Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Return to Barcelona

The Bari Gotic, Las Ramblas and the Marina

Last week in Madrid we wondered where everyone had gone.

Here in Barcelona we found them all!

We arrived kind of late at night, so we just went straight to the hotel and checked in. I splurged and cashed in a heroic amount of Marriott points to stay at the Ritz Carlton Barcelona Arts. It is 30 stories of grand luxe right on the beach. Cokes in the mini bar just $10. A full American breakfast only $55 each. The place is full of yanks all seemingly driving new glossy black german super cars. Fear not! The 1% is doing just fine.

So anyway, Day one we slept in and took it kind of easy. We set out to explore the Bari Gotic. This is the portion of Barcelona that was behind Roman walls. It is still a maze of little tiny meandering narrow streets. There are gargoyles galore and little shops selling virtually everything. On the edge of the Gotic is (in my humble opinion) one of the best building's in Barcelona - the Palau of Catalan Music. We just took a look at the outside this time (see Roadboy's Barcelona posts from February 2010 for more on the Palau.) I was hoping there might be someone performing, but it seems the calendar the Palau resumes in September.

The Streets of the Gotic

The Gargoyles

The Shops

We stopped for a sidewalk bocadillo (sandwich) at the Mercat de Santa Catarina. We made our way from the Gotic to join the crowd strolling down the Las Ramblas. It was the end of the day so the fruit venders in the La Bouqueria (mercado) were closing out fresh fruit salads and juice. We got big fruit bowls to take to the hotel for dinner. Not sure what one of the melons was, but it was just as sweet as sugar. The fresh kiwi / mango juice I got was pretty awesome too.

Fresh Squeezed Juices at the La Bouqueria

At the end of the Las Ramblas were all the human statues.

Mugging With a Human Statue

We finished at the tall Columbus statue and then started strolling along Barcelona's beautiful Port Veil marina. From here the cruise ships embark, the Los Golindrinas tour boats depart, and the old 1929 era aerial tram still wisks passengers from the port to a point midway up Montjuc!

Columbus Pointing to Sea

Port Tramway
We walked back to the hotel stopping more than once to admire the huge jellyfish seemingly everywhere.

One of the Big Colorful Jellyfish

Back in the room I snapped a picture from our aerie on the 24th floor. Pretty awesome view! The beach malecon is in the foreground. Barcelona's biomedical research campus is kind of in the middle. Down the way is the Barcelonetta neighborhhood and the sail shaped building is the new "W" hotel. The tower for the old tram is just to the left of Montjuc (mountain) on the right. A great view day or night.

The View From the Arts

Tomorrow I'll summarize two days of immersion in all things Gaudi!

Roadboy's Travels © 2012

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