Barcelona Rambla

In 1955 the S.S Exeter sailed into Barcelona harbor.

On deck was a five year old Fred who remembers to this day – Spanish railway cars have four big wheels and not eight small wheels like US trains, and that the clamshells on dock cranes don’t have teeth so they don’t puncture the hulls of ships as they load and unload things like coal. His father took two pencils and some string to explain how cargo booms can more items between the pier and a ship. Useful things for a five year old to understand!

Our arrival in Barcelona began with a pretty sunrise.

Barcelona harbor is still busy and now has a huge section devoted to cruise ships and ferries. We disembarked and grabbed a taxi to our hotel, conveniently located down near the water and deep in the gothic district, aka, tourist central.

Hotel Colonial, originally build as a bank, in the 1880’s.

We like the hop on/off busses available in many cities as they allow you an overview and can help you to get an impression of a city and to start to get your bearings. We bought a two day ticket and set off. We had thought to get off and admire the new Familia Sagrada (Sacred Family) cathedral, but the crowds were huge and it was not clear that we would be able to get on the next bus.

So we got off at the top of La Rambla, the main tourist strip and inspiration for the title of this post, and went looking for lunch. This turned out to be a nice little restaurant in an ancient cellar. A tourist trap to be sure, but a very nice trap. (

Lunch is down here
Denise and paella
Fabulous wash stand
Hams and sausages in the market.

After lunch, we continued back to the hotel, admiring (?) the crowds.

Dinner was a wander through the neighborhood in search of tapas. We especially enjoyed the Chorizo Napalm.

We loved this apartment, built over the street.
Xorizo flambé
Glorious views down every street.
(Santa Maria del Mar)

Tourism would begin in earnest on the morrow!

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