Technically the halfway point for the cruise was a couple of days before arriving in Barcelona. But Barcelona seemed more like the halfway point as it was the end of the Transatlantic portion of the cruise. It was also the port where some passengers left the cruise, and new ones joined.
Barcelona was also one of the few ports where I chose not to take a tour. I felt that there was likely plenty to keep me entertained and interested for the best part of the day. There was some consideration in this choice as some people have said Barcelona is a dangerous place to visit. However, I found it no worse than any other major city I have visited. If you pay attention to your personal belongings and stick to busy areas with other people around.
To get from the ship to the more central area of Barcelona, there was a shuttle bus available. The location for the drop off and pick up was perfect right at the bottom of Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a walking mall, and if you follow it all the way through you arrive in Plaҫa de Catalunya (Catalonia Square).
Catalonia Square is considered by many to be the city centre of Barcelona and covers an area of some 50,000 square metres. The area is also known for its fountains and statues. As I entered the square the below fountain and it’s statue’s caught my attention.
In many European cities, there are many details that you just don’t find in more modern cities. The below lamp post is one example from Barcelona. Made from a combination of stone and metal in a sort of cantilever style. While there is one in the front of this image, you can see they continue down the avenue behind this one and on the other side.
In so many areas in Europe, there are just fabulous street scenes created by way of how the buildings and streets fall. The great thing about this is that you just cannot plan to find this sort of places, they just happen. The only way you are going to find them is just by getting out and walking and being willing to explore a little.
La Sagrada Família
The Minor Basilica of La Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic Church, which was consecrated in November of 2010. Initially, it was known as a Cathedral, which is the seat of a Bishop. However, it is a great honour for this building to be designated a Minor Basilica.
La Sagrada Família is the most visited attractions in Barcelona with over three million visitors per year. From the outside, this building looks amazing. Even though construction has been ongoing since 1882, it is not yet complete, with an estimate for completion around 2026. With limited time in port and having not booked a tour, there was no time to visit the inside of this beautiful building today.
Back To The Ship
While on my way back to the location to catch the shuttle bus back to the ship I did find one interesting point. It is some small bridges that cross two roads. The bridges are not just any walking bridge but draw bridges which can be raised if an overheight vehicle needs to pass by on the road.
My time in Barcelona may have been short, just a matter of six or seven hours. But I believe I got to see a good portion of the city. As a result, I will be adding Barcelona to my list of cities I want to visit again.
A cruise such as this one is a great opportunity to sample numerous cities and countries without having to lock yourself into just one. I found getting to experience some 15 different cities around Europe by cruise gave me a great introduction to some of these areas.