Day 79 Barcelona Day 1
Having been to Barcelona several times, we knew we would enjoy the visit, but were skeptical that we would find anything new and different to see and do.
Normally, on previous visits, our ship has been tied up on a long pier which required a fairly long shuttle ride into the city – this time we were tied up at a new pier which was available to us because of our relatively small size and was right in the middle of town!
Here we are tied up next to the World Trade Center Hotel in the heart of Barcelona.
As we pulled into our berth, I noticed a large yacht (at first I thought it was a small cruise ship) off to our right in a dry dock.
From the name of the ship and the symbol on the stack, I was able to determine that this yacht belongs to the Sultan of Oman, whose country we visited two weeks ago. It has a crew of 156 and handles 70 guests. It is good to be Sultan!!
The ship arrived at noon and we were off the ship and headed out immediately. Not only was the ship berth close, it was a stop on the Hop A Bus route, so we boarded and bought a two-day ticket. This bus is absolutely the best way to get around this city – maybe not the best to see things from the bus, but the best to get from place to place.
Number one on Sally’s list is the Barcelona Football Club, which we have seen from the bus before but have never stopped. Being big soccer fans, seeing the home of the arguably the best professional soccer club in the world was high on our list.
FC Barcelona was started in 1899 and some of the stuff in their museum looks like it was used in the first game.
I don’t know what the total number of trophies won by FC Barcelona is, but it is impressive – this is a very small portion of them. I would say there are around 500 to 600 trophies.
Part of our tour of Camp Nou, as the stadium is called, was a trip inside the stadium – very impressive.
Given the size of the crowds who were there on a Monday afternoon, one can only imagine the chaos on game day.
Reboarding the bus, we passed through an area that was created for the 1929 World’s Fair. The entrance to the Italian section is flanked by these two towers, fashioned after the towers in Venice.
This fountain greeted the visitors passing through the gate.
It is good to see some of America has showed up – I don’t know the age of this building, but I am guessing OLD!
The Hop A Bus route ends at Catalonia Plaza, at the top of La Rambla, which is our target for this abbreviated day. La Rambla is a wide promenade, divided road which runs about 1 ½ miles from Catalonia Plaza, on a gentle slope down to the statue of Christopher Columbus on the seafront, near our ship. La Rambla is perhaps the most popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It is this crowded, day and night, seven days a week.
About half way down is a huge open air market with a dazzling array of things for sale – meat, fish, vegetables and exotic chocolates.
La Rambla contains open air restaurants, bars, any number of news shops and near the lower end, has mimes that are really special.
This Marilyn look-a-like was actually on the second floor of a building outside the market, advertising for a restaurant.
This cowboy mime has me roped.
I am not sure what this guy represents.
Or this guy!
Or this one.
Reaching the base of La Rambla, Chris Columbus’ statue, we ended our shortened first day in Barcelona and strolled back to the ship for dinner on board.