Barcelona is best enjoyed on foot. Sure, there are at least three hop-on-hop-off buses with routes that criss-cross the city to help you check off the Top Ten list of whatever guide book you’ve consulted, but that’s never been our travel style. Had we hopped on one of those buses, we would have missed this…
…and this, this, and this. And more.
The guide books do get it right, though, suggesting that one wander through the old gothic quarter. Beautiful sights at every turn.
Parks in Barcelona are not just parks.
Even the trees present themselves artistically.
Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf gate at the top of Parc Cuitadella
From the L4 station Barceloneta Beach is about a 15 minute walk; dipping your toes in the cool water of the Mediterranean soothes those tired feet.
La Rambla is Barcelona’s pedestrian street, stretching for a kilometer from the port to Placa Catalunya. It takes some doing to get beyond the annoying tchtochke hawkers and silly painted street artists, and to wade through suitcase-dragging cruise ship passengers turned loose for shore leave to find the beauty of this pedestrian mall, but the effort is worth it.
Whether one calls it boules or petanque, we could not help but be charmed watching the older Spanish gentlemen play the game.
A funicular ride and a cable car lift to the top of Parc Montjuïc rewards the foot-tourist with views like this and, as we discovered, more to see and do than a days’ worth of exploration on the walk back down can accomplish.
Some may be horrified that we passed on the “must see” Picasso Museum and its collection of little known paintings. We’re good with that. Instead, on the walk down from Montjuïc we toured another “must see,” Fundacio Joan Miro, a collection honoring one of Catalonia’s famous modernist/surrealist/magical realist artists. We’re always up for contemporary art because most of it makes no sense; the enjoyment for us comes in just looking at it in wonderment. Case in point:
If anything at all disappointed us with Barcelona, it was perhaps just a few too many of these signs lurking about.