Port Vell, Barceloneta & Port Olímpic

The heady allure of the Mediterranean permeates Barcelona, and a dip into its azure waters is only a few metro stops (or a brisk walk) away. Barcelona’s beaches were once hidden behind an industrial wasteland, but things changed radically in preparation for the 1992 Olympics. The rallying cry was to create a new Barcelona oberta al mar (open to the sea); the result is phenomenal, as is the presence of large crowds seeking sun and sea. Tons of sand were transported to create miles of silky beaches from the fisherman’s quarter of Barceloneta to Port Olímpic and beyond. Palm trees were planted, water cleanliness standards implemented and, this being design-obsessed Barcelona, numerous contemporary sculptures ...

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