Sunday, 8 May 2016

The waterfront

Apparently, Karen wasn't over her jet lag, as I had to wake her up at 10:45 this morning after almost 11 hrs of snoring on her part.

It's still grey and raining/drizzing, so at 2:30 PM, we decided to saunter down Paralel.lel (yep, that's the correct spelling of the road we're on) to the waterfront in the drizzle.

Other than people watching today's Barcelona vs Spain Espanyol football game at bars (thanks to Edwin for the correction), there wasn't much to see until we got to the waterfront. There, we ran into a 1500's fort that was eventually turned into the main Barcelona shipworks.

Far beyond these castle walls... 
A main gate
That building now houses the Maritime Museum, which I probably would have gone into if I liked boats.

The two main buildings of any port are the customs building, where taxes and fees are collected, and the port master's building. Here? No exception.

The Customs House 
Lovely and imposing

Aduana means "customs"

The Portmaster's Building

The official port

Very elegant
Sitting right across from this is the statue of Christopher Columbus. Chris apparently made his first landing after visiting America for the first time in Barcelona, not Portugal. Legend has it that Chris was actually from Barcelona (because no one knows where he was actually from).
Chris on top 
The statue 
The base 
The tower's name
There's an elevator to the top of the monument. Costs €6. For an elevator ride.

Also fronting the statue are a few pretty military buildings.

Navy, I think
The waterfront area was re-developed for the Olympics in 1992. There's a fancy pedestrian bridge leading across the "small boat harbour", which is neither small nor serves as slips for small boats.
The bridge 
The sea of boats 
More boats 
A lotta boats 
Yep. Lots. 
The 95th largest super yacht in the world: the Tango
The 26th largest : The Ulysses
More biggies
So that "95th largest superyacht" is the Tango out of the Cayman Islands, is owned by a Russian billionaire, is 67 m long, has a crew of 22 and sleeps 14, and has an owner's deck. The other little dude is the Ulysses, 107 m long, brand spanking new, also out of the Caymans, has a crew of 30 and sleeps 30 guests, is owned by a New Zealand billionaire, and is available for rent at $300,000 US per week. Read more about them here and here.

Yep. Different snack bracket.

There are places where "blanket salesmen" (purveyors of knock off Michael Kors bags, fake Adidas, and cheap sunglasses) are not allowed. Portions of the port are not among them.

The touts are here
That building on the left is one of the last remaining original warehouse buildings.
The warehouse 
The middle passage 
Columns & corridors
There were two markets today down here, an interesting antiques market, and this "local Catalunyan market".

About 50 stalls 
Beyond the harbour area is La Barcelonetta, home to tiny streets and tall buildings, built in the 18th century after another neighbourhood was demolished to build something else.

Blocks and blocks of car-width streets 
There are a dozen streets like this 
Fans of something 
Trees and people and not much else going on 
Some buildings are more ornate 
Streetside cafes
Laundry day
We popped out of here onto... the beach.
Down the beach towards the habour entry 
Up the beach
Being a beach, there was "beach stuff".
Art-cum-light tower 
Surfers in the cold water 
Sand castle builders 
A giant slug. Or something else. We'll find out later 
Beach chairs, Barcelona style 
The sail-like W Hotel
Alas, twas time to head home... via a park with ping pong tables...
...a street named after one of my favourite drinks...
Where's the tonic?
...more cool boat butts...
Karen's photo, not mine
...and feral cats being fed at the fort where we started.
Some old lady feeds them
Not a bad way to spend a drizzly Sunday in Barcelona.

Tomorrow night, our friends arrive from Edmonton to spend a few nights with us in our little apartment. Mike's joining me at the Grand Prix, Hilda gets to entertain Karen, and we're going to visit Montserrat and the cavas of Frexinet and Cordiniu.

No comments: