Barcelona is by far one of my favorite cities. It ranks right up there (probably above) Rome, London, Washington DC and San Diego. What can I say, I am a sucker for history, amazing architecture and walking (I hate having to use transportation if I don't have to). Barcelona has all of these things AND crazy wonderful weather (oh, and a beach...very important to keep the boys happy).
After getting some great advice from friends, we have started using Rick Steves' books whenever we travel. I am a stickler for making sure we go on every self-guided walk and see every site worth seeing (Brady secretly loves this about me;). This also means that we usually pick hotels based on location rather than amenities. In Barcelona we stayed at Hotel Granvia...in three separate twin beds...with the only temperature control at freeze out or burn out (we can't complain, at least we had air conditioning). However, our nights of restless sleep were outranked by a location within 100m of Placa de Catalunya...a great central square within quick walking distance of Las Ramblas, Barri Gotic, and Eixample.
Our favorite site in Barcelona was Sagrada Familia. Antoni Gaudi is now on my list of people (alive or dead) with whom I wish I could have a conversation. His designs are amazing and Sagrada Familia, in particular, is breathtaking. Plus, there is something pretty inspiring about a building that was started in 1882 and has been continued by private donations to carry out Gaudi's vision. It is still incomplete...but awesome. Even Parker said the "building with the trees" was his favorite thing in Barcelona. Gaudi actually designed the inside to resemble tree trunks...clever boy.
Barcelona in general was pretty great...here are some pictures.
Walk from Placa de Catalunya through Las Ramblas to the beach.
|Parker wanted to sit by the lion so badly, but when we put him on |
there he just kept saying, "oooh, hot, hot, hot."
|P was pretty excited to see a 'pirate ship'.|
|P could barely get his feet in the sand fast enough.|
Below is Santa Maria del Pi
Trying to make sure your two-year-old has fun on a trip like this means that sometimes you just have to stop and chase the birds...:)
Parker was stoked to ride the tour bus.
|Lightning McQueen (aka the 'serious racecar' made the trip (of course)...I really need to start making him bumper stickers...|
And these are of Park Guell...Parker kept wanting to go back to the 'tunnel park.'
|It was really hot this day and P would not wear a hat, or sunglasses...he was one tired boy.|
MNAC and the Olympic Stadium
|Parker was asleep but we had to prove he was there!|
And of course the zoo!! This was not on Rick's 'must see' list, but this was for Parker...calling him a 'good' traveler would be a GIGANTIC understatement. He definitely deserved a trip to the zoo!
|The dolphins were awesome!|
Walking to the Picasso Museum...don't worry, he wore his US shirts more often than this one.
Below are pictures of the cathedral...I got in trouble for my shoulders and had to buy a bright green shawl from a guy sitting by the door selling fans (he was sitting on the shawls...I bet he made a killing on those things).
And the only picture I could take inside the Picasso museum...
The market off of the Ramblas...I could have spent hours in here...
|yep, those are all sweets!|
Below are more Gaudi works in the Eixample district.
|The best mojito I have ever had...|
On our way to rent a bike on the beach!
|Yep, we are huge dorks, but P thought it was the best thing ever!|
We had so much fun!!