Placa de Catalunya.
Barcelona was the home port for our cruise. We had a couple of days there before we departed and had also decided to stay on after the tour had finished. Those first couple of days were spent largely on one of Barcelona’s many beaches…
And during our subsequent stay we would return several times: the promise of a day on the beach had a restorative effect when younger members of the party were wilting from the vicissitudes of sight-seeing. Whilst on the beach, TBH was content to soak up the sun and read her book, whilst the rest of us spent almost all of our time in the sea. We discovered, on the final day, that even the crowded shallows were surprisingly good for snorkelling with schools of small fish, as well as the tiny purple jellyfish of which we were frequently warned over the tannoy system.
Wherever there were trees we heard, but didn’t always see, parrots…
I’m not sure whether they are indigenous or recent arrivals.
On the first full day of our second visit we headed into town from our lodgings in Sant Andreu. Sant Andreu is quite a way out, but the Barcelona Metro is superb: for a Euro you can travel anywhere in the city, even transferring to buses if need be.
I suppose we probably would have wanted to see the city centre anyway, but we had wind of something afoot. (Well, I’d read about it on the internet).
I’m not sure what this building is, but I thought my friend Dr K might appreciate the sentiment on the banner.
Carrer del Bisbe.
In the gothic quarter.
Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia.
Barcelona, like Marseille and Liverpool, has two cathedrals. This is the older one. On this occasion we couldn’t get in because A and TBH didn’t meet the strict dress code.
Strangely, the same rules were not enforced at the nearby Santa Maria del Mar.
We followed this fellow…
…through the narrow, high-sided streets of the Gothic Quarter, losing each other in the process (not for the last time on this trip), back to the vicinity of the cathedral.
This parade of giants was what we had been on the look-out for. Part of the Sants Festival which seems to be one of many which take place in Barcelona over the course of the year.
The giants were accompanied by drums and music, and danced – twirling and swaying.
It looked like the task of carrying each figure would be hot and exhausting work. Each figure seemed to have its own team in attendance. Those members of the team designated to carry a giant were tightly wound into a broad belt, presumably offering some support for their backs.
The giants parade was just one feature of week long festivities. Sadly, we failed to find the chocolate event which followed.
Street Market Pencils.