Barcelona in Review

Hello from our last day here in Palma de Mallorca. Sorry blogging as been lacking but hopefully we can catch up today and our travel day to Madrid tomorrow.

We did post about our amazing first day in Barcelona, so here is the recap of our next 6 days there!

Day 2 we decided to try to hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus to give us an overview of the City.

This turned into an all day adventure with two different bus routes.   One cool thing about this Monday is that is was a holiday in Catalonia, Diada de Sant Jordi.   It is tradition to give roses and books to ones your love this day, so the entire City was filled with flower and book vendors everywhere.

Once we reached a super busy downtown-ish area, we stopped for a bottle of wine and a few tapas.   Everywhere we went in Barcelona had amazing food, from tiny hole in the walls to fancier places everything was so tasty!

After our quick drink and bite, back on the bus.  We took it everywhere in the City, stopping off every now and then.   We hit the mountain by the sea in Barcelona and took an awesome cable car to the top.

After our round trip up the mountain, we continued on our bus.   We did see all the major sites in one day and it really helped us plan the rest of our week so highly recommend the City Sightseeing bus in Barcelona.

That night we met us with some new friends from the Cruise, Craig and Jane, for drinks and dinner.   First a great beer bar, El Tap, that reminded me of home with the chalk board beer list.

Dinner was at a great Steak house with our new friends.   Wonderful meal and wine there too.

The next day, Tuesday, was finally a rest and relaxation day.   We visited the neighborhood grocery store and just explored more of our immediate area.   Wine at the grocery store is very cheap for pretty good wine.

Wednesday was our scheduled day to visit the Sagruda Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s super impressive church.   This was one of the most amazing buildings we have ever seen.   If you get a chance to visit, go for the ticket that also gives you access to one of the towers.   It was worth every euro we spent.   You can just buy tickets directly from the church’s website, there is no need for “skip the line” tours offered by other companies.    I’ll just show a few pictures to give you an idea but if you are ever in Barcelona, go!  Our pictures cannot do it justice.   (Yes, it is still under construction, scheduled to be finished by 2026)

Thursday was Chrissy’s and I’s schedule first super fancy, 3 Michelin Star, dinner at El Celler de Can Roca.   The restaurant is in a town about an hour north of Barcelona called Girona.    We took a high speed train from Barcelona directly to Girona.

Game of Thrones fans would recognize the old downtown area as Bravvos from the TV Show.   The town also has a church that was used at the Sept from Game of Thrones as well.

I’ll try to do a separate post going to in to details on our dinner later but in short it was one of the best dining experiences we have had.

Friday we took the train back to Barcelona and rejoined Henry and Luann.   This day we had tickets to go see Park Guell, a Guadi designed park.   The weather again was perfect and we had a great time exploring the park.   If you decide to go, I recommend buying tickets to see the Monument Park in advance as that  is where everything you see in photos of the park is.    The park sells out a lot of days as well.

Saturday, our last full day in Barcelona, we spent in the Gothic Quarter part of town.   The main feature here is the huge Gothic Cathedral.  There is also a huge, awesome market a few blocks away from the Cathedral.   We spent quite a bit of time walking around the market and then settled in at Bar Joan, a very busy tapas bar in the market.

After our normal mid day drink and food break, we continued walking down to the Arc de Triomf.   On a sunny weekend day, this area was packed with people, pop-up shops, and street performers.  Fun day to end our stay in Barcelona.

That night was dinner at a Steak house a block away from our AirBnb and like all our meals was fantastic.

The next morning we packed up and headed to the Airport to fly to Palma de Mallorca!

Barcelona was a great city to start our trip, we really loved the City, the food, the people, and the sites.   Definitely want to return one day.

Greetings from Barcelona!

Hello all!

Today is the morning of our second day in Barcelona Spain after arriving like some early 1900’s rich folk crossing the Atlantic on our cruise on the NCL Epic.    I will post later this week on our thoughts and adventures from the fun cruise once I organize 15 days of photos.

Our first day in Barcelona for the 4 of us was going to be a day of laundry and relaxation but you never know what will happen.   We got off our home for the last 2 weeks at around 9:30am.  After a quick cab ride we arrived at our AirBnB near the Sagrada Familia.   The place wasn’t quite ready for us but the owner did let us drop off our bags.    He also told us of a street festival going on in the neighborhood, so we were off to explore the City.    After a few blocks we stumbled into what reminded me of a typical summer Chicago street festival, streets closed and lined with stalls selling food, drink, and other things.   The main difference was there were many many many more selling food and drink than in Chicago.

After the first block (it turned out to be a huge street festival going about 4-5 blocks), we stumbled into our first pleasant surprise of Barcelona, country line dancing party.

After exploring the festival we started off to a cafe recommended by our AirBnB host.   We accidentally turned the wrong way and while taking a longer route stumbled into this:

Believe it our not, this used to be a hospital!  It is now a art and medical museum but was  a fully functioning hospital as late as 2009.   Opened in its current form in 2014.  Very neat building we stumbled into.

We did make it to the cafe, Puiggros, after that.  Sadly, I think we were all too hungry so no pics there, but they had an amazing apple tart that was delicious as well as very good small sandwiches and various breads.

We decided then just to take a stroll around the in-progress crazy beautiful Sagrada Familia  church.   We are planning a complete visit to that including touring the inside later this week.  I’ll post pictures then.

After that we started walking back to our home for this week, and we run straight into the start of a parade!

Those are gegants.  Super cool giant costumes that bob up and down.  They were originally used by the Catholic Church in the middle ages to teach Bible stories to a public that could not read.  Check out Chrissy’s Instagram for video –

All this and we we’re still not at our 3pm check-in time so we stop to sit outside to order a snack and a beer.  Dad and I ordered large beer thinking it would be a normal pint instead of half.  We were wrong.

We also ordered our first of what I will assume will be many orders of iberico ham.

After that, back to our rental to finally get to that rest and laundry.  At night we went to dinner at a place recommended by a friend in Chicago.  Amazing Italian pasta!

Everything is made by hand or imported directly from Italy.  Chrissy’s gnocchi with had truffles shaved on at the table.  Delicious lasanga and fresh caprese.  Perfect way to end our first day!

Content may be light this week as WiFi at our AirBnB is slow.  So might be posts without many pics.