Cruise 2006 - Mediterranean
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After a night, a day (a sea day) and another night on the ship, we are now in Barcelona. Barcelona is a large, but very nice city that offers something for everyone: Beach, historic buildings, architecture, shops, sports and many, many restaurants. We'll be here for just one day, so choices have to be made. When visiting Barcelona by cruise ship, try to think of that day as an inspiration for a city trip later. Barcelona is worth it.

One of the nicest things when visiting Barcelona by cruise ship, is that you're on walking distance from the city centre an Las Ramblas as you can see on the photo below which is taken from the upper deck. No special need to book a tour on the ship here.

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A very touristic, but easy and relaxed way to see a lot of the highlights of Barcelona when you don't have all time, is to take the Bus Turístic. There are several routes to choose from, but they are all of the 'hop on, hop off' type. You can get off the bus at any stop, and get on the next one, or the next, etc. The routes are circular, so you'll always return to where you started.
Make sure to take a seat at the 'open air' top level of the bus to have the best and nicest view.
In Barcelona you can find many buildings designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí. If you have time enough, you should visit some of these buildings. For example Casa Batlló, visible behind the trees on the right side, is worth a visit. The exterior and interior look like a building from a fairy tale.
This is La Pedrara or Casa Milà is also a building by Gaudí. It's an exceptional piece of work (or art if you like it) built between 1906 and 1910.
Another piece of fine architecture.
One of the most famous masterpieces of Gaudí's work is the Sagrada Familia, the only classic cathedral which is still under construction. It was Gaudí's dream to which he devoted much of his life. Gaudí died in 1926 and only one of the towers had been completed.
Construction started in 1882. After Gaudí's death in 1926 other architects continued his work, based on the general construction plan and project studies which made Gaudí's vision clear.
This part of the cathedral has been completed recently.
Even today the construction work is still going on. Estimated completion dates range from 2017 to 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.
Most of the completed part of the Sagrada Familia can be visited by tourists. In fact, the income from tourists together with donations and gifts are the only ways this project is financed.

You can buy a separate ticket for the elevator, which takes you up in one of the towers from which you have a view on the construction work going on up above.
Two of the main towers, both intensely decorated.
I advise you to get a ticket for the elevator to go up, although there can be some waiting time. The view from up above is magnificent.
Please not the mosaics and other details on the towers. You start to imagine how much work it is to build a cathedral with this level of detail.
A small construction site about halfway between the ground floor and the top.
The Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona's favourite tourist attractions. You can visit the cathedral every few years and every time a new piece will be completed.
From the Placa d'Espanya you can see the beautiful building of the National Museum of Catalonia Art. It is housed in the former "Palau Nacional" at the foot of Montjuïc and is regarded as the best Art Museum in Barcelona.
What would a visit to Barcelona be without a visit to La Rambla (or Las Ramblas), a 1.2 km long avenue with shops, restaurants, hotels and street artists. It connects Plaça Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. As you can see, it can be very crowded here.
Close to Las Ramblas, you can find several plazas, only for pedestrians, packed with cafés and restaurants.
Las Ramblas is a popular place for street artists to show their talent.
You can buy some real art here.
Painters, singers, magicians, jugglers, etc. You can find them all at Las Ramblas.
One of the endpoints of Las Ramblas is the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. Here you're close to the sea, beach and harbor.
Once you have left Las Ramblas and pass Christopher Columbus, you are near the cruise ship, as you can see here. Although one day is much too short to see all of Barcelona, it's a nice destination to visit by cruise ship. And as said before, let this one day inspire you for a future city trip. And now, back to she Rotterdam!

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