diumenge, 6 de desembre de 2009

Catalan Xmas traditions

In Catalunya we have two important Xmas traditions. The Tió and the Caganer.

The Tió

The Tió is a wood log that gets its name from the latin "tea". It represents the wood burning on the fireplace that warms the house and protect it from the elements. It has evolved to this magical being that has to be fed for about a week before Xmas and then on Xmas day, by singing a song and beating it with a stick it will "shit" presents.

The "caganer"

The "caganer" is a figure of of a farmer of shepherd with the tipical clothes of the XVI to XVIII centuries, with the trousers down and shitting.

This is just another figure from the imagery of those centuries when the guilds are in its maximum splendor with what they call the "rajoles dels oficis" - depictions of the diferents crafts. During the baroque period, rural scenes were incorpored to the Christmas cribs and the "caganer" figure was incorpored as a realistic symbol of fertilisation of the fields and better crops.

There is a marble relieve from the XVIII century called "The Virgin and the Mountain of Montserrat" that depicts the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus and the mouuntains of Montserrat with its paths alive with characters, and in a little corner a "caganer" is visible.

To have a "caganer" on the Christmas Crib brings good luck and good crops, it is a very popular tradition in Catalunya but also in other places of Spain and Portugal.

Nowadays it has become popular to make the figure of the "caganer" as famous people, like politicians, athletes or artists

Info taken from here

Patatas bravas at Tomàs

You can have patatas bravas in many places of Barcelona, but my alltime favourite by far is Bar Tomàs. The patatas bravas and patatas with allioli are simply amazing....

Now, what are patatas bravas and patatas with allioli?

Patatas bravas are deep fried potatoes with a spicy sauce, which can contain, or not, tomato, red peppers, mayonnaise....

Patatas with allioli are the same patatas but it this case with allioli. Allioli is mayonnaise with fresh garlic. It is delicious but unfortunately it also means that your breath will stink quite a lot :)

If you have the patatas bravas at Tomàs, they are made with allioli AND the bravas sauce, which makes them too spicy to me, call me sissy if you want. So I basically stay with the patatas with allioli.

You can find more info of Tomàs at tripadvisor.

This is a link to an article that the Wall Street Journal did on Bar Tomàs

Bar Tomàs general info:

* Address: Major de Sarrià, 49
* Phone: 932031077
* Opening times: from 12 to 16 and from 18 to 22 (They close on Wednesdays)
* Closest train station: Sarrià

My friend David enjoying some patatas with allioli :)

dimarts, 13 d’octubre de 2009

Segways and cinema

Before starting the segway tour business almost 5 years ago, I used to work at a movies distribuiton company called Manga Films. It was one of the best jobs ever, watching movies, making DVDs, meeting actors, actresses, directors, atending to festivals.... More a movie fan like me there is no better way to earn your money.

Luckily, five years after I still keep many of the friends I made during those years at Manga Films, that allows me to get to some movie premiers, get a few free DVDs and attend to the Sitges Film Festival , for me, the best festival ever.

A few months ago, I took a couple of indian gentleman on a segway tour, and while we had a few tapas (they were very hungry) at El Vaso de Oro one of them, Ashvin told me that he was an oscar nominated movie director that had just finished his first full lenght feature. The movie is called The forest and being a horror/thriller movie I told him to contact the festival, he was also directed to the festival by other people. A few weeks ago, while I was checking the movie list for the festival I saw that The Forest was to be presented at the festival, so I was very happy for Ashvin, and then one night, while at the festival I met Ashvin again at the festival, it was a very funny situation, we met doing a Segway tour and we met again while he was presenting is movie at the festival.

This is not the only movie director I met this year at the festival. Back in 2002 Manga Films distributed Vincenzo Natali's last movie, Cypher. He is quite known in the cinema world for his movie Cube. I was able to spend a few hours with Vincezo and had a great time with him. This year festival Vincenzo was coming to present his new film Splice, and I tried to contact him at his old e-mail address that unfortunately did not work. Luckily for me we met at the hotel lobby and we recognised each other, I helped him with his catalan speech to present the movie and also invited him to a segway tour around the city. He agreed and here are two of the pictures we took that day.

I had a great time showing them the city and learning lots about movies, I really hope to see them soon, hopefully Vincenzo will make another movie and present it at Sitges!

diumenge, 4 d’octubre de 2009

We are in the news again :)

Just in a local newspaper, but hey, its free :) A little interview to me in catalan of a Sabadell (my city) newspaper.

You can read the interview here

dilluns, 31 d’agost de 2009

WE are in the news!

We appear today in a small article in El Periódico de Catalunya. It just talks about what I do and how it all started. It is in spanish, but if you want to have a look at it you can do so here

Here are three pictures that did not make it to the final article taken by Andrea Bosch.

dijous, 27 d’agost de 2009

Night tour

We did a night tour the other day, we finished at 10pm which gave us the oportunity the enjoy the city in a different way. I was pleasantly surprised by the night view of the city, it had been a long time since I had seen it...

dimarts, 11 d’agost de 2009

A very cool article on Barcelona Segway Glides

This was printed in the July 2008 Easy Jet Magazine. I think it is very cool. We had lots of fun with the segway that day :) The pictures were taken another day with a handsome model (I was not considered photogenic enough ha ha) but you can find two of the pictures we took that thay:

The ancient cyclist in bright lycra and crazy-eye sunglasses

Me trying to look cool for the picture (and failing miserably)

The only problem is that the the website they give is no longer mine and now post to my competitors...