Today the cruise arrives in the third and final port of call in Spain, Barcelona. In some ways, I have found the port more interesting than the last two, but that could also be due to the size of the city. Arriving in Barcelona is 17 days into my 29-day cruise, but is also like the half way point. For some guests who were only booked on the Transatlantic portion, this is the end of the cruise.
Barcelona is a city that I had decided not to book a tour, as there is a lot to see within easy walking distance. There was a tour bus available from where the ship docked to the area known as La Rambla. Which places you very close to some squares and interesting tourist spots. I am glad to say that Barcelona, for the most part, is very easy to navigate, but there is plenty of walking to get around. Below is little panorama over the city of Barcelona.
The shuttle bus drop off point is at the bottom of a walking mall known as La Rambla. It is a wide avenue lined with shops and cafes on both sides. It is a great place to walk along and take in the area early in the day. By the time I was leaving this afternoon, it was much busier with people and would have been not so pleasant to walk.
There are many interesting buildings around the city of Barcelona. Just about everywhere you look there is a mixture of old and much older with the occasional newer building. Just like the majority of Europe, there is a broad range of much older buildings, more so than other parts of the world. There is just so many different building techniques, but they all incorporate stone in some way. Below is the Port of Barcelona Building.
Arc de Triomf
Many people when they think of the Arc de Triomf, will immediately think to Paris, France, but it is spelt slightly different. Known as a Triumphal Arch the one in Barcelona is similar to the one in Paris in look alone. The construction method of Red Brick instead of Stone does set it apart a little. It was built in 1888 as the main access gate for the Barcelona World Fair around 50 years after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris was completed.
I took some time exploring some back streets to make my way to the Barcelona Cathedral. I did find some other smaller churches along the way but soon arrived at the Cathedral. Which like many Cathedrals in Europe is rather large and grand.
The Cathedral does dominate the square which is faces and is quite a nice building. Which is currently undergoing extensive renovations. I have some mixed feelings about this church in particular as it does feel a little bit overdone. There is a large amount of gold and ornate carving, with a large number of statues. I do think I prefer the churches that have not gone to such lengths to fill every inch of space.
One benefit of the visit to the Cathedral though was the option to pay a small fee to take a lift to the rooftop. The rooftop view is where I was able to capture the panorama I shared above.
One of the final areas that I passed on the way back to catch the shuttle back to the ship was past the Barcelona Casino. They have quite a different sculpture located out the front which caught my eye. More a case of wondering what that is than any attraction to it. I cannot see what they are trying to convey; maybe it is just to draw people in.
A Good Days Walk
Barcelona turned out to be a great city to explore on foot, and I walked much further than I expected. But at the same t, me I was able to see a lot of different aspects of the city. There is a lot more for me to share in another post when I have time, so keep a look out.
The next 12 days are going to be rather intense, with nine port calls in 12 days. Tomorrow is a sea day and then we start on the first of four ports in Italy. I have a couple of tours booked to try and maximise the time in each port. It is going to be a challenge to keep up sharing each port with you, but I am sure it will all work out.