Sunday, March 18, 2012

Strolling the Ramblas in Barcelona

Today I  took my first trip on the Barcelona subway. The walk to the subway in my part of town (near the top of Parc Guell) means walking down streets and streets of concrete stairs with metal handrails. At the end of the day, it was challenging to negotiate those stairs on the uphill.
      My aim was to stroll the Ramblas. There I saw the living statues, people dressed fancifully as if in concrete, bronze or steel. They won't move unless someone puts money in their kitty. I enjoyed the smell of roses as I passed the abundantly flower filled stalls, and watched artists working away at their five or ten minute caricatures for their adventurous clients. The more serious artists ask for 20 minutes, but as I walked back and forth. no one complained when their posing took longer for the artist to finish touching up their portrait.
     Many stalls were selling repetitious trinkets and jewelry. Are they made in China? It seemed that buying/eating ice cream was a favorite activity as well as sitting at the Ramblas restaurants drinking Sangria, wine, and beer, and eating Tapas and Paella.
     The boulevard was filled with Sunday strollers of all ages. Babies in strollers were often being pushed by their dads. The people didn't seem as happy as during my last visit in 1998 when the economy was cheerier. Again many languages could be heard among the strollers. More English was spoken along the way than at Parc Guell. A group of young men sang Spanish songs as they walked along.
And now for the pics. Follow me on today's journey to the Ramblas:

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