Monday, January 20, 2014


My parents offered to watch the kids for a night while Husband and I spent an evening in Barcelona. It was cheaper to fly than to take the train so we hopping on a quick 1 hourish flight and had a whirlwind view of the city. We felt sort of like we were playing hookie, like we were getting away with something, not having the kids with us. Now that I've had kids and traveled with them, I can barely remember why I felt stressed traveling by myself. A cross-atlantic flight, where you just watch movies and eat snack and read books and nap sounds like the ultimate luxury.

Anyways, I had two things I wanted to see in Barcelona in our 20 hours, La Sangrada Familia and walk La Rambla.

La Sangrada Familia is famous because it was designed by Gaudi and it is ...distinctive. It's interesting because it is gorgeous and ugly at the same time. If you get a chance to go, buy tickets online and you get to walk right in for your time slot, if not, the queue is 3 hours (thank you hotel consierge for that tip!). We happened to go at the perfect time of day so the setting sun threw rainbows all over. It is much more angular than a typical cathedral and he designed the columns to look like trees and branches. What do you think? Pretty or ugly?

 WE experimented with my phone's panoramic function. Because hey, we were two tech junkies without our kids!

We payed $7 extra to tour the tower. Totally worth it. You get to ride an elevator up and then take the stairs down.

We thought it was the staircase above, but it was actually a closed one with little alcoves to take in the views
It started out like this

and went to this

The views were stunning.

One the tips of many of the towers, there are mosaics of fruit. Ugly or pretty?

A little closer to a blue flowered one.

My husband is quite the cell phone photographer. Something I wouldn't have discovered if we were wrangling kids. Have I mentioned how much I love my parents?

It is just such a different style of cathedral.This is a sculpture of a saint.

Check out the front and back of it

It looks a little like it's melting.

Outside the church there was a Christmas market. These are a Catalan tradition where you beat the log and sing it a song about pooping out your presents.

They also sold cagoners, pooping figures that hide in nativity scenes. Not with the holy family, because that is disrespectful, but somewhere around. They have Obama ones, famous soccer players, and all kinds. We opted for the traditional one with the catalan cap.

 On the walk back to our hotel, we stopped to get some hot chocolate. Spanish style hot chocolate is thick, this one in particular was practically pudding.

And because everyone loves to look at food shots...

Croquettes with tuna (My mom says they have lots and lots of different kinds of tuna, almost as many as they have olives. I was surprised to see all the olive groves as we traveled. Then I remembered that I always calle green olives Spanish olives. Duh. The grocery store had an entire aisle full of olive oils. Think the soda section, but of olive oils. You could get it by the drum.)


Not the steak and potatoes with onions I was imagining. Delicious though.

The Catalan sausage with white beans and prawns was also unexpected. And delicious.

That night we walked down La Rambla. Think of it as Mill Ave in Tempe. Not a destination, but still a destination.

With a giant fountain on one end.

And monuments to Columbus

And lots of little restaurants selling tapas and paella.

I think Barcelona might have been the best part of the entire vacation to me. I'm not sure if that is because Barcelona is just that awesome or the break from the kids made it so. So thankful for my amazing parents letting us go and explore it.


jeanene c said...

Wow! Loved seeing the photos of places in Spain that I haven't been to... yet. Sooo beautiful. I do think Sagrada Familia is beautiful, but I like things that are different. We did love keeping the kids too. They are such sweeties.

Katie said...

What a treat to get to go out together! I vote that it think the place was pretty too.


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