched a football match, during the World Cup this year, in one of the Dutch bars in town (there are three), together with my Catalan friend Daniel. Netherlands – Brazil. After the match we drove through the city honking, waving Dutch and orange flags. A Dutchman in Barcelona. Barcelona, there is a saying in the rest of Spain claiming that the Catalans are reserved, but when they offer their friendship, it is sincere and forever. Let Barcelona be my Catalan friend. Barcelona, August 28, 2010 www.mikeschreuders.com
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Casa Cabanyes, Calonge Characteristic Spanish house located in Cabanyes. Cabanyes is a beautiful, well maintained district. This a is a property with many possibilities. Kidney shaped Pool, Central heating on natural gas, 786m2 plot. Year of contruction 1985
Mas Elvira, Llagostera Beautifully situated authentic Masia, on the outskirts of Llagostera, with fantastic views and large lot. Ideal property for lovers of country living. Plot 7.000 m2, Construction 140 m2.
Casa TorreMirona, Navata Private property situated at the golfer´s paradise of ¨Torremirona¨, Golf and Spa resort. A superb home or investment property. Luxurious villa from first owners. This villa not only has magnificent views to the greens of the golf course but also to the Pyrenees. € 595.000,-
Casa Terrades, Terrades Fabulous new built Masía. On a very quiet spot in the valley at the foot of the Pyrenees at 10 minutes from Figueres. Built with first class materials. Swimming pool. Plot 15.000 m2 on the edge of the forrest.
Costa-Brava-Immo Tel: 0034-972.319.527 email@example.com - www.costa-brava-immo.eu
Photo: Ramon Llorensi
Architecture Much of the attractiveness that Barcelona has, is due to the special buildings you can see all across the city. In fact, these are so special that Barcelona was the first and only city ever to win the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal, because of the outstanding architecture that characterizes the city.
Barri Gòtic The oldest part of Barcelona, called the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter in Catalan) lies in between La Rambla and Via Laietana and the Mediterranean sea and the Ronda de Sant Pere. Much of this area was once within the old city walls. Despite various construction activities in the more recent history, many of the buildings in this district date back from the Middle Ages, some even from the time of the Roman settlements. In some places, parts of the old city walls are still visible. Also, "El Call", the old Jewish Quarter is located in this area. The Gothic Quarter consists of narrow labyrinthine streets that still amount to little squares. The main part of the Gothic Quarter is closed to traffic except to taxis and service vehicles.
Eixample By demolishing the old city walls in 1897, Barcelona and the surrounding villages were connected an the city was able to grow. This expansion began with the construction of the Eixample district. The Eixample (Catalan word for "extension", Spanish: Ensanche) was a planned district in Barcelona. At the beginning of the 19th century, Barcelona had the highest residential density in Europe. Expansion of the city was therefore necessary. The government in Madrid commissioned the Catalan architect Ildefons Cerdà i Sunyer (1815-1876) to draw an expansion plan for the city. This plan was named Eixample and even today it still is a world famous example of scientific urbanism. Under the socialist ideas of Cerdà, the Eixample district was designed for occupancy of both the middle classes and small traders as by workers. On the drawing board, identical, octagonal blocks were designed. The whole district would be crossed by a long, diagonal avenue, named Avinguda Diagonal.
Photo: Graig Cormack
The blocks should not exceed four storeys high and between the houses was much room left for greenery, and the original idea was even, that a large part of the district would be pedestrian streets. This idea did not come true, the Eixample district is the busiest in Barcelona, and has a population of approximately 300,000 inhabitants.
GaudĂ The Catalan modernist architecture (in the rest of Europe, better known as Art Nouveau) developed between 1885 and 1950, has an important legacy in Barcelona. A significant proportion of these buildings is on the World Heritage list. Especially the work of Antoni GaudĂ is exceptional and can be seen all around the city. His most important work, the Sagrada Familia is being built since 1882, and is fully financed by private funds. The estimated completion of this church is now expected in 2026.
