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Barcelona tours - Quixote on the beach

Overview

Cervantes wrote, and Motteux translated:

At length, by cross-roads and bye-ways, Roque, Don Quixote, and Sancho, attended by six other squires, got to the strand of Barcelona on Midsummer-eve, at night; where Roque, having embraced Don Quixote, and presented Sancho with the ten crowns he had promised him, took his leave of them both, after many compliments on both sides. Roque returned to his company, and Don Quixote staid there, waiting the approach of day mounted as Roque left him. Not long after, the fair Aurora began to peep through the balconies of the east, cheering the flowery fields, while at the same time a melodious sound of hautboys and kettle-drums cheered the ears, and presently was joined with jingling of morrice-bells,and the trampling and cries of horsemen coming out of the city. Now Aurora ushered up the jolly sun, who looked big on the verge of the horizon, with his broad face as ample as a target. Don Quixote and Sancho, casting their looks abroad, discovered the sea, which they had never seen before. To them it made a noble and spacious appearance, far bigger than the lake Ruydera, which they saw in La Mancha. The gallies in the port, taking in their awnings, made a pleasant sight with their flags and streamers, that waved in the air, and sometimes kissed and swept the water. The trumpets, hautboys, and other warlike instruments that resounded from on board, filled the air all round with reviving and martial harmony. A while after, the gallies moving, began to join on the calm sea in a counterfeit engagement; and at the same time a vast number of gentlemen marched out of the city, nobly equipped with rich liveries, and gallantly mounted, and, in like manner, did their part on the land, to complete the warlike entertainment. The marines discharged numerous vollies from the gallies, which were answered by the great guns from the battlements of the walls and forts about the city, and the mighty noise echoed from the gallies again by a discharge of the long pieces of ordnance on their forecastles. The sea smiled and danced, the land was gay, and the sky serene in every quarter, but where the clouds of smoke dimmed it a while: Fresh joy sat smiling in the looks of men, and gladness and pomp were displayed in their glory. Sancho was mightily puzzled though, to discover how these huge bulky things that moved on the sea could have so many feet.

Itinerary

This walk takes you from a section of medieval wall along one of Quixote’s possible routes to the small peninsula (created by a giantess’ tears, exacerbated by a lighthouse and staunched only by a submarine, but we digress), which was then half of Barcelona’s sand-clogged apology for a port. You’ll pass the place where a real Viceroy was dismembered by the mob and a fictional bibliophile murdered by his dealer, the royal shipyards (crucial in Cervantes’ Lepanto campaign), the port with the very vaguest vestiges of Quixote’s famous sea battle, Cervantes’ Enchanted Head, the scene of medieval jousting and Quixote’s mugging by street urchins and more wonders.

Then, moving into the housing project built after the War of the Spanish Succession, we’ll check out 18th-20th century port life, including choirs, working men’s associations, the occasional reminders of fishermen, factories and bullrings, finishing near one of the world’s biggest fishes and the 1992 Olympic Port.

(More on Quixote and the printer on other Barcelona city walks. If you’re going on your own, don’t believe everything Barcelona Council tells you.)

Details

Grade easy
Base Barcelona (Meeting point information here, where relevant - make sure you have the right one!)
Location tags Atarazanas, Barcelona, Barcelona city walls, Barcelona harbour, Barceloneta, Catalonia, Drassanes, Maians, el Paralelo,
Theme tags architecture, gastronomy, history, literature,
Your guide(s) Mr Baldie
Walking distance 5.05 km / 3.14 miles
Walking time 2.00 hr
Total return travel time from base to walk 0 hr
Total time from "hello" to "goodbye" 2.30 hr

Photos

Coming soon! Please try the overview or itinerary for pictures.

Comments

  1. [...] response to this site's airport walks, as well as perhaps some other triumphal entries, HtH has kindly contributed the opening of the last chapter of Mani - [...]

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You can find all this information, as well as the booking form, at http://oreneta.com/baldie/baldie/spanish-walking-tours/barcelona-walking-tours/barcelona-city-walks/quixote-on-the-beach/

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