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5th October, 2012


The port of Barcelona

The passage from Toulon to Barcelona took us across the Gulf of Lyon which, at times, can be affected by the Mistral. Fortunately not that night and we arrived on schedule, only to be slightly delayed by other traffic. The breakwater off the port is now over three miles long and there has been a fortune spent over the last twenty years on reclamation and the building of several new ‘ports’ within the existing one. Unfortunately, with the current recession, the trade has diminished, the expected trade has not increased and many berths remain empty.

Not near the city though, and apart from several ferries, there were six passenger ships alongside the modern terminal facilities. Organisation was pretty slick and the tours were quickly away, visiting the old town, the architecture of Gaudi including the magnificent Sagrada Familia and farther afield to Montserrat with its rack railway and 16th century Basilica.

Astern of us, underneath the new swing bridge across the harbour, lay the old shipyard where I remember doing a refit some years ago, but is now used exclusively to maintain luxury yachts. There was probably more value in the marine real estate lying in that relatively small space than in the total value of the few passenger ships alongside our quay.

My day was spent carrying out on board duties so the only view of the city I had was with binoculars, under the bridge and between the other vessels.

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