All Barcelona Olympic sites are still being used. The Olympics changed the city forever and made it a top world destination. Probably the city which has benefited most from the Olympics.
Last week I went to the Olympic diving site (where Kylie shot her video "Slow") and the views are fantastic
Barcelona's pool with a view
There's nowhere better to cool off or just hang out than this spectacular public pool, with panoramic views over Barcelona. Professional diver José Marillo takes us on a tour of his 'office'
You can keep your five-star hotels with their pools surrounded by plump oligarchs, sunglass-cleaning technicians and other nannying types pandering to a wealthy few.
The world's best swimming
pool is far removed from these rarefied retreats. In fact, you'll find it high on Montjuïc hill, above the beautiful city of Barcelona
. Best of all, it's open to everyone, for the piddling price of around £4.
To get the full flavour of this awesome outdoor pool, I join professional diver and Barcelona native José Marillo for a tour of the place he calls his "office".
"Every morning I look forward to going to work," he says, as we take a cab from the city along a picturesque route up to Montjuïc hill. "How many people can say that?"
This is a seriously special commute, with our taxi whizzing past Gaudi's famous Sagrada Família church, arguably the planet's most impressive incomplete structure. (It's estimated that the builders will finally down tools there in 2026 or 2028
. That's a whole lot of snagging.)
When we arrive, the pool looks perfect. Calm, blue and glittering in the morning sun. We have a film crew in tow, here as part of the Expedia.co.uk's People-Shaped Travel video series
, which reveals unique experiences in cities around the world, and the director pronounces the setting "absolutely stunning". He's bang on. It's open to the public from 11am until 6.30pm throughout the summer but, right now, it's all ours.
Originally built in 1929, the pool came to international prominence when it hosted diving and water polo events at the 1992 summer Olympics. Since then, its panoramic view of Barcelona has provided the backdrop for a Kylie Minogue video and will host the diving events at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships. Crucially, the pool also functions as a unique chill-out zone for locals looking to escape the fierce heat of summer.
"The visitors here are the best," says José. "You get all walks of life here, a real cross section of the city. And the view is to die for. It takes my breath away every time."
José's view, to be fair, is better than most, as he surveys the city from the pool's highest diving board. Pausing to adjust his stance, he launches himself into a two and a half somersault in a pike position, entering the water with barely a ripple. Never mind the view, this is a truly breathtaking sight.
"The dive feels as good as it looks," he laughs. "I see sky, water and then sky again and that is when I know it is time to open out my body for the rip entry. That means no splash. It is a very satisfying moment."
While only the most fearless of visitors will experience José's unique view of this stunning space, anyone who spends an afternoon here will agree that there is plenty of satisfaction to be found in simply lounging around the world's most spectacular swimming pool.
• Visit the Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc, Avinguda de Miramar 31 (00 34 9344 300 46), bit.ly/olympicdivingpool. Price is €5.35 (£4.60) for adults.