A recent post in La Vanguardia has reported that Barcelona council has given the green light to "considering" turning Plaça Catalunya into an ice skating rink, similar to the famous New York rink in front of Rockerfeller Plaza. The idea would need a pretty quick implimentation as the plan would be to co-incide with the traditional turning on of the Christmas lights and the annual late night shopping event this coming 30th November. It also reports that it would be a good incentive for those looking to vote for Barcelona for the Winter Olympic Games of 2022 as well.
The idea is to create a rink of around 800m2 with an artificial tree in the middle which would be paid for by the private sector - some companies such as Damm breweries (who else?!) have come forward in support of the idea. I think it would be really cool, and despite the usual criticisms in the comments on the vanguardia site, I'm all for it. I'm still very traditional when it comes to Christmas and love the lights and the festivities, and to be honest I think for the space that Plaça Catalunya occupies, it's a bit of a white elephant and could be put to much better use.
Of course, there's another reason why the rink has been proposed - to stop another occupancy of the Plaça Catalunya like in May from those in the 15-M movement. Christmas is always a time that the shops and city as a whole like to enjoy a bit of a peak again after the summer slump, so anything that could potentially disturb that (i.e. a manifestation) is something the authorities will want to avoid.
What are your thoughts? Do you think it's a good idea, or it might look a bit limp compared to other cities ? I remember being in Brussels close to Christmas one time and there was a rink there that was pretty small, but really popular. Let me know in the comments.
Coming to Barcelona this winter? Rent a Barcelona apartment instead of a hotel room. And for a quick look at the best sights to see, check out this Barcelona guide.