artist view of la Rambla

LA RAMBLA . .. The name came from the Arabic word "raml" for the stream that once ran there. Now days, there is still a steady stream of people in what must be Spain's most famous street. People stream into this pedestrian boulevard for the cafes, news-stands, souvenirs, small animals of all kinds, buskers, sidewalk statue artists, flowers, and music. I read that people stayed out on the street till the wee hours of the morning, and I could vouch for that. My hotel was just about a block off the street and there was noise way into those wee hours.


sidewalk statue

The Rambla ended in the port area around a statue of Christopher Columbus. It was quite a grand statue that celebrated how Columbus returned to Barcelona to tell the ruling monarchs about the wealth to be stolen in the New World. A mystery to most, and certainly to me, was why the statue pointed to the Mediterranean Sea instead of the Atlantic Ocean. The concept of 15 minutes of fame must have been around in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Yes, he was big news when he returned to Spain. But, it didn't last long. Just fourteen years later in 1506, Columbus died penniless in Valladolid, central Spain.


Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.