Barcelona also offers a lot of modern architecture, like the modernist simplicity of the Barcelona Pavilion by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed in 1929 for the World Exposition in Barcelona for Germany. It is an iconic building designed by one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. He also designed the design classic, the Barcelona chair, for this pavilion. Because of the Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona invested a lot, and redeveloped the popular districts of Barcelonetta and the harbor. These were neglected for decades, but now house a contemporary architecture with a strong international focus. The horizon of the Catalan capital is crowned by the impressive smooth Agbar Tower by Jean Nouvel, just a few steps away from the exuberant Sagrada Familia by GaudĂ.
El Molí de la Capçana
The Molí de la Capçana is an old watermill (15th-16th century) The total surface of the estate is a good 17,5 hectares. About 2 hectares around the house are fully fenced. The property is on the border of “Les Gavarres”, a protected nature reserve of 28,000 m². Additional constructions are therefore prohibited, making it a very peaceful place.
Mansion located in L’Ametlla del Vallés (Barcelona), 35 km. from Barcelona, in the best residential area, “Camp Can.” Plot of 2,670 m2, fully landscaped with automatic irrigation. Infinity pool with fiber optics. Independent apartment. Nine bathrooms and three toilets. Independent alarms in the main house and pavilion, connected to 24 h. central alarm.
The original mill has been totally restored (restoration completed in 2007) to an exceptional standard with antic materials, hand painted Catalan ceilings, important period fireplaces, handsome doors etc. There are fully equipped stables. The surface of the original mill is 1.188,67 m2. The surfaces of the other buildings are 817.79 m2 and approx. 200M2. www.arx-estates.com/el-moli-de-la-capcana
Security cameras around the garden permanently recording, with independent 72 hours image file storage. Each camera can be set to suit the user, in order to take other angles. The alarm center can see the images in real time in case of absence. The constructed area has 996 m2, divided in three floors. The garden, swimming pool, the facade of the house and the inside, including bathrooms and toilets have been completely refurbished two years ago. www.arx-estates.com/villa-antonio
Top 10 Restaurants in Catalo-
Foto: M. Ruiz de Erenchun
Photo: Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. © Turisme de Barcelona / Espai d’Imatge
The city of Barcelona has so many attractions that it is not difficult to put together a top 10. Of course everyone has their own preference and consequently it is difficult to determine which attractions are most worthwhile. Therefore, a Top 10 based on attendance.
* 1 Sagrada Família ( 2.839.030 visits/year) The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is a work on a grand scale which was begun on 19 March 1882 from a project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901).
At the end of 1883 GaudĂ was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea.
Foto: Guillamet Photo:Francesc Laura Padgett
Photo: Allen Bell
* 2 CosmoCaixa Science and nature museum ( 2,458,832 visits/year) Barcelona's science and nature museum. CosmoCaixa was renovated in 2004 and in 2006 it received recognition as Europe's best museum. Here you can walk through a rainforest, explore the universe at the planetarium or visit the toca toca! - where you can play with animals such as starfish, fish and desert mice. The first thing you see while entering Barcelona's natural technical museum Cosmocaixa is a 300 year old giant Acariquara tree extending from the bottom to the top floor of this beautiful science center. CosmoCaixa was closed for renovation in 1998 and reopened in 2005 with over 30 000 square meters. In 2006 it was selected to Europe's best museum. The science center's facilities include the planetarium, a spectacular tropical rainforest and exhibitions of human nature and evolution of the earth and the universe.
* 3 L'Aquarium de Barcelona (1,626,069 visits/year) Lâ€™AquĂ rium de Barcelona is the most important marine leisure and education centre in the world concerning the Mediterranean. A series of 35 tanks, 11,000 animals and 450 different species, an underwater tunnel 80 meters long, six million liters of water and an immense Oceanarium, the only one in Europe, turn this centre into a unique, reference leisure show that has already been visited by more than 14 million people.
* 4 Poble Espanyol de Montjuic (1,446,378 visits/year) Poble Espa単ol is otherwise known as the Spanish Village. El Poble Espanyol was built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition as the pavilion dedicated to art. It is one of the few monuments that belonged to an International Exhibition that can still be visited. From the beginning, it was conceived as a real "village" in the middle of a city, with a surface area of 49,000 m2. The aim was to give an idea of what might be an "ideal model" of a Spanish village containing the main characteristics of all towns and villages in the peninsula. For this reason, 117 buildings, streets and squares were reproduced to scale. Pieces were selected taking into account criteria of aesthetic fit that could help create a harmonious overall composition in accordance with the "village" design that had been conceived.
