Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rambling in Barcelona

Barcelona - what a fun city! It's got history, with walls erected in Roman times, and churches and mansions built centuries ago. The city is dominated by monuments and bizarre architecture, many of the Alice-in-Wonderland, curlicue style of Gaudi especially the famous church, Sagrada Familia, with its immense spires soaring into the sky. More than a century in the making, it’s still a construction zone.

The people are friendly, but many speak a
strange foreign tongue, Catalan, as their first language. They all, however, know Spanish, and are eager to break into broken English (unlike the French, who prefer to parler en Français). Getting around is easy for their subway system is extensive and we used the T10 ticket (10 rides for 10 euros). The wine is even cheaper than in France, but just as abundant and high quality. Tapas and paella are delicious and inexpensive. Outdoor cafés are everywhere.

On Sunday, we savoured a gelato while rambling along the broad Las Ramblas boulevard, which was jam packed with strollers. And the buskers are high-class! We enjoyed a classical pianist, guitarist and two opera singers, whose voices echoed beautifully along the narrow stone-walled streets of the Gothic Quarter.

We wandered to the Columbus statue on the waterfront at the foot of the
Ramblas. It looked familiar because it is a takeoff of Nelson’s statue in London’s Trafalgar Place.
Two groups of tourists whirred around the base on Segways. Barcelona was a kaleidoscope of markets, parks, churches, art galleries and quirky buildings.

Although we received many warnings about pickpockets, nothing was filched. Perhaps instead we should have been advised to bring good walking shoes, for that is a must, to enjoy all this delightful city has to offer.

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