It’s the second week of Advent. As we promised in our last post, we’re sharing some of the sites of Barcelona as we wander around this great city during the Christmas holiday.
In these pics, Julie and I are riding the proud and majestic Barcelona lions. Each year, Catalan boys and girls pray for wise and courageous people who will ride these lions to their homes and deliver Christmas gifts. A lovely tradition…Okay, that’s not really a Catalan Christmas tradition, we just made it up. These lions are at the base of the Christopher Columbus statue. They were on the walk from our apartment to MontJuic. Julie and I couldn’t help but crawl up on top of them and take a photo.
Here’s a picture of MontJuic (the large, rocky hill). We took this photo from our balcony. Every morning, we open our shutters and see the funicular cabling people above Port Vell to MontJuic. Julie and I have ridden the funicular (the second pic was taken from inside the car). It’s a lot of fun, and provides incredible views of Barcelona and the sea.
There’s a huge castle on top of MontJuic. This week, we took a walk up to the castle and had a picnic. Here’s a few things we saw along the way:
We left our apartment and walked along the front of Port Vell. Julie and I stopped and decorated these funky bronze figures with Santa hats to put them into the Christmas spirit.
At the tip of Port Vell, we walked by the Christopher Columbus statue (where the lions are) and La Rambla. This is the gateway into the center of Barcelona. La Rambla is the main street that leads up from the port to the University area. It’s always packed with people. During Epiphany, three kings will sail into the port on three ships and then parade up La Rambla on floats.
After passing the port, we began the ascent up MontJuic. To be honest, it’s an easy walk. There are paved roads and nice paths through lovely gardens. In places, we felt our leg muscles burn, and we had to lean into the hill, but it was very manageable. We carried our picnic lunch in a backpack. We stopped and ate close to the top by the magic fountain.
At the top of MontJuic is a huge castle. It has amazing views of the sea, the port, and the entire city of Barcelona. A sheer cliff faces the sea. Obviously, it was a very strategic place to put a castle. There are records of a castle being there as early as the 1030’s. This current version of the castle was built in the 17th century. On top of the tower are masts and rigging. Back in the day, they would hoist sails up on the tower to let the city know which ships were in port.
We hope you are having a peaceful holiday!