Photo: John Lindie
* 5 Barcelona FC Museum (1,397,574 visits/year) “FC Barcelona, més que un club ”, “FC Barcelona, more than a club”. FC Barcelona's fans will be able to experience the new look club Museum. Visitors will find a modernised museum with an interactive mural, great audio visual displays, new displays and an extensive collection of memorabilia in order to help learn and enjoy the incredible history of the club. After touring the new look first floor fans will then ascend to the second floor where they can enjoy the new multimedia zone. This area, completed in January of this year, has been critically acclaimed and has seen many supporters praise it as visiting numbers have increased by around 40 per cent.
*6 La Pedrera - Casa Mila by Antonio Gaudi (1,349,574 visits/year)
Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera (Catalan for 'The Quarry'), is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1905–1910, being considered officially completed in 1912. It was built for the married couple, Rosario Segimon and Pere Milà.Casa Milà was in poor condition in the early 1980s. It had been painted a dreary brown and many of its interior color schemes had been abandoned or allowed to deteriorate, but it has since been restored and many of the original colors revived. The building is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí".
*7 Picasso Museum (1,145,249 visits/year) www.museupicasso.bcn.es
The Museu Picasso (English: Picasso Museum) in Barcelona, Spain, has one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. This is one of the most popular and most visited museums in Barcelona. In particular, the Museu Picasso reveals Picasso's relationship with the city of Barcelona, a relationship that was shaped in his youth and adolescence, and continued until his death.
*8 Barcelona Zoo ( 1,102,939 visits/year)
Barcelona Zoo is a zoo in the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The zoo used to be internationally known as the home of Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla that died on 2003. Barcelona Zoo is set in a magnificent garden over 100 years old, covering 13 hectares of Ciutadella Park and containing a collection of some 7,500 individual animals belonging to more than 400 species from all over the world.
Miró Museum (1,118,757 visits/year) www.fundaciomiro-bcn.org The Fundation Joan Miró, Centre d'Estudis d'Art Contemporani (Joan Miró Foundation) is a museum of modern art honoring Joan Miró and located on Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia. The building housing the museum is itself a notable example of modern design drawing from regional traditions. It was completed in 1975 by architect Josep Lluís Sert, who conceived it like an open space, with big terraces and interior courtyards that allowed a correct circulation of the visitors. The building was broadened in 1986 to add the library and the auditorium. The Foundation has also a space named "Espai 13", dedicated especially to promote the work of young artists who experiment with the art. Also temporary exhibitions of works of other painters are carried out.
Imax Cinema (671,512 visits/year) www.imaxportvell.com IMAX is a motion picture film format and projection standard created by the Canadian IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than most conventional film systems. A standard IMAX screen is 22 Ă— 16.1 m (72 Ă— 52.8 ft) and they are generally the same everywhere. IMAX Port Vell Barcelona was the first IMAX intergal movie theater in the world. You'll find it close to the city center in the old harbour of Barcelona.
Paris-Barcelona Why not take the slow train to Barcelona?
