Barcelona, La Rambla

Spanish people are very nice to strangers - or perhaps it is just the people of Catalunya that are so nice.  There is a large difference from the way we were greeted in Rome.  The people here also seem more fun loving as can well be seen on the La Rambla.  La Rambla is a straight, wide walking street about a mile long that runs from the port to the Placa Catalunya.  Under the Placa is a large metro/rail station.  The Placa seems to be the starting point for Barcelona tourism.  And La Rambla or the Ramblas as I seem to need to call it, is the starting point of the starting point.  Here you can easily get your pocket picked as our friend Colette did on her first morning in Barcelona.  Theft like this is so common that when you report it to the police they cancel your credit cards, notify your embassy and contact your airlines.  The only thing they do not do is refund your loss.

Once you have secured your valuables, the Ramblas is a very pleasant entertainment.  Along the sides of the broad walking area you will hear and see temporary bird shops and flower shops, pet stores and news stands.  More entertaining though are the costumed entertainers who for a coin will wrap their arms, wings or other appendages around you while your friend photographs this apparition.

This is the Ramblas                       Sueann and Colette with Ramblas entertainer

Ramblas entertainerRamblas entetainer                                         

Ramblas entertainer Sueann and Colette and flower girl                     

Other "entertainers" were working the "which shell is the coin under" scam.  They had their shills who were completely obvious to us but apparently not to the poor souls taken.  The shell scams were played on the ground with the large Ramblas crowds trying to avoid stepping on the players.  Ouch!

As we walked down the Ramblas from Placa Catalunya toward the Barcelona port our appetites stirred and just in time we came upon the Mercat de la Boqueria off to the side. Mercat de la Boqueria The Mercat is a large fresh food market selling produce, poultry, superb looking seafood, all kinds of meats and cheeses and much more.     Seafood stand at Mercat de la Boqueria
Mercat de la Boqueria  I love to walk around these kinds of markets and whenever possible I like to eat at the counter stands that usually dot such markets.  The Mercat de la Boqueria had few such counters and on that day they were jammed with people eating and others waiting for seats.  Eventually we found a real restaurant within the Mercat and ate there.  It wasn't the same however as sitting at a counter, seeing what you want to order and talking with the people at your elbows.

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