Day_4, Montjuic and Waterfront

La Rambla,
the bustling pedestrian street in front of our hotel.

Placa de Catalunya.
This vast central square divides old and new Barcelona.
It is also the hub for the Metro, bus, airport shuttle, and tourist sightseeing bus.

We boarded the red route sight-seeing bus at Placa Catalunya.
Here we were heading north on Passeig de Gracia in Eixample, an elegant shopping street.

We chose to sit at the upper deck.
There were multi-language ear buds to listen to narration.

The central fountain on Plaša d'Espanya (Plaza de Espa˝a),
one of Barcelona's most important squares.
Located at the foot of Montjuic, it was constructed for the occasion of 1929 Universal Expo.

Behind the central fountain is Arenes de Barcelona, the red brick bullring built in 1900.
In 2011 it was converted into a modern shopping and recreational complex after standing empty for years.

The Magic Fountain of Montju´c.
Situated below the Palau Nacional on the Montju´c and near the Plaša d'Espanya,
the fountain, like most of the surrounding developments, was built for the 1929 Universal Expo.

The Magic Fountain of Montju´c
On summer nights, colored lights, music and huge amount of water make for quite a splash.

A beautiful look-out on Montjuic.

The 1992 Olympic Tower, built in a curved white style,
was the main communications tower for coverage of the Olympic Games.
Beyond the tower you may have a glimpse of the 1992 Olympic Stadium.
The Stadium's exterior dates from 1929 Universal Expo, but the interior was rebuilt for the Olympics.

Cable car, a scenic way to get up to Montjuic from the port.

From the cable car station on Montjuic,
it's a short walk to Joan Miro's modern arts museum (not pictured).

Descended from the Montjuic hill, now we were heading toward the port.

Columbus Monument.
Built for the 1888 Universal Expo, it stood at the southern end of the Ramblas where it hits the harbor.
It was in Barcelona that Ferdinand and Isabel welcomed Columbus home after his 1st voyage to America.

The ornate building is the Aduana building, an old customs house constructed in 1902.

Port Vell, the city's old harbor, got a drastic urban renewal before the 1992 Summer Olympics.
The old port was transformed from a run-down area of empty warehouses, industrial buildings
and railroad yards into a yacht basin and entertainment center.

MaremÓgnum, a complex with shops, cinemas, discos, bars and restaurants.

We got off the sight-seeing bus at the Port Olympic.
We walked to the casino, but could not go in because we did not have passports with us.
This is the fountain in the Casino/restaurants/shopping complex.

Saw this nice restaurant by the beach.
With the help of the greeter,
we tried to understand the choices of that day's 3-course lunch special.
(Paella was not part of the lunch special, but black rice was.)

We wanted paella, so we ordered a la carte, a seafood paella and a grilled swordfish.

We really enjoyed our lunch, both the food and the atmosphere.

Barcelona's beaches did not stand out as particularly attractive.
They were just ordinary beaches.

Back at our hotel on the La Rambla, we went to the roof-top terrace.
This was the view of La Rambla street from the terrace.

In another direction, we could see the white communication tower on Montjuic hill.