Barcelona, Sant Jordi and the Bus Turistic!

We had a light breakfast in our gorgeous apartment and set off rather later than intended the next morning. Retracing our steps from our walk home the night before, along the Gran via de les Corts Catalanes, I had to reassure my two friends that yes, I did know where we were going.  It was then that I remembered that on a trip to Paris, ten years ago, I was the only one with any sense of direction.  We got a little distracted by the parade of stalls selling single stemmed roses, for Sant Jordi’s day, and by the striking buildings in the university area.

Uni area

In five minutes we reached the Placa Catalunya, a lovely open area from where it’s easy to navigate the city’s main tourist destinations. Sant Jordi is not only a festival of roses but also of literature that coincides with world book day.

book day

I would have loved to linger and choose some books. As well as Spanish and Catalan authors, Ken Follett was among some of the British writers, signing books.The Placa was really buzzing with atmosphere,  Sant Jordi’s dragon was there, Iarge as life.

Dragon

This statue is by Frederic Mares , Barcelona  represented as a woman on horse back holding a ship as a symbol of exploration and trade.

statue

A wider view of the Placa.

placa
A hint of the architecture to come.
Placa buildings

We bought tickets for the hop on hop off Bus Turistic, for 27 euros  for the day. We  chose the blue route , as it covered most of the places we wanted to see.

Open top bus And we’re off, complete with blue head phones to listen to the commentary about the key points around the city. Although I’ll get shot, I have to tell you that Jackie was lulled to sleep by the music between each bit of information, and woke suddenly. She was so shocked by the voice in her ear that she woke with a scream, alarming some of the other tourists and reducing Sonja and I to tummy aching laughter!

I’ll be back soon with views from the bus, including the exterior of Sagrada Familia.