Hop on the bus, Gus

Placa de Catalunya Travel Blog

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The dragon of St. George, the popular childrens' slide in Parc de l'Espanya Industrial.

In the brochures we got from the agency where we booked our appartment we saw that there is a bus in Barcelona called Bus Turístic. It is supposed to be a "Hop on, Hop off" bus which drives three colour coded routes through the entire city. Before we can look into it we have to find our way to Placa de Catalunya, where the main "Hop on" stop is.

We start walking, map in hand, and find out that the shortest way to La Rambla, the most famous street in town that ends on the Placa de Catalunya, is through the narrow streets of El Raval. El Raval used to be an infamous district in the 1970's and 80's, where the lower class people used to live and where crime was very common.

The sculpture on Placa d'Espanya.
Nowadays the district has been cleaned up and for pedestrians there's nothing more to fear here, than anywhere else in the city. Two streets serve as red light district (only without the red lights). It's not much, but for the ones in need...

On La Rambla it is still rather quiet at this time of day (about 10 am) and the renowned street artists haven't arrived yet. When we get close to Placa de Catalunya we find an information booth where we can buy tickets for the Bus Tourístic. A ticket for one day costs 20 Euros, a two-day ticket will set us back 26 Euros. The latter is the better option, since there are so many things to discover. We get some headphones that we can plug into a socket on the bus and information of all the sites we pass by will be given automatically.

Looking over the city from the Palau Nacional de Montjuïc.
Today we pick the Blue Route (Ruta Azul) and sit down on the open air top deck of the bus. With some luck I will be able to take some pictures on the fly.

We pass Estaçió de Sants and the Parc de l'Espanya Industrial where a row of ten watchtower-like columns give the site a gloomy look. On one end of the row stands the Drac de Sant Jordi, a popular piece of art that is used as a childrens' slide. Right now building materials lie all over the place and it is not very clear what belongs to the parc and what not.

We get off the bus for a little while at the stop near the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC for short) that stands at the end of an avenue that leads to the Placa d'Espanya with a fantastic sculpture in the middle roaring traffic. We look around outside, but don't go into the museum, since that would take a lot of time it would render our busticket useless. We do enjoy the view with the enormous fountain in the foreground and the city in the back, accompanied by some live guitar music.

Getting back on the bus isn't a problem at all, because there's one every couple of minutes. A bus tour past the Olympic Stadium and over Montjuïc takes us to our next hop off-point.

postaltiburon says:
Great photos! It looks like you had some lovely weather.
Posted on: Aug 07, 2008
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The dragon of St. George, the popu…
The dragon of St. George, the pop…
The sculpture on Placa dEspanya.
The sculpture on Placa d'Espanya.
Looking over the city from the Pal…
Looking over the city from the Pa…
The gloomy watchtowers give the pa…
The gloomy watchtowers give the p…
A closer look of the Placa dEspan…
A closer look of the Placa d'Espa…
The Palau Nacional de Montjuïc, w…
The Palau Nacional de Montjuïc, …
Placa de Catalunya
photo by: Stormcrow