M1626 – Waterfront walkabout

At the end of the main section of my last post, M1626 – Familiar sights, I was thinking about where to explore on foot in Barcelona whilst eating my lunch. In the end I decided to walk along the waterfront, around the harbour and along part of the extensive beaches that fringe the city.

With our berth so near, I was soon walking past the tall monument of Christopher Columbus and the attractive old port building, both familiar landmarks from previous visits to the city:

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As I walked along the waterfront I noticed someone creating huge bubbles, and caught this rather surreal image of one of the bubbles drifting along an otherwise normal street scene:

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Here were several works of art – two were very familiar, Gambrinus (the lobster) by Javier Mariscal, and Cap de Barcelona (Face of Barcelona) by the late American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein – and one unfamiliar, the rusty sailboat:

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The harbour was full of boats and ships of various sizes but all looking expensive, this vast one particularly caught my eye:

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Eventually having walked three sides of the harbour I reached the start of the beachfront. Here I optimistically went to check the length of the queue for the Transbordador Aeri del Port – the cable car which travels high over the port area to Montjuïc. It’s route goes over where our ship was moored, so I thought it would be great to look down on the ship as well as the port and city far below. However as I feared the queue was way too long, the system only having very limited capacity.

Instead I resumed my walk on terra firma, walking across the Plaza Del Mar towards the beach, passing this sculpture dating back to the Olympic Games held in Barcelona in 1992:

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This end wall to one side of the Plaza certainly caught my eye:

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Next I passed the eye-catching L’Estel Ferit (The Wounded Shooting Star) by the German artist Rebecca Horn, commonly known as ‘the cubes’. The work immortalises the legendary seafront bars and restaurants, or xiringuitos in the old fishing district, the Barceloneta, before they were cleared as part of the preparations for the Olympics:

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Despite being so late in the year, there were plenty of people enjoying the lovely warm sunny weather on the beach:

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I walked for some distance until I neared two more artworks dating back to the Olympics – the Golden Fish by Frank O. Gehry, and the ball apparently precariously balanced on the edge of a building roof:

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Nearby this fish on a café wall caught my eye:

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As I passed the Parc de la Barceloneta I could see a decorated tower through the trees, and diverted to get a better look. The tower, Torre de Les Aigües, is actually a water tower containing an octagonal tank, dating back to 1906:

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By now it was time to retrace my steps to ensure I was safely back on board before the ship set sail. As I passed the harbour once more this boat was looking lovely in the low late afternoon sun:

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By the time I reached the ship I was more than ready to rest up with a cool drink, especially as there were three more consecutive days ashore coming up. It had been a great day in Barcelona, viewing the basilica in the morning and the waterfront in the afternoon, graced by such warm sunny weather. Overnight we would sail to a new port in a different country, this will be the subject of my next post.

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