You’ve strolled down La Rambla to where it meets the Mediterranean, after a side trip into the Gothic Neighbourhood, through narrow serpentine alleys graced by churches ten centuries old, past mansions once populated by Renaissance merchants.
River of people here – sun’s out, temperature’s rising.
Some stroll along the boardwalk through Port Vell: Baroque buildings to port, a yacht club to starboard. They pass the Catalonia Museum into a Bohemian collection of bars and restaurants before emerging onto golden sand: four kilometres’ worth of beaches.
Some march straight ahead, past the statue of Columbus (take an elevator to the top for great city views), past the Marine Museum housed in thirteenth century shipping warehouses.
Some book a harbour cruise – under sail or under power.
Others stroll along a walkway that’s a work of art in its own right – an undulating representation of the waves lurking outside a harbour so full of history Romans haggled over the catch of the day here twenty centuries ago.
Sometimes visitors must wait: one section lifts to allow access to sailboats coming in from race day.
When the bridge goes back down the river of people flows toward Maremagnum, a collection of shops, restaurants and outdoor bars mere feet from the water, while tourists soar high above the harbour on the Port Cable Car.
Here some discover a kiosk that sells Estrella beer (it’s local), so grab a bench at water’s edge and sip that frigid beverage.
A really cold beverage at a really hot spot.
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