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Local public works - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Local public works [ Thursday, 17 May 07 | 11:32 ]
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |bouncybouncy]

Tuesday was the first day in a number of months that I rode my bike to Montgat about 3 km (2 miles) down the coast towards Barcelona. There’s a tiled pathway completely separated from the roadway (Nacional II) and the Renfe commuter railways (Rodalies). It’s not as picturesque as the paths I used to travel around my home when I lived in Richmond. There I had great views of San Francisco Bay. Here I have to settle for the Mediterranean Sea. But the hills and sea remind me a lot of living in California.

I was only 300 m (1000’) from my home and I ran into my first change. At the intersection of two main roads there is a pedestrian tunnel under Nacional II and the train tracks to the beach and pathway. Last year they razed a building that used to be next to the tunnel. This has been replaced by a wide paved pedestrian pathway that runs along the normally dry Alella River. Behind the first of buildings that front Nacional II they have created an extensive “tot-yard” and benches. I like the way they use pieces of open-space for people to use. There are series of micro-parks on Torrent Umbert just up the street from my home.

Once I was on the coastal pathway I was surprised to see speed-limit signs for bicycles (10 km/h) when pedestrians are present. When I reached Montgat there was a lot of construction where the hills come right down to the Sea. In fact this is where the first railroad tunnel in Spain was constructed in 1848.

Coastal pathway

This is the coastal pathway I ride my bike on. Looking from El Masnou towards Montgat.

There had already been a small park with a monument celebrating “once de septiembre” along with beach access and car parking. Now they have expanded the park and out on the beach they have put up a new lifeguard stand and “jungle-gym” type of facility for kids. There are already a number of benches that have been delivered and are ready to be placed. They are using the same style rusted steel for the park expansion.

Monumento de once de septiembre

At the end of the War of the Spanish Succession Barcelona surrendered on 11 September 1714. Nowadays this date is remembered as the National Day of Catalonia. Organizations and political parties traditionally lay floral offerings at certain monuments.

The interesting thing is that they built a small hill on a point that juts out into the sea and have planted trees. They have also installed irrigation so I would assume that they will have some sort of ground cover as well. Once this has been completed I will take some new pictures once the project is completed. I know that from the little hill there will be great views of Barcelona in one direction and the Costa del Maresme in the other, including of course, El Masnou where I live.

La Costa del Maresme

Looking northeast towards France. Taken from the point that that is now a hill in Montgat.