Day 2,071 of Traveling the World | Barcelona, Spain | September 30, 2023

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.

La Rambla, the charming middle walkway between two lanes of traffic and two rows of shops.
La Rambla is dotted with beautiful, ornate buildings.
Another one! They just don’t build them like that anymore.
An old pharmacy, faced in marble, with Art Nouveau stylings above the marble.
Beautiful El Indio is now closed, but the graffiti folks had to make it ugly.
Religious shrines dot various buildings.
St. Joseph Market, right on La Rambla.
The market was jammed.
A fun painting hanging from the ceiling.
Do you love the cup arches? These handmade popsicles had interesting flavors – coconut with mango, four mixed fruits, raspberry-apple, passion fruit with strawberry, and even dragon fruit! We tried coconut and pineapple, and it was very refreshing.
Lots of stands had colorful juices and cups of fruit packed in ice. The prices were 2.50 to 5 euros.
Oysters are 3 euros each. We thought perhaps the fish head was plastic, but no – there was clearly flesh on top of its head.
…and of course, we HAD to provide this view!
A very cute egg purveyor, whimsical and decorated to a T!
Famous Spanish ham – cut from the legs that you can see, there were several slices in a cup, served as a snack to eat while walking around for about 5 euros.
Along La Rambla was the Erotic Museum. This woman was desperately trying to capture anyone’s eye so she could hold up her advertising banner.
This building has a lot going on…some pretty mosaics, colorful balls near the top, and a dragon on the corner.
Right off La Rambla is the Gothic Quarter, with its narrow, winding streets.
This face was just sitting there, looking at us.
The etchings on this building are really lovely.
A little color to brighten up the place.
We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant, Chilango’s. At best, the food was “Mexican-ish.” But it was decorated in a mixture of lucha libre masks, serapes, Corona beer, and religious sayings and figures, featuring Our Lady of Guadalupe. This strange image on the window combines several of those elements, even tattooed hands! We weren’t aware of the significance of “Pray for my Taco,” but hey, why not?

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