If you are travelling to Barcelona from northern Europe and aren’t in a hurry, I can thoroughly recommend catching the Elipsos Trenhotel from Paris. Nowadays travel has become a necessary evil for many people rather than a pleasure: long queues at airport security; waiting for your flight, which may very well be delayed, in the impersonal surroundings of an airport; cheap airline food eaten with plastic cutlery. If you are using your car you face a long, tiring drive and in the summer months, once you reach the coast, driving on overcrowded roads. Budget flights have been a boon for many families who want to holiday abroad - apart from them hiking up prices in the school holidays - but by the time you arrive at your destination you definitely need a holiday! We decided to try the Trenhotel for the simple reason that we wanted to take two heavy suitcases each to our new home in Spain, and flying with them wasn’t an option. We had heard though that the journey by train was a good experience and I’m pleased to say that we were not disappointed. We booked online using the links on http://www.seat61.com/. This is a comprehensive independent website with all the information you need to know about travelling by train to and from the UK and other European countries, with lots of good advice for inexperienced travellers such as how to cross Paris using the metro. The single journey from Paris to Barcelona cost £301 for the two of us, sharing a two-bed Gran Clase sleeper with private shower and toilet. The fare included dinner with wine and other drinks plus continental breakfast. There are of course cheaper options available on the Trenhotel, but we felt that this was very good value for our money, and well worth treating ourselves. We arrived early at London St Pancras station, where my children were waiting in the Champagne Bar to see us off in style. We travelled from London to Paris by Eurostar, and then took the metro from Gare du Nord to Gare d’Austerlitz, arriving in plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely drink in one of the station bars before boarding our train. We were greeted by the sleeping car attendant, who checked our tickets, gave us our meal vouchers and key card, and asked us which sitting we preferred for dinner. Finally he took our passports and tickets so that we wouldn’t be disturbed during the night when the train crossed the border into Spain. Photo’s page 40 & 41: Sue Walker
We discovered complimentary mineral water and toiletries in the shower room, as well as fluffy towels. Admittedly the sleeper was compact, however for one night it would be fine and we had everything we needed, including comfortable beds. We had chosen the first dinner sitting as we were both feeling a bit hungry and we had just enough time for a quick shower before the attendant knocked on the door to tell us it was time for dinner. As I don’t eat meat I was a bit worried about what I would have for my main course. I assumed that we would be given a limited fixed price menu, but we were told that we could choose whatever we wanted from the full a la carte menu, so my only problem was deciding what to order from the many delicious dishes available! We both chose cava for our aperitif and were also able to select any wines on the wine list to accompany our meal. After dinner we lingered in the restaurant car over coffee and liqueurs, before agreeing that this was definitely our favourite way to travel and far more civilised than flying to Spain. When we returned to our sleeper we were pleased to see that our efficient attendant had folded away the seats and our beds were ready for us to fall into. I am a good sleeper, but John had a bit of a disturbed night, waking up whenever the train stopped. He vowed that the next time we travelled on the Trenhotel he would use the ear plugs provided in the free toiletries bag! We were woken by a discreet knock on the door and the voice of our helpful attendant advising us that breakfast was being served. After enjoying our continental breakfast we returned to our sleeper to find that the beds had been folded away, so we could sit in the seats to enjoy the views as the train headed to Barcelona, or read the complimentary newspaper. We arrived in Barcelona França station feeling relaxed rather than stressed and ready to enjoy our time in Spain. There was no anxious wait for our bags or queue to go through passport control: all we had to do was say thank you to our attendant and disembark from the train. Next time that you travel to Barcelona, why not take the train? It might be slower than flying there, but it’s a far more comfortable and enjoyable journey. "Retiring The Olé Way" ISBN 1-905430-64-7 by Sue Walker is available to buy from Amazon and all good bookshops now.
Discover Barcelona “differently” Besides the obvious ways to discover Barcelona like, for example a bus tour, the are a number of othe, less apparent possibilities to discover the city.
