It’s Daily Post Time

This week, think about time and portray it photographically.
Perhaps you have a fascination with clocks. Or maybe contemplating time takes you somewhere else completely. I hope you enjoy this week’s challenge.

Time is Lignum Draco’s photo challenge this week.
I’ve always been fascinated by time zones, daylight hours and changing our clocks forwards and backwards in spring and autumn. I can’t wait for clocks to spring forward on March 27th so that evenings are longer.
Last September I took a ferry trip, I got on this one, at 11.32

ferry1
here,
river

enjoyed the river for ten minutes and then got off

spain

here! But it wasn’t 11.42, instead it was 12.42 because Spain is an hour ahead of Portugal.

Did I lose an hour? If so I found it again later in the afternoon,

somewhere on the return ferry.

Tantalising Glimpses of Guell

Our journey on the Bus Turistic continued past Sagrada Familia  and through the trendy Gracia area. Our destination for the morning was perhaps the furthest point on the blue route, Parc Guell.  We jumped off the bus, following a few others and turned a corner into full sun. Parc Guell is in the the Zona Monumental and a monumental hill faced us! Pretty soon our water bottles and our tummy’s were empty so we sought out a café for an early lunch. Surprisingly, considering the vicinity, the first one we came across was cheap, a little local place where we had pizza, churros and coffee for just a few euros. Refreshed, we tackle the rest of the hill, resisting the tacky tourist shops along the way.

Eventually we turned the corner and had our first view of Parc Guell.

gu1
We were hooked right away, and headed towards the entrance.
gu2
This wasn’t it, originally this was built as the porter’s lodge and entrance, but for now it’s one of the exits.
gu3
The selfie sticks available in all those tourist shops were being put to good use. So we strolled a few metres more, up the path to the ticket office,

gu5
where we were told that we wouldn’t be able to go in for another four hours. We bought our tickets to enter between 5.30 and 6pm, for seven euros each,
gu4
and feeling hot and irritable, but glad we would be able to go later, walked all the way back down that monumental hill.

So, we’d had a little peep at what was to come and had to entertain ourselves on the blue bus for a while.

What could we do?

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.

Rambla-ing in Barcelona

 

We arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday afternoon, and finding our Air BnB apartment was simple, just 100 metres from the Aerobus stop. Carmen, the owner met us, gave us some info and answered our questions and then we were off, three old crones let loose in the city. We had been up since 5am and only had a small bowl of porridge at Bristol airport at 9.30 so as it was now 4pm our tummies were howling! We found café to sit outside, where I had Greek salad and we shared a big jug of Sangria in the sunshine. Now we had arrived. Sated, we headed in the direction that I knew would take us to the Ramblas, criss-crossing through the Raval,

El Raval

an area full of old high-walled buildings, strange cooking smells and a million mobile phone accessory shops, piled high with cheap imports from China. The girls were a bit uneasy, not only do they lack my sense of direction, but some of the characters were a bit suspect and it seemed the Ladies of the Night were starting early. They breathed a sigh of relief when we walked into the light.
La Rambla
The Rambla was bustling with preparations for Sant Jordi, the next day, and flower stalls were everywhere.
Sant Jordi preparations
and then unexpectedly we stumbled on a place I’d hoped to visit but didn’t realise was so close. I’m a real market fan, I must have been a trader in another life, so St Josep, Mercat de La Boqueria was paradise.
St Joseps

Delicious fruit, fresh and dried was piled high, with each stall holder trying to out do the next.

My kind of food

Delicious

More treats

Seafood in abundance,
Seafood
I really don’t know how I managed it, but convinced that we would return, I didn’t spend a penny. I regretted that when I went home empty handed!

Ramblas architecture

Then it was time to enjoy some of the wonderful old buildings in the Rambla.

Rambla people
Often very elegant and ornate.

The next building has a little extra elegance, try clicking to get a bigger view.

Mr Marilyn poses in the Museum of Erotica

Yes, it’s Marilyn Monroe, complete with wind- blown, white frock up on the balcony. ‘She’ was attempting to entice you into what I can only guess is entertaining, the museum of erotica.

We strolled on, eyes open for just the right place for dinner, but  our energy had abandoned us totally. Being too excited to sleep the night before and the early start made the tiredness set in. We were five minutes from home and there was a local supermarket on the corner. Crisps and croissants called, as far as real food was concerned, we’d gone beyond hunger. Even the litre bottle of vodka and cola to mix remained unopened and we went to our rooms. My first impressions of Barcelona were great, it was an exciting city and despite being shattered I didn’t sleep for a  couple of hours. Instead, I made plans for the next day.