Day I in Barcelona
After the harrowing trip to get here, it was nice to start the day in a somewhat normal manner. We had a splendid breakfast here at the hotel then it was a mad dash off to catch the tour bus for a Half-Day Barcelona highlight tour. We started in the Gothic Quarters which date back to Columbus times (by the way, the Spanish do not claim Columbus--they think that his national origin is suspect (maybe a Jew, maybe Italian)... I've never heard this before.
A trip through the Barcelona Cathedral was beautiful. The flying buttress architecture reminded me of Notre Dame (but it wasn't as dark and dreary as Nortre' Dame. Back on the bus we made a quick trip to the Mediterranean sea and through the Olympic village and stadium from the 1992 games. This makes two Olympic stadiums I've seen (Athens and Barcelona). It's a very small stadium.
The overview of the city was magical from the Olympic hills. Three million people live here, yet it's very clean and very well kept.
We ended the tour through the Spanish Exhibition (which was from a 1929 World's Fair) and it represented all of the regions of Spain. (Think of Six Flags over Texas without the rides and you got the idea. Shops and artisans from all regions. It was interesting.
We finally found our way down The Rambla ( which is an open pedestrian area for about 15-20 blocks (or more) where the artisans and street performers, florist and musicians gather and people ramble (walk) down the mall. Very interesting. We had lunch here and a cappucino here and just watched the people go by. This is one of my favorite things to do.
Back to the hotel to rest and tonight is a Flamenco Dinner and dance in the Rambla area again. More about that later.
Day 1 in the books!