Jogging through Barcelona Want to see Barcelona in a different way? Discover the heart of old city, the buildings of Gaudi and the trendy beaches running through the city while a guide tells you all the facts. Sight Jogging they call this phenomenon. In New York and London is already very popular. Getting to know the city jogging is designed for tourists but also for business people who want to combine sports with getting to know their city. www.sightjogging-barcelona.com
Photo: Sight Jogging Barcelona
Segway Tour During our tour around Barcelona we will see and learn about the Roman Barcelona, the small streets of the Gothic quarter, the old harbour, the Columbus statue, the royal shipyards, the Ramblas, the Barceloneta, the born quarter, the beach and the Olympic harbour. We will be amazed by the imposing Roman walls, smell freshly made candy, hear some gruesome stories, learn about the history and life of the city, enjoy the Mediterranean sea, glide along the crowded beaches, and much more. www.barcelonasegwayglides.com
Fietstour Those who have visited Barcelona’s historic centre have probably seen many of its most famous monuments. The fact that there is an amazing amount to discover in the areas surrounding the centre is perhaps less well known. And it’s really easy, quick and big fun to explore these areas by bicycle! Barcelona is an excellent city to enjoy a bicycle tour. The special cycle paths and signs invite you to make a safe and relaxed tour to every point of interest. A multilingual tour guide will accompany you and explain about the culture and history of Barcelona along the route. No matter what age, with a bicycle tour you will have a memorable day in this great city! www.budgetbikes.eu
Boat charter What a great way to spend the day chilling! We hire a private luxury sailing yacht with a skipper and you can lounge whilst sipping wine or downing a couple of cold beers. This is a great way of relaxing on the Mediterranean after a big night or even the calm before the storm if the big night is yet to come. www.barcelonaadventure.com
Barcelona Helikopter Tour With a helicopter flight, you will enjoy the panoramic view of the city of Barcelona from its main tourist attraction: the sea. You will see the skyline of the city and the spectacular grids and patterns of lines formed by its streets and avenues directly from the sea. Anniversaries, weddings, tourism ... any reason is a good reason to fly and enjoy. www.barcelona.com
Limousine Tour Discover the city the “de luxe” way. You can glide through the city in this luxury vehicle for all occasions: weddings, anniversaries, farewells and city views. If you want to surprise someone special, this is an ideal gift. Up to 7 people with can sit comfortably in the leather seats. www.limorent.com
Horse carriage tour If you're looking for a romantic way to view the central streets of Barcelona or a relaxing jaunt your kids will also enjoy, a horse drawn carriage ride is a great option. Carriages can be picked up at the end of Las Ramblas at Portal de la Pau. 30-minute or 1-hour options available. 9:00 to 14:00h and 17:30 to 21:00h
Cable car tour from the port to Montjuïc The cable car system, which was built on the occasion of the 1929 Universal Exhibition in Barcelona, offers a different, bird’s eye, view of the city, whilst also providing an original urban transport service linking two sites historically related to each other: Mount Montjuïc and the Port of Barcelona. The cable car runs from the station beside the Costa i Llobera Gardens on Mount Montjuïc to the Sant Sebastià Tower and back, stopping midway at the Jaume I Tower (adjoining the World Trade Center Barcelona). www.portvellbcn.com
In whatever way you want to explore the city, always worth looking into is the purchase of a “Barcelona Card”. With this card you can benefit of free travel on public transport, discounts and free offers at museums, cultural venues, leisure facilities, night-clubs, shops, restaurants and entertainments, other services and unique means of transport. - Barcelona Card per 2, 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days. - Card is valid per calendar days and not for 24-hour periods. - Free public transport: Barcelona metro and city buses of TMB and FGC city and suburban train network, trams, train to Barcelona's airport and Renfe trains zone 1. - Over 80 discounts at museums, culture venues, entertainment, leisure attractions, night-time venues, shops, restaurants, other services at Barcelona and unusual means of transport. + Information - Includes free discounts at transport as Las Golondrinas, many others such as Torre de Collserola, Mirador de Colom, Circuit de Catalunya, and museums as CosmoCaixa, Museu de la xocolata, Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport, Museu de la Música and 7 museums more. - With the purchase of your Barcelona Card, you will receive a guide in three languages (Catalan/Spanish/English or French/German/Italian) which includes: Information about the discounts and the free offers with the city card. Information about Barcelona's main sightseeing areas. General map of Barcelona. Map of the metro network. Look for more information on the Barcelona Card or purchase on: http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com/
Foto: Suzette Pauwels
