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.

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10 thoughts on “Barcelona, Sant Jordi and the Bus Turistic!

  1. I heard about Word Book Day in Barcelona and have been sent a newspaper clipping, but this is better because your pictures are in color. How exciting. I heard books in Spain are much more expensive than in North America. Do you know if this is still so?
    Wonderful pictures. I don’t have to go to Barcelona now. Thanks for the tour and I look forward to more. 🙂

  2. I’m not a fan of travelling with other people, but this sounds like great fun. The hop on / off bus helped to orient me in Vienna, which I began by hating, so I’m a fan of that mode of reconnaissance. Your photos give a real feel for the city. I’m glad you visited it.

  3. We loved the red & blue buses. When we visited we didn’t have headphones but they were a must to make sure you see THE key things.

  4. I quite like taking a city tour so that you become oriented with the place as a whole, then you can return to the bits you want to see more of on your own. You had lovely weather for your trip!

    Gilly, I have nominated you to take part in the ‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ challenge. It is quite simple and details can be found on my post tomorrow: http://wp.me/pL5Ms-2yN

    There is absolutely no obligation to join in, but I am sure you have photos with stories / poems you can share – it can wait until after your Barcelona tales of course.
    Jude xx

  5. Hop on/off buses are perfect, especially with a commentary head phone (even if it did send your friend to sleep!!!) Ken Follett is one of my favourite authors. Such beautiful weather too, it makes all the difference when you are walking. Looking forward to the next post on Barcelona…

  6. Oh Gilly!! Thank you so much for bringing back fabulous memories of my trip to Barcelona in June, 2013. I loved the hop-on, hop-off bus there, and have great memories of sitting on top in the open air as we drove around the city. One of my favorite cities of all time!! It looks like you had fabulous weather. And what a funny story about your friend Jackie! You’re right, she’ll probably shoot you. 🙂

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