Barcelona in Black and White, Again

So I finally got around to processing the last roll of film from the Barcelona trip and I must say I was pleased. This is a roll of Kentmere 100 PAN and I like the grainy, dreamy effect it gives.

Barcelona Gothic Quarter

So here we are in Barcelona’s Gothic district. It’s a region of ancient buildings, narrow lanes, heavy tourism and cheap smack.

El Pont del Bisbe is the most photogenic bit and will appear in any tourist brochure you care to open. It looks very old an Venetian or some such but it’s actually from 1929, back when a lot of this quarter was done up to promote the tourist trade. It’s tempting to make a joke about Spain’s backwardness that they’re building medieval structures in the 20th century but the city is actually a shining example of early 20th century industrial thinking, much different to the US and car-centric cities of the post-war era. I’m pretty happy with this shot.

This is a bit more typical. Most of the shops are pretty cool and sell high-q tourist-tat but a tattoo shop covered in graffiti and stickers is pretty typical.

On Google Maps I saw “George Orwell Square”. Now, I am a fan of Eric Blair’s work and I have read Homage to Catalonia so was keen to check it out. These days it’s a square and playground, nice, but it looks like some of the local apartments have been creatively subdivided. I won’t judge the people who live on George Orwell square but I didn’t want to meet them after sundown.

Photographer outside Barcelona Cathedral

Here’s our photographer friend, out front of Barcelona cathedral. He exposes photograph paper to make a negative image, processes it, then exposes some more paper to the negative to make a final black and white image of you and your Instagram slag in front of the cathedral. The process takes about five minutes and must seem like witchcraft to people who have grown up with camera-phones. I couldn’t tell you how much he charges as I was lugging around my own black and white chemical imaging instrument. But it’s time to move on, goodbye Gothic District.

Bye Dan!

The next day we moved hotels to something a little more suburban. Nice suite, near a fancy supermarket, in a fancy neighbourhood. It was the last day and we had nothing planned so decided to have a look at the monastery up the road.

The Monastery of Pedralbes is actually a nunnery and was established in the 1300s – proper old. As an Australian lad stuff this old is a bit mind-blowing as all our stuff is either 200 or 20,000 without much in between. It’s five Euros to get in and we had the place much to ourselves.

The nuns kept shop here up until the 1980s so everything is in very good nick. There have been upgrades over the years but it’s still very much a medieval collection of buildings.

We loved it.

This is the refectory. The kitchen is good too and they have a proper kitchen-garden out the back. The place is really amazing and we only stumbled on it by chance. But it’s here than I ran out of film so that’s it for this post. I have about a billion colour digital shots that I’ll put into some sort of presentation one day, so look out for updates to this post.

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