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Gerhard’s Travel notes, tips and stories: (Barcelona, Spain)

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Barcelona in Spain is one of my favourite cities and one I keep going back to. It is a very clean and welcoming place with friendly people and has lovely and interesting architecture. The weather is mostly quite pleasant. For me the starting point is the La Rambla, a picturesque street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres connecting Plaça de Catalunya, which is the heart of the city, with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell which is also the Cruise Ship port. 
We were able to walk off our cruise ship and directly start rambling and appreciating all the sights and sounds of this truly remarkable city. We gazed at the imposing statue of Christopher Columbus pointing toward the New world to be discovered and at the right hand side of this plaza discovered a small art shop on the second floor selling very good copies of Dali (some of which are rather daring but very tastefully done and one is free to browse). We strolled up the Rambla, inspecting the numerous little stalls. At one point we were rather startled to see 3 very attractive young ladies stripping down to their undies and putting on other clothes... I just “happened” to photograph this “show” and got a tongue lashing .... I wonder why? ......
To the right of the Rambla is the Barri Gotic (or old city) with its maze of twisting streets and squares and is mostly for pedestrians only. We could not stop photographing the very picturesque buildings. We were startled to look into a tiny cellar and finding a little goat and chickens behind wire mesh and at another point steeps steps down to a dark and cramped wine cellar where men were filling huge glass bottles with handles. They looked like pirates! But be warned ... the Siesta can play havoc with any sightseeing as virtually everything closes down till late afternoon. This happened with us many times in Spain and even Italy. Therefore we went back to the Rambla where we each enjoyed the most gorgeous, lick able ice cream cone and sat watching the daily parade. This made my day indeed. Strangely enough every time I photographed a building or a flower display a lovely lass happened to pass in front of it. Strange isn’t it?
Plaça de Catalunya, where the Rambla ends, is where the airport shuttle and the Hop-on-Hop-off bus route all start & end. It is spacious with lovely statues and water features and a favourite place to sit and watch the world go by. We took the Hop-on-Hop-off bus and were both charmed, puzzled and awed by the remarkable architecture of Gaudi with the Highlight his truly stupendous Sagrada Familia Church. It was started in 1883 and still being added on. This was only a part of our visits here. VIVA BARCELONA 



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