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Another day in Barcelona …
We had decided to walk La Rambla and maybe go missing in Barri Gòtic. Both parts of Barcelona we had touched so far, when out & about for other destinations in this vast city.
La Rambla is a broad boulevard, about 1.3 km long, lined w/ trees. Like a snake it winds through the ocean of buildings starting at the seaside until Plaça de Catalunya. You may read that it was a canal for draining rain water & more unpleasant residues to the sea. Only about 300 years ago a street was designed becoming one of the biggest & most important boulevards of Barcelona.
Next to it there is Old Town Barcelona whose most famous part is Barri Gòtic. In the centre of Barri Gòtic is the cathedral … Next to it there are some more small quarters also forming a part of Old Town Barcelona. Barri Gòtic dates back to Augustan age – about 2.000 years ago – when the Romans colonized the area. Its heyday was in the Middle Ages.
At the moment there is extensive construction work around the mouth of La Rambla and the entrance to Barri Gòtic. Someway it interferes w/ a nice whole picture of the area, but … what must be done, must be done!
We started our Barcelona trip at Passeig de Gracia where we left the suburban railway from Castelldefels where we are living at the moment. Walking down towards Plaça de Catalunya we enjoyed once more Antoni Gaudí’s architectural work as well as big city moments like decorated buildings from the past.
Plaça de Catalunya is a vast area – and there is traffic from busses, cars, Metro …, although I managed to capture some photos of this important transport nodal point w/o these items. I concentrated on the fine arts relics you may find all over the place.
… & then there is La Rambla, a broad boulevard filled w/ people & trees. Only to the left & right there is a lane for cars & lorries respectively. You may walk in the shade of the trees – a benefit when the heat is on.
So just start admiring the boulevard & its buildings!
There is a mix of old buildings as well as modern architecture which tolerate each other. Narrow alleys give way into Barri Gothic and you may glimpse some older relics of Old Town.
Another highlight is the food hall, one of the largest I’ve seen during our tour in Southern France & Northern Spain. My better half & I always like to enter these paradises of food & poke around. You easily get an impression that many people think alike because it is hustle & bustle. The photo showing inside the food market depicts a hallway far from the entrance & the central alley.
There are of course lots of cafés … where you may sit for a coffee or whatever you like. La Rambla cares for enough space to allow flooding arrays of tables & chairs.
Finally also La Rambla comes to an end – we approach the Columbus Monument.
Half of the monuments area is closed due to construction work – and unfortunately also most of the statues are hidden under protective sheets.
Well, well … if you manage to orbit the monument to the back directly at the seaside you are welcomed to a small entry leading you downstairs to a small cashier desk & a small lift which takes you up to the top. About 60 m over ground you may admire Barcelona!
(Obviously most of the people aka tourists don’t find the entrance … because there is no queuing up – and on top my better half & I were alone on the small observation deck.
Finally we entered Barri Gòtic … this time from the seafront where we promptly vanished in a maze of narrow alleys. While near the Cathedral of Barcelona there are more posh alleys w/ lots of shops, popular brands offering their products this part of Barri Gòtic is more a neighborhood area.
Most of the alleyways are very narrow and dark – and sometimes full of stenches: it’s an old quarter although watch out for modern surveillance equipment.
There is also Santa Maria del Mar, built in the 14th century in a place where a chapel since about 300 AD existed. It’s now a basilica minor. Maybe you remember the novel La Catedral del Mar resp. the TV mini series about this church & its construction.
You may easily get lost … narrow alleys and high buildings … all sometimes seems to look alike … However, we managed our stroll – also by help of some cortado & wine & tapas!
Finally we were back at the seafront … and my overview comes to an end.