Wayne & Mary Alice (MA) Wendel's travel journal with daily updates, places seen, people we meet, photos and funny stories. We will also share some travel tips with you so you won't make the same mistakes we have. We hope you will follow us by signing up for an automatic email. We would love to hear from you with comments and questions.
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Thursday, May 9, 2013
Barcelona and Las Ramblas…..what a day
Barcelona and Las Ramblas…..what a day
We docked in Barcelona at 9:00 am this morning.We are still in Spain, however most of the
residents of Barcelona call themselves Catalonians, kind of like a lot of Texans
would like Texas to be its own country.No
guided tour today – went off on our own which is what I prefer to do.The shuttle bus from the cruise terminal took
us to the edge of the famous avenue known as Las Ramblas.We were here two years ago, 2011.In fact we were stuck here for 4 days because
of a national strike and our flight was pushed back.We saw and photographed it all and you can
see the photos at this web site.
Anytime we are in a new place we usually look for some tall
reference point so we know where we parked or in this case where to catch the
bus for the ride back to the ship.We
found the perfect landmark, the Columbus statue actually pointing at our
ship.There were four cruise ships in
docked in the port and that’s about an extra 10,000 people all coming into the
city at the same time.I tried to
capture the masses with my camera.
The first stop of the day was a small church. The name
translates to the church of Saint Mary.She is depicted in the central statue. Photography inside these dark churches is
difficult because they are dimly lit or no light at all.My camera, a Nikon D3s, has the ability to
increase its ISO, that’s sensor speed, allowing me to hand hold the camera with
a wide angle lens.I hope you enjoy the
Our next stop was the Mercat-Boqueria, a fantastic open
market for fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, spices, nuts and seafood.It’s ringed by sidewalk cafes.I got MA a table at a nice café while I
walked around taking pictures of the fruit and veggie stands in the
market.This is a photographer’s
paradise.There is so much color and
contrast I found it overwhelming at times.I joined MA at the table and ordered a coffee with her.The coffee in Europe is very strong and most
of the time requires it to be cut by milk.
I found another church that we had not visited on our last
visit, so I went inside to take some photographs.This is the Basilica de Santa Maria del
Pi.It is a remarkably beautiful Gothic
cathedral with a flower stained glass window that rivals Notre Dame in Paris. According
to the brochure, it is a testimony of the prosperity, fortitude and artistic
sensibility of the people of 14th century Barcelona. Construction began in 1320 and completed in
1391.The church has a single nave covered
by seven cross-vaulted sections, a polygonal apse and side chapels.I’ve tried to capture the beauty that is
inside the church.Enjoy the pics!
We continued on down the Las Ramblas.Two years ago we really enjoyed the many “human
statues,” along the walkway.MA, in her
excellent Spanish, discovered that the police and civil authorities are now
limiting them to a very small area at the end of the avenue.That’s a real shame as this was one of the
really entertaining things going on here.We finally found four of them as opposed to more than twenty two years
ago.I was especially impressed with “Don
Quixote”. I dropped a couple of Euro coins in his bucket and had MA take a photo.
Don Quioxte comes alive
It was time for us to make our way back to the shuttle bus
stop and there was old Chris Columbus pointing the way.After the short ride back to the Ruby
Princess we went for a swim The water was as warm as a bath, really nice.Lunch was hamburgers and fries, something we
don’t usually eat on ships! I always resolve to go on a diet after these trips.We’ll see.For now I have to get ready for dinner.We’re in France tomorrow (Friday). See you later, WW.