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After the lighting ceremony in Olympia and a relay across Greece, the flame reached Athens, which it left on 9 June on board the Cataluña frigate.
On 13 June, the flame reached the Catalan coast in Empúries, a former Greek colony founded in around 600BC. It was welcomed by about 1,000 different boats and a crowd of 5,000 people who waited for it on the shore. It reached the coast in a typical Catalan boat, propelled by 10 rowers.
From Empúries, the relay travelled at first to Catalonia and then the rest of Spain. The relay passed through 652 localities, including the capitals of each of the 17 autonomous communities and the various Olympic sites. The route also included the Canary Islands, reached by plane. The crossing between Tenerife and Las Palmas was made by hydrofoil. On its approach to Barcelona, the relay travelled to the Balearics by boat.
On 24 June, the flame reached Barcelona and travelled through the city the whole night surrounded by an excited crowd. The following day, the last stage took it to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony, where Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo ignited the cauldron by shooting an arrow lit from the Olympic flame.