Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012 – Barcelona, Spain – Partly Cloudy – 75 F

Distance from Malaga to Barcelona, Spain: 475 Nautical Miles

20121021 Ship Position Sail Away (Small)

An absolutely beautiful day in Barcelona. 

20121021 Barcelona from Oceanview Cafe (Small)

Castle on the Hill Barcelona (Small)

Barcelona from the Reflection

Our plan today is to walk to the marina area from the ship – maybe 30 minutes and then spend most of the day in Barcelona.  We will need to recheck in when we return and get new Sea Passes etc.

Checking out was simple and once we got good directions we were off over the bridge that spans the harbors and leads to the Marina.

20121021 bridge to the city center (Small)

The Bridge to the City Center

The bridge crossing requires and climb both ways so it does take some effort.  Along the bridge, we could see people dragging wheelies – perhaps they were boarding one of the ships in the harbor.

There are a number of other ships here today, notably NCL new big ship, the Epic.  Very Square and very big.

Reflection docked Barcelona (Small)

Celebrity Reflection

NCL Epic and Reflection (Small)

NCL Epic

We stopped at the top of the bridge to catch our wind and get a nice picture of the pier area.

Ellen on the Bridge to Barcelona (Small)

Ellen and the Barcelona Cruise Piers

As we made our way to the Marina, we noticed an art installation in one of the squares.  At first, I thought it represented the Olympic Rings since Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics.  It was actually called “Ones” and it was constructed in 2003.

Ones Sculpture 2003 (Small) Ones Sculpture 2003 1 (Small)


The Marina area is made up mostly of a gigantic mall (no pics) but also some impressive examples of Spanish architecture (below).

Correo Telegrafico (Small)

We made our way along the many vendor booths (I thought it was Sunday and the place would be dead – very wrong) to the Columbus Monument.  The Monument is 94 feet high and is used to commemorate the fact that Columbus (Colom) met with Ferdinand and Isabella is Barcelona upon his return from his first voyage.

Vendor booths and Colom Monument (Small)

Vendors and Columbus Monument

The monument has very interested symbols along the base as well as the man himself at the top.  I had heard there was an elevator you could take to the top but now that I see it close up I can’t see how that is possible.

20121021 Colom Monument (Small)

Base of Colom Monument (Small)

Colom Monument Frescos (Small)

Monument to Cristoforo Colom

We also wanted to find some WiFi so we followed signs to a McDonalds in the Mall.  WiFi at McDonalds in Europe is touch and go and this one was not working with our phones.  The washrooms always work out, however.

Man Buoy statue (Small)

Interesting Statue in water near Mall

I was able to connect, after registering, to the WiFi system in the Mall.  Ellen got even luckier getting a free facial from one of the beauty techs manning one of the booths.

Facial 1 (Small)

Facial 2 (Small)

Ellen getting pretty at the Mall

Leaving the mall, we passed near a square containing a “vulgar” copy of a Roy Lichtenstein sculpture (according to our on-board artist Armando).

20121021 Rauschenberg Sculpture (Small)

20121021 Rauschenberg Sculpture a (Small)

Faux Lichtenstein Art

100_1764 (Small)

Yes, this is Barcelona

We decided to walk some of the backstreets and look for the Cathedral.  The Cathedral was under serious repair the last time we were here so we wanted to check progress.  Along the way, more Spanish architecture.

 Barcelona City Center (Small)

At the end of one of the narrow, winding streets, we came across an archeological site – the ruins of a Roman Wall from the 4th Century AD.

20121021 Roman Wall 4th AD (Small)

As we neared the Cathedral, we found another interesting art installation.  I couldn’t make out the name from the plate but it looked like some twisted thick wire – like parts of a giant wire fence.

Wire Sculpture Barcelona (Small)

IMG_20121021_051708 (Small) 

The “Wire Fence”

The streets get pretty narrow as you near the Cathedral.

  20121021 E in the Medieval Streets (Small)

Finally, the Cathedral came into view.  The place was packed with people.

Cathedral 2 (Small)

Cathedral 1 (Small)     

The Cathedral of Barcelona

Leaving the Cathedral, we took a wider street to get to La Rambla.  This street was again packed with pedestrians.  I guess Sunday is just another day in Barcelona.

Heading toward La Rambla (Small)   

La Rambla was wall to wall with people (below).  Also present were the always scary and often creepy human statues.

La Rambla (Small) 

La Rambla

La Rambla leads right down to the Marina so we headed home.  In this case, it did not feel like it was easier getting back than going out – might have something to do with the bridge.

We had dinner in the Opus Cafe – once again set up for Select Dining and with our same duet of great wait staff.

We skipped the Opening Night show (I heard later that Nick had mentioned my lectures).

Read a little…

Tomorrow, we are off on our two week post-inaugural cruise.  Hope the weather cooperates.


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