Published: June 19th 2009May 1st 2009
Barcelona has a population of approximately 3 million, it is Spain's 2nd largest city & the largest on the Mediterranean coast. Settlement can be traced back as far as the 4th century. Barcelona was the host of the 1992 Olympics.
Barcelona usually enjoys a mild sunny climate, however, on the morning we arrived it was raining. From the Ship we could see the Castell De Montjuic on a hill in front of the Port.
The Port Authority provided a free bus to take us to the city & the bus stop was not far from the start of Las Ramblas Boulevarde. Las Ramblas stretches from the waterfront to Catalunya. It is a centre of activity in Barcelona, tree-lined with shops, stalls & street entertainers.
It was pouring rain as we walked along the boulevarde, so we decided to take a walk down a side street where we took shelter in a Church.
The rain eased off a little so we went back to Las Ramblas & continued walking towards Catalunya Railway Station. Saw a shop selling animals that included Tortoises & Rabbits. We went down to the railway & bought our day transport tickets. The kids were quite interested in a huge vending machine beside the ticket machines.
We decided to have a snack, so we went into a restauarant near the station. We had Hot Chocolate & Churros.
By the time we finished out snack, the weather was starting to improve. We want back to the station & took the train to La Sagranda Famalia.
La Sagrada Familia is one of Antonio Gaudi's most famous works in Barcelona. The Cathedral is a massive, privately-funded Roman Catholic church that has been under construction in Barcelona, since 1882 and is not expected to be complete until at least 2026.
When we came out of station the rainy weather had cleared, it was sunny & became quite warm. There were lots of tourists all around the Cathedral. We would have liked to have gone inside, but the queues were enormous so we decided just to keep walking.
Opposite the Sagrada was a park where there was a statue named Milius (based on a fictional character created by the journalist and presenter of Radio Barcelona, Josep Vilalta Torres, alias Toreski. After resting briefly in the park we headed to the bus stop (& it took a while for the bus to come).
We rode the bus for a while & then alighted near the Santa Maria del Mar church. Then we walked a bit futher & saw Capella de Santa Àgata.
Next we saw the Barcelona Cathedtral, which was undergoing renovation. While walking, saw a sculpture with a face.
On our travels went past a tiled fountain. Then went over to the Passeig de Gràcia, an avenue which is a shopping and business area, containing several of the city's most celebrated pieces of architecture.
The Casa Lleó-Morera is a building designed by noted modernisme architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The building was originally constructed in 1864, and was renovated beginning in 1902. Further along the avenue is Casa Batlló - a building restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, built in the year 1877 and remodelled in the years 1905-1907.
We headed back towards Las Ramblas, passing by a sculpture that looked like a book. Then we crossed over the road to Catalunya Plaza where we could see a pool in front of the Monument to Francesc Macià,
Walking along Las Ramblas back towards the waterfront, there were heaps of entertainers, mostly the ones who pretend to be statues.
Still walking along Las Ramblas we saw Hogan's Aussie Pub & probably the most fruity of all the living statues.
I separated from the rest of the group and went the look at the Columbus Monument.
As I walked towards the water, I could see the World Trade Centre & Gondola's & Torre Jaume I. Then continued on to Rambla de Mar.
I walked along the marina & saw a Saling boat. The time to get back onboard the ship was fast approaching so I went back to catch the shuttle bus. I reached our cabin & found the steward had left certificates for our crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
The sunset that evening was quite spectacular. Next stop will be Marseilles.