Legal column BUYERS IN LOVE ARE DIFFCULT TO ADVISE With this title is meant buyers that are in love with a house and not buyers who are in love with each other, although a couple in love is normally also not in the best spiritual state for the purchase of a house and certainly not in Spain. A big problem with advising foreigners about the legal (and therefor very important) aspects of the purchase of a house in Spain is the factor “falling in love”. This phenomenon will probably occur always but it reveals itself in my humble opinion much more in the case of a foreigner buying a property in Spain, then when the same foreigner buys a house in his own country. A contact of mine has once jokingly said: “If foreigners come to Spain to buy a house they leave their brains in the airport!”. It can be explained I think, but before I give the explanation I will first try to describe the phenomenon (or problem because that is how I experience it as an advisor). The phenomenon “in love with a Spanish house” can be recognized if a client calls with the question for legal assistance for the purchase of a house or apartment in Spain and from his words or way of questioning it appears that the client only wants to hear the liberating and approving yes-word from the legal advisor or lawyer. It is as if the client already made the decision to buy the house but is tortured by his conscience that tells him or her that the legal aspects are also important and he or she should gather advise on that topic. The client is willing to meet his conscience because that allows him or her to put a part of the responsibility on the shoulders of somebody else, in this case the legal advisor ........... at least, that is how it feels. But I am moving ahead of things and let me start at the beginning. The average foreigner who in my practice comes for advise has seen during his or
her holidays a house he or she would like to buy. Sometimes some information has been gathered work via the internet or contacts who know a house for sale. The contact mostly runs via a broker. That can be a Spaniard or a foreigner as during the last ten years many foreigners have tried their luck in Spain as a real estate broker. The stories concerning the Spanish real estate boom had made of Spain a true El Dorado. The broker is not always very helpful when it comes down to make a good assessment of the pros and cons of the purchase. A broker makes his money only if a sale is concluded. He or she has an interest in making the sale happen. Luckily there are exceptions, meaning brokers who understand that you should also not underestimate the average buyer by making a good assessment for the buyer. Unfortunately, my opinion is that the majority does not do that and gives the impression that the buyer is about to do the “best deal ever”. I cannot fully blame the broker. That is the way it works and the buyer should be aware as well. Therefore, after the buyer has been convinced of the best deal ever, possibly after he has been “wined and dined” by the broker, he sometimes (not always) has a moment of reflection, sometimes at the moment of signing the notarial deed, and thinks let’s call a lawyer. That happened to me once. Happily for the buyers today we have Google and after a search “Foreign lawyer in Spain”, people find my office among others. Making a telephone call is then an easy thing to do. Buyer: “Yes, mister De Haan, we are sitting here with the broker and the sellers at notary Sanchez in Alicante for the signing of the deed of purchase and my wife said, John, would you not call this lawyer that you found on the internet? heart when the notary walks in.”
Well, that is what I did. Can you help us by reading very quickly through the deed and confirm everything is OK? Then we can sign with a true peace of mind and heart when the notary walks in.” I admit this is not always the way it goes, but it does happen and has happened. It is more frequent that I am called in an earlier stage when the initial sales contract (contrato de arras) has been signed. It also happens that he foreign buyer is very careful and wants everything checked upfront but those buyers are normally not in love and I am discussing the buyer in love (or the other buyer who left his brains at the airport). The case described before concerns a buyer who wants to hear the word “yes” from his legal advisor. He or she is in love with the house. The plans have already been made for the renovation or decoration. The smart broker already took them to the local interior design shop and has shown beautiful things as a result of which the attention for the really important issues such as property title of the house and legality of the premises, the quality of the building are quickly substituted by pleasant daydreams about what the kitchen will look like. “Oh John, we will enjoy this kitchen or that terrace so much!!!!” This is a normal and human phenomenon and the buyer cannot to a certain extent, be blamed for it. It is in my view up to the legal advisor or lawyer to give counterbalance, but also to a certain extent. What can you do as an advisor if your client only wants to hear “yes”? Most of the times I try shocktherapy to get the buyer out of his fuddle. You do not make friends with it but that is why you are a legal advisor or a lawyer. To quote the American troubleshooter “Chainsaw Al” who in the eighties and nineties reorganized many companies: “If you need a friend, get a dog. I have got two.” The first question I normally ask over the phone is: “Do you speak Spanish?” or “Do you master the Spanish language?” The answer is always, “No”. The second question is then “You are going to buy a house. How much should the house cost?”. It normally concerns an amount of € 400.000,-- or more.
