Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Day in Barcelona

November 2-3, 2016

Next stop on our trip was BARCELONA, Spain!!!!

This was my first time visiting Spain, so I was very excited to be there.   We arrived in the evening time and, due to some extreme "hangriness" going on,  immediately needed to find a place to eat.   We lucked into somewhere pretty good and enjoyed satiating our hunger and getting our first taste of real deal Spanish food  

After dinner we went out and walked up and down Las Ramblas, a lively pedestrian walkway through the heart of Barcelona.

After all that good food and a low key day of hanging out on the airplane/taxi, we were still somewhat energetic after dinner, so we explored straight until bedtime...

Kristina was excited to rediscover these lion statues at the Christopher Columbus monument...

She had a picture of herself on one from 20+ years ago, so she was extra excited to try to recreate the pictures.  The boys were quite happy to find their first Mr. Mime (an exclusive Pokemon that can only be found in Europe) there on the streets of Barcelona that night. 

We woke up the next morning raring to go and take advantage of our only full day in Barcelona.    We loved these patterned streets and sidewalks. 

And loved seeing the world famous architecture of Antoni Gaudi up close and personal...

The streets of Barcelona are dotted with his ornate and creative buildings.   

The most famous of Gaudi's works is the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, which is a large Gothic style catholic church that he started building, but only got about a quarter of the way done before he died in 1926. 

And to this day, they're still laboring to make his vision a reality...

It is exceedingly ornate and they don't  expect it to be done for another 10-years!  

After oohing and ahhing over the Sagrada Familia, we kept walking through the heart of Barcelona...

We got some lunch....

And headed up to the Parc Güell....

The Parc Güell was envisioned by entrepreneur, Eusebi Güell, as a sort of municipal garden in the early 1900's, and he hired the aforementioned Antoni Gaudi as the head designer and architect.    

With Gaudi as the architect, it's not surprising that it's a one-of-a-kind place.  It reminded me of a sort of real life gingerbread village...

We loved the interesting angles and attention to details (like that gorgeous tilework on the bench). 

We were also quite enamored with the hillside view overlooking the city.  

We explored for quite a while until I had a little meltdown.  

We'd all done great up to that point of the trip, but now we were a week in and had walked over 10-miles already that day.  Add to that that we were jet-lagged, hungry, and one of my kids started acting somewhat  obnoxiously.  This didn't make for a good combination and if you had been in Park Güell that afternoon,  you may or may not have seen a crazy American woman crying real tears, stomping up the hill, and scolding a certain child in a loud voice for being an ungrateful brat.  

In other words, a few too many Barcelonian tourists got an unpleasant little sideshow that day.   

On the bright side though, that crazy woman stomped so high and so long that they got to the tippy top of the hill above the park.  It's called Carmel Hill and it was a serendipitous and happy diversion from the grumpy escapades from below.  

The exertion from the frustrated and angry march up the hill partially had burned off some of the negative energy already, but to be greeted with such a glorious  view really did soothe my heart the rest of the way. 

I fell so in love with Barcelona from that vantage point...

and made it my goal to come back and explore it more fully (and without children) someday.  


Isn't it lovely?   Don't you want to come back with me someday? 

Now that I was finally calmed down, we didn't want to leave...

I finally consented to a quick picture with K, before heading back down again.  

We'd logged a whole lot of miles that day and decided to hopefully prevent the aggravation of a certain person and take a taxi to our next destination.   Too bad the cab driver had no clue what he was doing and he dropped us off at the Olympic Stadium instead of the castle on the hill that we were trying to get to.     And we, the stupid Americans,  didn't know any better and just paid him and realized that we still had more than a mile left to walk.     

Eventually we got there.  It was closed.   We took a sky tram back down, then walked another mile or two back to our hotel.  

A little gelato helped us keep going.  

We got back to the hotel eventually and  we all slept verrrrrrrryyyyyyy well that night!   


1 comment:

A Joyful Chaos said...

Looks like you had a very interesting time!


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