domingo, 25 de febrero de 2007

Las Ramblas - Part II

The Rambla is crowded day and night with tourists and locals alike. The famous newspaper and magazine stands are found all the way up and down the street. This famous street is actually 5 'ramblas' in one. First you have Rambla de Canaletes, named after an old fountain that used to be here. As legend has it, if you drank from the fountain you would one day return to Barcelona. The second part is called Rambla dels Ocells, named for the bird market that lines the street. As you walk down, you can hear birds of all colours and shapes twittering and chirping away. La Rambla de Sant Josep is the next stretch, which is full of many flower stalls, which is why another name for this part is the Rambla de les Flors. Next we encounter La Rambla des Caputxins where you can find the old theatre I mentioned above.

Besides the flower stalls, bird markets and newspaper stands you also encounter the artists near the bottom of the Rambla, painting caricatures of passersby and local artists selling their creations. There are also the infamous men playing the shell games on the street. Apparently you have to watch it around them. Some say that while you're watching intensly at the game, another game is going on...pickpocketers after your wallet!

One of the most amazing parts of Las Ramblas are the people that are painted like statues all along the street. They stand perfectly still until you throw a coin or two into thei bucket and then they come to life. So far I have seen a bronze indian, a silver pixie, a red devil, a silver mermaid and a man that looks like he is made out of iron who rides his bicycle along with his skeleton crew when you throw him some change.

Of course, one more thing that Las Ramblas has, and that's the open air cafés serving people paella, sangria and so much more. Always an interesting place to sit and watch the world go by!

Las Ramblas is truly a hodge-podge of people, sights and sounds. Some can be touristy, with the sex museums and the McDonalds, some are gorgeous like the buildings and the trees, but there's always something going on here whether it's 4pm or 4am!

1 comentario:

Josh dijo...

The tourist centre of Barcelona is formed by the Ramblas. The famous street that runs from the Plaça Catalunya to the statue of Columbus close to the waterfront. The Ramblas and especially the walkway in the middle, which is filled with market stalls and street artists, is always busy, from early morning till late at night. Although the tourist guides and info centers in hotels in Barcelona often describe the Ramblas as a very long street with different sections, my experience was that it is not THAT long. I would say that a relaxed stroll from the statue of Columbus to the Plaça Catalunya will take you about 20-25 minutes.