Oct 18 Barcelona

After our stay in Beynac, we had intended to visit more of the beautiful villages but the weather had turned nasty so we had a brief stopover in Port Vendres, howling winds and horizontal rain included.

Port Vendres
One of the guns ovelooking the entrance to the port
Another of the guns
Copy of a painting of this scene by Charles Rennie MacIntosh

We then fled the rotten weather in France and agreed to meet up with some friends at Vilanova I Geltru.  At their suggestion we stayed on a campsite with a bus service to Barcelona.  Very handy.

It is a long time since we last visited Barcelona.  On that occasion, we flew from our home in Germany and met up with some friends from the UK.  We all stayed in the same hotel on the Ramblas.  We had a thoroughly good time visiting all the Gaudi attractions as well as enjoying late meals in the lively old part of the city and soaking up the atmosphere along La Ramblas.

Clyde strolling ahead down La Rambla

This flying visit was a chance to revisit the Ramblas and have a stroll around the port.  It did not disappoint, which is a relief when revisiting old haunts.  The food market, Mercat de la Boqueria, was vibrant and the human statues suitably impressive.

Colourful food market in La Rambla
Curious display of seafood!

We were delighted to see one of the human statues take a call on his mobile!!

Human statue receiving a phone call
Even statues have to answer the phone!
Elaborate human statue
This one kept moving!

We passed the Iglesia Betlem and decided to have a quick look.  It was built in 1681 in Baroque style for the Jesuits, but was completely gutted in 1937 as anarchists ransacked the city’s churches.  It is an interesting mixture of styles.

Exterior of the Iglesia Betlem
Moorish influence in the church
One of several magnificent side chapels
Inside the Iglesia Betlem

At the port end of the Rambles is the Mirador de Colon.  This is a striking statue that commemorates the visit made by Christopher Columbus in June 1493.

Columbus statue
One of 4 lions guarding the Mirador de Colon

The old port (Port Vell) is a great attraction and has been transformed into an entertainment zone.  The wooden swing bridge takes you across to restaurants, boutiques and gift shops.  There are splendid views of the harbour and you can also enjoy a walk around the marina marvelling at the multi-million pound yachts.

One of two floating statues looking up into the sky
Information about the floating statue
The old and the new in Barcelona marina
Tall ship in Barcelona marina
Lobster sculpture on the promenade

After our walk around the marina we explored a few of the small roads and squares off La Ramblas.  There were plenty of tourists livening the place up.

One of the many squares off La Rambla
We had a late evening meal in this square on our last visit

By now we had sore feet so we found our way back to the bus.  Our return trip to Barcelona was very enjoyable and less hectic than last time.  On that occasion we had visited all the main attractions.  This time we just soaked up the atmosphere.

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