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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 photos.

 






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.  
 
 
 


2 comments:

  1. Wayne and MA,

    Great and informative post. Great photo ops and as usual you did a great job capturing them. I would guess the limited access to the statues is to protect from less thoughtful people. The statues in your photos are very ornate.

    Please keep the updates and pics coming.

    Have a safe and God Blessed day - dave b.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great photos! Looks like you and MA are having a blast.
    Rick Johnson

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