“So” I then say “You are going to pay € 400.000,-and sign a document that you cannot read on the basis of which you are supposed to get a house in accordance with what has been promised, whilst you cannot control this and all other persons involved have an interest that the deal will close. That seems very risky to me.” After the first firing round, normally some reflection kicks in. The firing continues: “Are you sure the seller is the owner?” Answer: “No”. “Do you know anything from the zoning plan?” Answer: “No”. “Are you sure that the house has a residence permit?” Answer: “No”. “Has an architect looked at the house?” Answer: “No”. “Do you know that in Spain there is no obligation for the seller to disclose?” Answer: “No”.. I can continue like for a while, and sometimes that happens. The buyer is getting less and less happy and in love, starts sighing and then yelling: “Enough!!!, OK, I will not sign. I want to check this first.” That is what happened with the buyer who sat at the notary’s office because nothing of all this had been investigated. How can this be explained? Well, I am a Dutchman, I lived in The Netherlands for 30 years and I go there regularly. If you are on a holiday in Spain under the clear blue sky enjoying sea, sun and beach when your country stands for bad weather, traffic, long jams and a grey existence, then the Spanish reality sometimes is not represented the way it really is. My advise: have yourself advised by an independent advisor, be open for advise and acknowledge that your being in love makes an objective judgement more difficult. Jan Willem de Haan, Barcelona, 28 augustus 2010 Jan Willem de Haan is a lawyer in the Netherlands and Spain and lives and works in Barcelona since 1992. Together with his active business partner Boris Mulder he runs the two establishments (located in Barcelona and Valencia) of their firm De Haan & Mulder. www.dehaanmulder.com
In every issue we will ask someone for their favourite spot in Catalonia. In this issue the favourite spot of the Bakker family.
My favourite spot ...
Photo: Judith Bakker Family Foto: Photo: Guadalupe
15 Years ago, we fell in love with Estartit. When we drive to our house from the airport and ride with the sun in our backs towards Torroella de Montgri we get overwhelmed by a homecoming feeling. At the highest point of the road, the view is so beautiful. Once arrived we enjoy our view at the Medes islands off the coast of L'Estartit, the atmosphere, the restaurants, the fabulous, wide beach, the beautiful countryside of the Baix Ter, etc.. The whole region is fantastic, but Estartit has it all! The Baxter family lives in the Netherlands and regularly spends time in their second home in L'Estartit. The Bakker family passes the stick to the Pachon y Steur family
Thieves' nest Barcelona There is a lot to rejoice about Barcelona, but unfortunately there is also a downside. The city of Barcelona has an average of no less than 315 robberies a day and ti takes the lead on the list of cities where most pickpockets are active. Especially in the pedestrian area around Las Ramblas, you run the risk that your belongings are being stolen. Most street thieves are repeat offenders and have a long list of robberies in their name. Some have been arrested over 70 times, but they are always released after questioning because the seriousness of the facts is not big enough for longer detention. Fortunately, violent robberies seldom occur. The victims usually get distracted by crook number 1 and then get robbed by crook number two. By the time the victim discovers the theft, the perpetrators have long gone. Despite this one bright spot, it is still pretty annoying when you get robbed of your belongings. To prevent is therefor better than to cure.
Tips to prevent being robbed - What you don't carry with you on the street, can not be stolen! So please do not take valuables with you, leave travel documents in the hotel safe. This also applies to passport or identity card: Insert a copy in your pocket. Cary a minimal amount of cash, you can pay with a debit card everywhere. Please note: don't take all debit cards, but only one. - Please always pay attention to your bag and carry it in front of you, you can't see what's happening behind you you. â€“ When you pay with debet or credit card, you always need an ID, you don't need your passport, a driver's license is sufficient.
– Never leave your bag unattended and keep an eye on it, even when you're in the subway or bus. – Use a wallet with a strap around your neck that you can put under your clothes. – Some people have a fake wallet, which they stuff with old paper on a obvious place. If a pickpocket is going to steel something, it is likely he will take the fake version. - Use a bag with a long hinge, not a backpack. Wear the strap diagonally across your torso so nobody can grab your bag away. (So from right shoulder to left hip or vice versa.) - Do not use a bag with an expensive brand for your camera. - If you're in a cafe or restaurant, don't put your bag on the ground but make a loop around your chair leg or your own leg, or put it on your lap. Obviously, you don't hang it on the back of your chair. - Do not be distracted by tricks. If anything unexpected happens (someone drops coins, asks you a question, whether there is a great show on the street, a pregnant woman goes into labor, or any other diversion whatsoever), your first reflex should be to protect your bag, and then react to what happens. - Pickpockets love tourists. If you try not to look and behave like a tourist, you are halfway there.
