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Tourist in my own city – part 1

11 January, 2012 (12:06) | Living in Europe | By: admin

We’ve been living here in Barcelona for over 5 years now, yet the city never ceases to amaze me. Some days I like to pretend I’m a tourist, and I’ll check out some of the more popular attractions. I often combine a tourist outing with a hike. I am always accompanied by my dog Quixote.

I will attempt to share a few images from some of my wanderings.

Today I decide to take the funicular to the top of Montjuic. The departure site is right here in my neighborhood of Barceloneta, but the long lines have put me off in the past. Also, technically dogs are not allowed in the funicular. But my dog is a master at staying still and I am a master at sneaking him everywhere, welcome or not.

This is the line you can expect if you take a funicular from the beach to Montjuic:

We take an elevator to a tower, from where we board the funicular:

From the observation tower I can see our home:

1) View of our beach from the funicular. You can see our apartment in this shot. If you click on the photo a larger image will appear, with an arrow showing where our apartment is. 2) City view from the funky funicular from the beach.

The funicular that departs from Barceloneta only takes you half way up Montjuic, where one can walk around and enjoy the impressive gardens. Here are some shots of the older funicular taken from almost right below where it drops you off:

Although I often just ride the tram this far, sometimes opting for the museums instead of the gardens, today I decide to jump on the second, more modern one which will take me to the top, to el castillo. (the castle). But first I snap a few mid level Montjuic shots overlooking the harbor:

1) A really old knotted tree. 2) To me, this path to the city looks like it leads to Fairyland.

Quixote and I walk through terraced gardens with fountains and sculptures to get to another newer model funicular, which I photograph from below, before we take it to the top of the mountain:

These are the more modern cable cars that take us to the top of Montjuic:

From the castle (which deserves its own, separate blog) Quixote and I slowly walk back down, past an unexpected cactus garden and several intriguing interactive sculptures.

Once up top I play with Quixote and pose him on top of sculptures.

Every time I go to Montjuic I discover something new. Today its the cactus garden, which I had read about but didn’t know where it was. Quixote and I take a creative route down. On one path we happen upon a zip line:

Self portrait riding the zip line.

We walk past the cemetery and down into the cactus garden:

I love walking through the cactus garden. It reminds me of my days hanging out in Joshua Tree National Monument in California.

Once we’ve walked back down into the city we grab a “bicing” bicycle and ride it home. Quixote is always happy to ride home in the bicycle basket after a full day’s outing:

We pass a funky circus on the way home so of course I pose Quixote. We are tired, and this is our last stop for the day.

1) Quixote posing in front of the Circus Ralluy. 2) One last shot as I head home, of the Circus Ralluy tent billowing in the wind and blending in with the eccentric Barcelona skyline.

Tomorrow we plan to take the rickety elevator inside the Christopher Columbus statue at the end of Las Ramblas. Its something I’ve always wanted to do, but can never find anyone willing to accompany me. Fortunately Quixote is always game for *any* adventure. He normally runs alongside the bike until we head home. He’s so tiny that I just scoop him up into my basket when I see he’s tired.