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Monday, November 10, 2014

Barcelona's Olympic Park

High above the city on a hill called Montjuïc, opposite Park Guell sits the Olympic Park from the 1992 Olympics. Remember the opening ceremonies, when the archer shot the arrow into the caldron to start the games?  Yes, very impressive indeed. The only drawback was that the day we chose to go up there was also the day of a huge children's event so every family in Barcelona was up on the hill that day! Fortunately the stadium was still open and free but it made for kind of a crowded, zooey atmosphere so wandering around wasn't all that easy. We missed the swimming pool...the one with the diving platforms that showed the divers with a backdrop of all of Barcelona, including the Sagrada Familia. 
(not my photo)
I would've enjoyed seeing the pool. One always needs a reason to return, right? I am a sucker for anything Olympic so with all the people crowding into the stadium, Doug and I tucked into the Sports Museum which was empty. It was more a history of sport than an Olympic recounting but several things were most interesting. I enjoyed seeing these tennis shoes. From left to right: Monica Seles, Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez. The display with Sweden's and the world's greatest ping pong player was cool too. All in all, a good way to start our trek through the Olympic park. The stadium itself was, of course, impressive and it was fun to see it filled with people. Remember Derek Redmond, the runner who tore his hamstring in the middle of the race and whose father ran down to the track to help him finish? That was Barcelona. These Olympic moments are what we live for every 4 years!
The walk down was spectacular with incredible views and beautiful architecture along the way. Montjuïc is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon...even if every other person in Barcelona had the same idea.