One full day in Barcelona! The train from Paris to Barcelona took seven hours, so there was only time for dinner the first night. What to do with one day (before a cruise), since we have been here many, many times? A walk on La Rambla was the answer, of course – the premier promenade in Barcelona that runs from the Plaza de Catalunya to the ocean. It was such a pretty, sunny day, looking like spring was bursting out all over. And it seemed that everyone visiting Barcelona was walking La Rambla, with offshoots into the Gothic Quarter.
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and the capital of the Catalan Region. It is a wealthy area of the country, and for many years there has been an active movement to declare it independent from the rest of Spain. We have noted in previous blogs how many Catalan flags and how much separatist activity we have seen around the region. There was a general election in Spain a couple of months ago, and even at this time the country is in gridlock and unable to “form a government” or choose a Prime Minister, mainly due to that issue. In any case, things are running along as normal, though with Catalan flags still flying from buildings around the city.
Today we head out on a cruise through the Mediterranean, mostly stopping at familiar ports we have visited before. But, using the cruise as leisurely transportation, we will end up in Athens in a few weeks. It is our idea of “slow travel,” where we can see different cities and countries but don’t have to pack/unpack every day. Funny – we always love the place we are in, but then put everything into exploring and loving the new places we go to next. Travel is amazing.
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