Dancing fountains

Barcelona Travel Blog

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Barceloneta beach
In an effort to preserve my bad knee a bit, we took it easier today. First stop, the beach! In preparation for the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona converted the run down section just north of the port into some beautiful beaches by dredging up sand from the bay and forming a long stretch of sand right in front of the apartments where the athletes stayed during the games. It is a great area, lots of restaurants, bars and people everywhere enjoying the sun and sand. We did not plan on swimming or laying out, so we found a nice bench and sat and enjoyed the scene and relaxed for a few hours. We plan to return tomorrow and actually spend some time swimming and laying out.

From the beach you can catch a large gondola that crosses the port and drops you at Montjuic where you can explore several museums, the Olympic stadium, a huge park and various other sites.
This fountain stair steps all the way down Montjuic
The gondola starts at the top of a huge tower, so if you are afraid of heights like I am, don´t look down, and try not to notice that the tower is swaying slightly in the wind. Once we boarded the gondola I felt much safer, which makes no sense at all since we were then hanging high in the air by one teeny, tiny, cable....but hey, I can´t explain how my brain works! It is a beautiful ride across, you can see all of Barcelona from the gondola and looking north it feels like you can see all the way to France.

We had only a few select sites we wanted to see at Montjuic and had I been in better walking shape, it would have been a fairly easy walk up and down the hills and through the park to each site. However, we are trying to preserve some steps so we tried to utilize the public transportation options.
The dancing fountains of Montjuic
...which was very complicated, not at all intuitive and ended up costing us a lot of time and probably much more walking. There is a smaller gondola that will take you to the top of Montjuic. There are buses all over going up and down. There is a funicular train that will also take you up. If I had to do it again I would have caught a cab and taken it directly to where I wanted to go. In the process of trying to get to the Joan Miro museum we tried all of these options, ended up at the bottom of the hill, found a great place to eat a doner kebab, used the internet cafe for awhile, and finally about 7 pm found our way to the museum. While waiting for the bus at one stop two young kids started tagging the bus stop walls and seats right in front of us. Brian told them to stop and then we had an interesting exchange in both Spanish and English.
View from the gondola tower
The kids were both punks and grafitti is lame and I told them so. We told the bus driver when we boarded and he called it in, but I doubt anything will come of it. Littering and grafitti really offend me for some reason, whether it occurs in my town or not.

The Joan Miro museum provided an excellent history of the artist as well as a comprehensive collection of his art over the years. Brian did not enjoy it, but I learned a lot. I do have to agree with Brian that it seemed that several of his paintings were named by him later in life and he just fell back on ´women and birds´as the name of almost all of his paintings. Or, maybe he was obsessed with painting women and birds. I enjoyed the museum and learned a lot about Miro. I have seen his work in other museums around the world so it was nice to have more background on the artist.
Onboard the gondola


Our big plan for the day was to see the dancing fountains of Montjuic. These are huge fountains between Plaza Espanya and the Catalan Art Museum and each night they have a light, music and fountain show that runs every 15-20 minutes. Brian and I took a cab to the fountains, though the cab driver did not want to take us at first telling us it was very close. I told him, por favor, no puedo caminar, mi rodillo me duele mucho, and I showed him my huge knee and he agreed to drive us. Once there we bought some drinks and found two chairs and sat back and watched the fountains for more than an hour. Each show was different, different music and lights and movements of water and I loved it! We took some videos which Brian will load on his blog and I took a ton of photos. I love the fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas and like those, I could sit and watch these fountains all day.

After our long day it was another night of picking up a pizza and having some pizza and drinks at the hotel. Tomorrow is our last full day in Barcelona, I can´t believe the trip is almost over!
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Barceloneta beach
Barceloneta beach
This fountain stair steps all the …
This fountain stair steps all the…
The dancing fountains of Montjuic
The dancing fountains of Montjuic
View from the gondola tower
View from the gondola tower
Onboard the gondola
Onboard the gondola
One of the gardens on Montjuic
One of the gardens on Montjuic
The fountains before the show
The fountains before the show
Making a sand sculpture
Making a sand sculpture
Sand sculpture
Sand sculpture
Relaxing by the beach
Relaxing by the beach
Barcelona
photo by: fivepointpalm