"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Barcelona: so crowded but so wonderful

Crowd gathered around live gargoyle on La Rambla

Tourists taking photos of live gargoyle on La Rambla
Mopeds on La Rambla

Barcelona is crowded. It is just a fact, and honestly, I don't really like crowded places or big cities ... but I love Barcelona. It may be a fairly good sized city but it doesn't feel big. Maybe that is because my concept of Barcelona encompasses the area of Las Ramblas, the different La Rambla as I make my way from Placa Catalunya down to the sea. It does really feel crowded though. As a person who doesn't like crowds at all, I have picked up a few tips on how to do Barcelona without the crowds.

Tip 1. Go early, the earlier the better. The only problem I ran into in May was leaving my hotel so early that nothing was open and I encountered a drunk on the street. Now he didn't speak to me. In fact, I couldn't even see him. I only heard him, bellowing out a very loud and obnoxious song at 7am. Then I heard the sirens and 4 or 5 police cars surrounded the corner where the objectionable noise was coming from. I assume he was the lump I could see from a safe distance two blocks away. The police in Barcelona are ever present and very comforting. They patrol the streets and don't put up with a drunk singing and cursing very loudly early in the morning. They dealt with the problem and one of the policemen even gave me a smile and a tip of the cap as they walked by me later.

Waterfront boats in Port Vell, Barcelona

Tip 2. Go down to the waterfront and walk around. Down by the Columbus Monument at the end of La Rambla, the roads widen and there are tons of walking paths. You can walk forever. The Columbus Monument is also worth some time to see. It is wonderful  If you would like additional information about the Columbus Monument, click here.  One day, I walked for three or four hours from the Columbus Monument to Port Vell and never made it to my destination, which was the cable car that goes to Montjuic. Shame really as I really wanted to visit the Catalan museum on Montjuic. But I walked for hours and ran out of steam. Oh well, it gives me a reason to go back!

Please click here for additional info on Port Vell. There are some great restaurants with a fabulous view.

Crowds by the Columbus Monument

Crowds thin out a bit by Port Vell

Early morning on La Rambla

My favorite dog on his morning walk along La Rambla

Tip 3. Just have fun. Barcelona is one of the funnest places on earth. There are just so many whimsical, wonderful things to see and do. Here are some little known and fun facts about Barcelona. Click here to check out!