Truly an elegant city. That's our take on what we've seen of Barcelona in the past four days.
|Along the Rambla, Barcelona|
And we hadn't planned on coming here at all. Plan 'A' had been to work across the Balearics almost directly westwards to mainland Spain and then south along the coast to Gibraltar, eventually. But Barcelona beckoned only ninety miles to the north of Mallorca. And we had heard so many good things from family and friends who had visited the city, and Seabird was heading this way as well, that it seemed a good time for a little change of plan. After all, that's one of the 'joys' of this way of life, we can change our minds about things.
So we're very comfortably berthed at Marina Port Vell in Barcelona. Marina staff are especially helpful and the facilities are down right fancy with one exception. This being that so far, in four days, the very new and spiffy marina club house hasn't been able to supply hot water to the men's showers. But I have hope, they seem concerned, we'll see. We're also getting a little outboard motor work done. After eight years the fuel supply hose and fittings are getting rotten plus the thing didn't want to run below about one thousand RPM. Barcelona, a city of several million with a very active maritime scene seemed like a good place for a little outboard overhaul. After two days of struggle with the marina contract outfit who handles all work done here I'm beginning to think I should have done it myself as usual. They promise results today. Again, we'll see.
|Monument to Columbus at the city front|
But enough whining. Its a great city with a culture that goes back to the Augustan age of Rome and has transitioned beautifully into the modern era. The marina district is a perfect location from which to enter the most beautiful part of the old city. The architecture is lovely. From the wonderful and huge monument to Columbus on the city front to the marina district to the broad avenues full of very modern traffic to the narrow byways of the old city its mostly 13th-19th century stonework.
|Placa del Rei, where Fernando and Isabel received Columbus after his first voyage|
Even the occasional recent structure is usually well integrated. We walked over ten miles around the city the first day we were here and haven't slowed much since. There are two very nice large Gothic churches and many others on a slightly smaller scale.
|Interior, La Catedral|
There are many museums including the very excellent Picasso Museum dedicated mostly to his early work in Barcelona. The Rambla is considered the greatest street in Spain and is a wonderful pedestrian avenue. The market off the Rambla, the Mecat de la Boqueria, is one of the most wonderful food markets we've ever prowled.
|At the market|
And Barcelona was the home of Antoni Gaudi's greatest obsession, the Expiatori la Sagrada Familia (Expiatory Temple of The Holy Family). The church is yet unfinished but is colossal in a very strange "Gaudi Gothic" and has to be seen to be believed. Much of the interior is finished, the central tower is yet to be completed to its full 170 meter height, but its still a huge structure. Do I like it? Well……….hmmmmm……….it is unforgettable. It is awesome. I have to admire the man's vision and force of personality.
|Facade, la Familia|
Janet likes it. I sit in the nave and stare up into the arches and think that it would be better without the foo foo stuff. I love Gothic cathedrals. Chartres is my favorite. I cannot think other than that Gaudi just a little toooo egomaniacal or that he was not well served by those who took over the work after his death. There is lots of other Gaudi work in Barcelona. You come to this city, you need to visit his work.
|Interior, la Familia|
We'll be here a few more days. The weather is against us leaving until about the fifth. In a week we can only begin to know any great city. Barcelona is worth the visit on many levels and we did good coming up here.
|Landfall, Cabo de Formentor, Mallorca|
The plan now is to head back to Mallorca and spend a couple days in Palma. It was a Mediterranean motor job on the way up and probably will be on the way down. Could be a lot worse. We did a couple anchor outs on Menorca and and Mallorca in nice bays, here called "calas", before bailing for Barcelona and we'll do some more anchoring out after Palma before heading over to Ibiza and then the mainland
|Taken from Seabird's drone, our anchorage at Cala San Vincente, Mallorca|
Tonight its dinner with Seabird, we always enjoy their company, and tomorrow and the next day and the next day, we'll see some more of sweet Barcelona.
|Sunrise enroute Barcelona|
Love to all,
Bill & Janet
Bill & Janet