Our Walk Down La Rambla

After lunch on Day # 2 in Barcelona we followed what Rick Steves in his Pocket Barcelona calls The Ramblas Ramble. It’s about a mile walk from Placa de Catalunya down La Rambla, Barcelona’s most popular street, to the waterfront.

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View of La Rambla from just south of Placa de Catalunya.

The official name of the street is Les Rambles as there are really several short streets all named La Rambla something-or-other. The first section of the street after Placa de Catalunya is called La Rambla de Canaletes after the fountain at the beginning of the street that has become a popular meeting place, especially for FC Barcelona fans.

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The center of La Rambla is a pedestrian walkway. Then there are lanes for vehicles on either side. But as you can see sometimes people take over the auto lanes, too. That’s the Hotel 1898 on the left. It’s rated # 12 out of 516 Barcelona hotels by Trip Advisor.

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Barcelona’s Jesuit University used to be on La Rambla but the Jesuits were expelled from Spain in the 18th century and all that’s left is the church of Our Lady of Bethlehem with this side entrance on La Rambla.

The second of the five streets that make up La Rambla is called Rambla dels Estudis after the former Jesuit University. Then there’s Rambla de Sant Josep (or de les Flors) where you will find a popular food market called La Boqueria.

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La Boqueria.

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Thirsty? How about a fruit juice!

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My wife wants to try that green fruit on the left that is called a guanabana.

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More fruits and fruit juices.

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A display of mostly dried fruits.

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More fruits, vegetables and nuts.

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The Erotic Museum is right across from the entrance to La Boqueria.

Barcelona’s Opera House dominates the fourth street that makes up La Rambla. It’s called Ramblas dels Caputxins because it once was the site of a Capuchin monastery.

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Barcelona’s Opera House is called The Gran Teatre del Liceu. It opened in 1847.

La Rambla is the border between two of Barcelona’s most famous districts. As you walk south toward the Columbus Monument the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) will be on your left and the El Raval neighborhood will be on your right. There’s a popular square on the Barri Gotic side of Rambla dels Caputxins called Placa Reial (Royal Plaza). At one time it was the ritziest neighborhood in Barcelona. Are there any fans of Carlos Ruiz Zafon reading this posting? In Zafon’s classic The Shadow of the Wind the protagonist Daniel Sempere often visits Don Barcelo and his niece Clara who live in a Placa Reial apartment. And in an archway under that apartment Daniel encounters a beggar named Fermin Romero de Torres.

Placa Reial is just off La Rambla. A young Antoni Gaudi designed some of the lamposts in this square. There's one near the center of this photo. It's the one with the concrete base to the left of the palm trees. A woman is taking a picture of a snake wrapped around the pole.

Placa Reial is just off La Rambla. A young Antoni Gaudi designed some of the lampposts in this square. There’s one near the center of this photo. It’s the one with the concrete base just to the left of the palm trees. A woman is taking a picture of a snake wrapped around the pole.

Hotel Do is a luxury hotel in the Placa Reial.

Hotel DO is a luxury hotel in the Placa Reial. It’s rated # 8 by Trip Advisor.

The fountain in the middle of Placa Reial.

The fountain in the middle of Placa Reial.

Now we come to the last of the five streets that make up La Rambla. It’s called Rambla de Santa Mònica because of a convent that was once here but has now turned into an arts center. This is one of the most popular stretches of La Rambla because of all the street artists and live statues but if you are ever going to be a victim of a crime in Barcelona it will probably be on this portion of La Rambla or in the adjoining El Raval neighborhood. The area is infested with pickpockets and at night turns into a red light district.

Would you like to have your portrait done?

Would you like to have your portrait done?

Perhaps a caricature?

Perhaps a caricature?

You never know who you will run into on La Rambla.

You never know who you will run into on La Rambla.

Uh-oh. A cowboy caught a tourist.

Uh-oh. A cowboy caught a tourist.

Galileo and our cowboy again.

Galileo and our cowboy again.

There’s a narrow street called Carrer de l’Arc del Teatre that starts at La Rambla and winds through the El Raval neighborhood. If you look hard enough you might find Zafon’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

Finally we come to the Columbus Monument at the end of La Rambla. About 20 years ago they began to transform this area and there’s even another La Rambla these days — a wooden boardwalk called La Rambla de Mar that connects La Rambla with the Maremagnum shopping center on Moll d’Espanya.

You know that you will be ending your walk soon when the Columbus Monument comes into view.

You know that you will be ending your walk soon when the Columbus Monument (Mirador de Colom) comes into view.

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The Columbus Monument is a popular spot for tourists. You can take an elevator to the top to view just about all of Barcelona.

One of eight reliefs around the monument sculpted by Josep x.

One of eight bas-reliefs around the monument sculpted by Josep Llimona, the artist who created the Burial of Christ (see my previous Monochrome Madness posting).

Close-up of another of x's reliefs.

Close-up of another of Llimona’s bas-reliefs.

In the middle of the 20th century there wasn’t much past the Columbus Monument — just the old Port Vell dock. Daniel Sempere in The Shadow of the Wind walked from the monument one day to the steps of the dock and sat down dangling his feet over the water and he noticed someone approaching. He was about to have his first encounter with the mysterious faceless stranger named Lain Courbert.

We also walked across the street from the monument but did not encounter Courbert. Instead, we hopped on the Red Route sightseeing bus that eventually took us back to Placa de Catalunya. That bus tour will be the subject of my next posting.

 

 

 

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About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Spain, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Our Walk Down La Rambla

  1. mvschulze says:

    Your pictures portray a vibrant city, Barcelona. Thanks for the visit and descriptions. M 🙂

  2. Whilst all these are great shots, in my opinion, the best one is the first of La Boqueria.
    The combination of the strong colours, and the layout and shapes of the building that you see in the photo make it look like a drawing.

  3. great shots Crow and a great tour!!

  4. Pingback: MM 2-45: A High Key Look at Barcelona | Crow Canyon Journal

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