Barcelona: Capital of the Catalunya Region

Upon disembarking from the Windsurf, I made my fourth visit to Barcelona and it continues to entice me – bubbling with life in its narrow pedestrian only street, the grand boulevards, the parks and placas (squares), the chic neighborhoods..both new and old, the shopping, and of course the cuisine, including the tapas.
Many visitors either begin or end their visit to Barcelona at the port – as it is a convenient and modern Mediterranean port that has a long maritime history. The 200-foot-tall Columbus Monument greets you at the ports roundabout that was built for an exposition in 1888. It was in Barcelona that Ferdinand and Isabel welcomed Columbus home after his first trip to America.

Highlights include Gaudi’s remarkable cathedral, the Sagrada Familia, which was recently consecrated by Pope Benedict with incredible service and grand celebration. Though works continues, the interior is finished and awe-inspiring. The colossal Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona is also impressive and the Placa de la Seu is surrounded by inviting outdoor cafes that offer a splendid view of the Cathedral.
Strolling the famous Rambles is a must – the pedestrian thoroughfare goes to the port and is both colorful and gritty filled with street vendors selling gelato, flowers, books, arts and crafts and the mimes are exceptional. Don’t miss La Boqueria, the lively produce market, surrounded by cafes and bars.

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