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The old harbour and more of the festival

Home -> City trips -> Barcelona -> Travelogue Barcelona -> 24 September 2004

Friday 24 September, the old harbour and more of the festival

It was late yesterday night, very late, so we also sleep late, until after 10. We start the day by looking for a restaurant where they have fresh croissants, instead of the tough ones they have at the hotel. Breakfast is included in the price but we have rather a small and appetising breakfast than a large and untasty breakfast.
On the Ramblas On the RamblasAfter that we walk over the Ramblas looking for the famous living statues and we meet quite a lot of them. These two on the pictures are neatly standing still and only move when you give them some money but more and more artists perform here who just make some faces and are dressed up like something but don't have the ability to stand still. We prefer the 'real' artists who are standing very still.
Harbour area The Columbus monumentWalking back to the sead of the Ramblas we see the Columbus monument and we have read that it is possible to go up with an elevator. Elisabeth hesitates, she doesn't really like it but she decides to go up anyway (for free with the Barcelonakaart, normal fee is € 2) and the elevator takes us quickly to a height of 60 meters.
On top of the Columbus monumentThe monument is build on the place where Columbus arrived with his wife, 3 sons and 7 indians after his discovery of America. It is partly made of the melted cannons of the castle on Montjuicbr /> When we get out we find ourselves at a very narrow platform which moves in the wind. Elisabeth is sorry that she has gone up and wants to go down as soon as possible, but the elevator holds only four people and more think like her. Meanwhile I make a few pictures of Barcelona. On this picture you see the hill of Montjuic.
The RamblasI have no fear of heights, but it is not really fun being up here. It is because it is a very small space and there are too many people; it is almost impossible to pass by other people. But the view over the city, as here over the Ramblas, is great.
The old harbourWhen we are back down we first sit somewhere to have a coffee and recover a bit, then we walk to the old harbour, the Marina Port Vell. There are quite a lot of ships, from small pleasure crafts and fishing boats to large and luxurious yachts.
The aquarium The aquariumBut the best attraction here is the aquarium where we spend quite some time. The colours are beautiful and the fish seem to have plenty of space to have a good life.
The aquariumTop attraction is a large aquarium with several kinds of big fishes like sharks and rays. On a flat escalator we go round the aquarium and later walk through a tunnel which goes under and through the aquarium, a real spectacle. We can recommend a visit to this place.
Harbour areaWe take our time to walk from the busy harbour area (a wine market, children's parties) to the old city. There are even more festivities planned as we have read.
Through the narrow alleys and along old buildings we seek ourselves a way since it is very crowded. And very pleasant, too. When we come across the Picasso museum we decide to visit it. We are not really fans of his art but we just have to see this famous museum. Since it is the 24th of September, the day of La Mercé, the entrance free. But photographing is strictly forbidden and we have to deliver our bags. Most of the paintings and drawings are early work from Picasso and from that we can see he really was a gifted painter. It is quite different from his later art what most people know of him. He made a lot of portraits, something we didn't know until now.
Performance, Place ReialBack at Placa Reial where our hotel is, the first music groups are preparing for their performance. We first have to take a break since we have been walking many kilometers again and our feet are our weak spot. We notice that every time we make a city trip. Going on holiday with our car we also walk long ends but it is different in a city like Barcelona. Even taking the subway means lots of walking and climbing stairs.
Parade of giants Parade of giantsAfter our break we walk to the Ramblas and there we see the next parade of giants. Dozens of giant puppets are dancing through the streets, watched by tens of thousands spectators. Everybody is crowding round to see something of this spectacle.
PartyThe roads along the Ramblas are closed off today for all traffic, but we find it remarkable that just behind the (very long) procession the streets are immediately cleaned by the cleaning service of Barcelona. We have watched for more than an hour and five minutes after the end of the procession the streets are clean again!
We see a nice elf which we want to photograph but she holds up a sign: first pay € 1, then take a picture! I can't resist going to her saying she might be a bit too greedy. She doesn't like that and answers that she thinks she is worth it. Well, we don't agree, so she gets no money and we don't want the picture.
Party all nightWe walk on to Placa Catalunya where there is maybe and even bigger crowd, and then slowly back in the direction of the sea. We pass a lot of street musicians like the members of the Mambo band who drive through the city on top of an old car.
Around midnight we feel a few drops of rain when we sit outside, but it is not worth mentioning it. The concerts on Placa Reial (this time some Spanish sounds, not as good as last nights rock concert) only stop after two o'clock and then we can go to bed, exhausted but also very satisfied about everything we have seen and done today.


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