Tips to experience as little damage as possible in case of a robbery. - Always travel with a travel insurance - Write down the emergency numbers for bank cards to block and keep them on you in a safe place. If you are being robbed, first block your credit cards, then go to the police! - Take a free hotmail or Gmail account, send yourself an email with attached copies of your important documents. You can open Hotmail / Gmail worldwide, as long as an Internet connection.
Barcelona in the leading role of bestsellers By now, many people have read "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Now there is a book that takes you to the places described in this wonderful book and some of his other best sellers that are all taking place in Barcelona. Barcelona by Carlos Ruiz Zafón A fascinating exploration into the secrets of Barcelona by Carlos Ruiz Zafón The journalist Sergi Doria drew eight beautiful trails through the Barcelona Zafón on the map for us, resulting from his bestselling “The shadow of the wind” and “angels game”, and the previously written children's book Marina. On the basis of main characters Daniel Sempere, David Martin and Oscar Dräi, Doria takes the reader into the dusky Cemetery of Forgotten Books, the Ciutadelaparc where David Martin and devilish Corelli meet, dark stairwells, aristocratic villas of Pedralbes, the haunted house of Aldaya's on the Tibidabo and more labyrinthine and mysterious stories from places where the books take place.
The shadow of the wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón Barcelona, 1945—just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
Angels game, Carlos Ruiz Zafón “The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen...” In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner. Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed--a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home. All books are available at Amazon.com
Villa Sa Punta Mediterranean villa with stunning views to the coast, the sea and the “Illes Medes”, a small and capricious group of islets in the Mediterranean. The villa is located in Playa Pals and just a 5 minute walk from the beach and town centre. The house was recently extended and refurbished to the demands of modern times. Classification: 6 double bedrooms 5 luxurious bathrooms Spacious living-/ dining room with beautiful view Spacious kitchen with all appliances Washroom Several terraces on three floors BBQ terrace with enough space for 12 people Swimming pool Large garden Garage Private parking. Costa Brava Immo can also provide a financing on this property
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Famous Catalans Salvador Dalí: surrealist artist Joan Miró: artist Antoni Gaudí: modernist architect Carlos Ruiz Zafón: writer Enric Bernat: business man, inventor of “Chupa Chups” Facundo Bacardí: founder of Bacardi rum. Joseph Oller: founder of Moulin Rouge cabaret Ferran Adrià: chef Josep Borrell: former President of the European Parliament Juan Antonio Samaranch: president of the IOC from 1980 to 2001 José Carreras: singer Montserrat Caballé: soprano singer, sang “Barcelona” in duet with Freddy Mercury Nacho Vidal: porn actor Arantxa Sánchez Vicario: former tennis player Sergi Bruguera: former tennis player, won 1993 and 1994 French Open Àlex Corretja: former tennis player Albert Costa: former tennis player, won the 2002 French Open Pedro Martínez de la Rosa: F1 driver Dani Pedrosa: GP motorcycle racer, 125 and 250cc world champion Josep Guardiola: retired FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder, currently head-coach of FC Barcelona. Carles Puyol: FC Barcelona and Spain defender Joan Capdevila: Villareal CF and Spain defender Fernando Navarro: Sevilla FC and former Spain defender Víctor Valdés: FC Barcelona and Spain goalkeeper Xavi Hernández: FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder Gerard Piqué: FC Barcelona and Spain defender Cesc Fàbregas: Arsenal F.C. and Spain midfielder Bojan Krkić: FC Barcelona and Spain striker
Costa Brava & Catalunya Magazine: The free online magazine about the Costa Brava! packed with fun and useful information for immigrants, expats and tourists Editor: M. Hooijmeijer Design: SUMMUM Media Design Script: M. Hooijmeijer Photo frontpage: Jose TĂŠllez
Contributors to this issue: J.W. De Haan, S. Walker, M. Schreuders
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Mexican favourites Nice and warm in the garden!
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BarceThis is the final Top 10: issue Barça in English. Goodbye, cheerio, Adieu. Thank you for reading!
REAL ESTATE - SALES - PURCHASE - RENTAL - CONSULTANCY - BUILDING INSPECTION
Costa Brava Magazine Barcelona special fall 2010