Rambling along Las Ramblas

Having spent the last couple of days shopping, sightseeing and celebrating Merce, my pink sneakered feet needed a day off from any type of structured activity. Leaving the map and guide book back in the apartment, my only plan was to leisurely stroll along the tree-lined boulevard of Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s pedestrian friendly promenade. Stretching nearly a kilometre from central Placa de Catalunya to Monument a Colom, at the edge of the harbour side, Las Ramblas reveals the energy and joie de vivre of this vibrant city.

Meandering along the boulevard, I was not the only pedestrian soaking up the late September sunshine. Street entertainers, human statues, flower vendors, tourists, couples strolling hand in hand and kids on bikes were just some of the people who were also out and about enjoying a Spanish paseo (stroll).

One of the most fascinating sights are the human statues, people dressed up in various garb, replications of genuine granite and marble figures.  Standing still and immobile on the street corners, not even gusts of wind or torrents of rain are able to crumble their impenetrable facades.  Unsuspecting passer-bys often do a double-take when spotting a Christopher Columbus or Marie-Antoinette figure, oblivious that there is a living breathing person behind that seemingly cast-iron “monument”.  These imposters have indeed perfected their craft, as not even a blink of an eye gives them away.  Time and time again, I’ve witnessed the startled gasps from surprised spectators when the bronzed figure that they successfully captured in a digital imprint, suddenly jolts to life.  I’ve since learned that if you want to take a picture, posing with one of these faux marbled effigies, it is wise to leave a few coins in the tin can located just in front of the figure.
 I once had a “statue” chase me down the promenade because I photographed him and foolishly didn’t leave any coinage. That was years and years ago and I’ve since learned my lesson.  Nowadays I saunter up to the granite bronzed celebrity of the day, smile, pose, grab a photo opportunity, and toss some loose change into the tin can. This also ensures my safety as I know that I don’t need to make a mad dash on the pavement trying to outrun the marble draped mannequins, just to save a Euro or two. After all, my pink sneakers are taking a day off and don’t need to exert themselves if at all possible. The only type of running I’m going to be doing is sprinting from one designer handbag shop to another in search of that discounted Louis Vuitton!!


Seeking to quench your thirst?  Craving exquisite Spanish cuisine?  An abundance of tapas bars and cafes are scattered along the promenade. The choice of dining options are endless, one quaint venue after another, charming Spanish waiters enticing you to wander on in and savour mouth-watering tapas, all to be washed down by a pitcher of intoxicating sangria.

Pink Sneaker Tip – take a bit of time to wander up and down Las Ramblas before deciding where to partake of that well-deserved siesta. The prices vary considerably and it is wise to do a price comparison before parking yourself in just any picturesque cafe. I once ended up paying double the price for a large glass or beer (12 Euros), yet had I frequented the tapas bar next door, I would have been able to get one for 6 Euros instead. Quite an exorbitant price difference indeed!  All of those Euros add up and every extra bill in my pink piggy-bank gets me that much closer to being able to purchase my long-for coveted limited edition Carolina Herrera designer handbag.

Flower markets, stalls selling birds, newsstands and souvenir shops crowd the wide boulevards, energetically competing with the portrait artists who promise to transform your likeness into the next Mona Lisa. This melange of vendors, street performers, locals and tourists are what makes Las Ramblas the go-to location when in Barcelona.

Did you know that the word “rambla” has its origins as an Arabic word? “Raml” means river-bed in Arabic.  The promenade of Las Ramblas is actually a dried-up river bed. Who knew?

Come stroll along Las Ramblas and promenade with me....come travel with me....

2 Response to "Rambling along Las Ramblas"

  1. Anne R. Allen says:
    3 November 2012 at 09:51

    Hi Nora K! Thanks for your comment on my blog and I'm sorry that Blogger ate it! I've found that it's good to copy longer comments before you post them, since Blogger and WordPress are both guilty of eating comments.

    What a delightful blog! And now you know that you want to call it Nora K....'s Pink Sneakers on the Go, right? And have an about Me page. And take off the word verification. This is my third try, so I may have to give up and not leave a comment. You don't need it. It only keeps out robots, not regular spam.

    I visited Barcelona long ago, and loved walking down Las Ramblas. But it had no such exotica as living statues. How marvelous. You provide some great armchair traveling. I'll be back!

  2. i have to go says:
    3 November 2012 at 20:11

    Nice! Great blogging!!!


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