La Rambla

La RamblaAccording to Wikipedia, “La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the quarters of Barri Gòtic, to the east, and El Raval, to the west.

La Rambla can be crowded, especially during the height of the tourist season. Its popularity with tourists has affected the character of the street, with a move to pavement cafes and souvenir kiosks. It has also suffered from the attention of pickpockets and, especially towards its southern end, sex workers.

The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was ‘the only street in the world which I wish would never end.’”

La Rambla is the heart and soul of Barcelona as far as tourists are concerned. Personally, I find it incredibly interesting. I can people watch there for hours. It is truly a place where people go to see other people and to be seen. It has many shops and even more tourist activities. It is the place for tourists to go in Barcelona. My friend Helmut once said “I think the only people on this street right now are the tourists and the Spaniards who are servicing the tourists.” I think he was being a little over-dramatic, but there are a lot of tourists on La Rambla.

During the time I was in Barcelona I would go there periodically. Not so much because I need to, but to remind myself that there are some really great tourist locations in the world. There’s Times Square in New York. Trafalgar Square in London, Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Spanish Steps in Rome, and Shibuya Intersection in Tokyo. These are places that tourists can go and watch other tourists and, often, the locals. People watching is an art and a science. This picture was taken on La Rambla during the early morning hours. There weren’t too many people around. Spaniards sleep in. Most shops open around 10:00 AM. This picture was taken much earlier in the morning.