Spain

Barcelona

Here you’ll find travel reports about Barcelona. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
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  • Day18

    Today was challenging. We set our alarms for 6am as we needed to be on a train at 8:06. Everyone woke up cranky and tired after a VERY late night thanks to one of our children... We ate some cornflakes (and Sammy's tooth fell out as he was still too asleep to eat carefully) and made it to the station with 15 minutes to spare! That has to be some sort of record for Tom aka Mr last minute. His motto in life is; if you're there five minutes early that's five minutes wasted, or for flights; if they aren't calling your name over the loudspeaker then you aren't late. (Grrr)
    We found our first class seats and Samuel made a comment about how much he loved first class and how we should always travel first class. Apparently when Tom booked them there wasn't much of a price difference between first and second.

    We decided that train travel was the way to go, so much less stress that flying; no security, baggage checks, take off and landings, waiting for bags at the other end, passport control. And it is so scenic! We admired sun flower fields, hay bales and remarked on the different landscape as we traveled closer to Spain. Well Tom and I did, and poked the children who were fixated on their iPads.

    Our first impression of Barcalona was the heat, very warm and humid with a haze to the sky. We opted for a taxi to transport all our luggage to our accommodation which turned out to be an expensive 4km.
    There was no conceirge at the accommodation, only a sign informing us to go to a different location to pick up the keys. We decided that Tom would leave me with the kids and luggage and walk alone- a much faster option. Before leaving he said "if I'm not back in half an hour, panic." Silly Tom, as soon as he said this Sammy started panicking. Every five minutes Sammy would fret. I tried to assure him that daddy is always late, and that I wouldn't panic until daddy was over an hour late, but it didn't help things that at the half an hour mark Tom was nowhere in sight.
    I began wondering what I would actually do if Tom didn't reappear. I had no way of calling anyone. Anyway I didn't need to worry, Tom was back at the 45 minute mark, and relayed the strict hotel instructions; we were not to enter before 1pm or we would be fined, we could not hang anything over the balcony or we would be fined 350 euros, we could not have parties or we would be fined.
    As we were leaving to find some lunch another family arrived with the same confusion regarding check in, and Tom broke the news of the long journey to the concierge.
    I went for a short walk up the street to look for food. I found a market with raw meat, and the chickens and rabbits still had their heads on, their little eyes were terrified!
    We bought some croissants, one with jamom, some bread with sugar on it(?) a doughnut and what I thought was an apple turnover but ended up being pure pastry!
    After eating it was 1pm so we entered our room which had literally just been cleaned, the floor was still wet. But it was lovely and spacious, two bedrooms, lounge/dining/kitchen area and two bathrooms. We ha been in much smaller rooms so we were all pleased to spread out, and the kids were so excited to have their own beds!

    We set out to experience Barcelona, making our way first to their massive Sagrada Familia Basilica. There are no words to describe such a monstrosity, except gaudy; a not so funny coincidences that the architect responsible for it was named Gaudi! It pollutes ones view of the sky with its towering concrete turrets that have coloured baubles atop. Every facade is different, there is no harmony of design or even colour (and they say I'm not arty). It's gothic architecture at its worst.
    We decided to walk the perimeter (after stopping for the mandatory play in the park) but it was so big and ugly we ended up in souvenir shops but were disgusted with their prices.

    We caught the metro to the coast. Everyone was tired, most of us were holding it together but the littlest one was not. We bribed her with gelato which worked initially, but after the gelato, which wasn't even good, she went crazy. There were tantrums, screaming, stomping and general hysteria. Tom and I pretended not to know her at one point, with Sammy and I walking away (more for fear that I would start crying too!)
    Threats were made and she calmed down. She even walked for the next half an hour, silently with a stiff lip. She can be so determined when she wants to be.

    This next part of the day was my favourite. We walked aimlessly through alleys that led to vast openings and grand buildings. We commented on smells, mostly bad and noticed little things like patterns in sandstone, the bumpy paths so iconically European. We saw a wedding party and the photographer was using a drone to capture the memories, and we tried more gelato which was equally as bad as the first.

    We were hot, tired and ready to go back to the hotel when we stumbled upon the greatest find of all; some produce markets. These were mesmerising, fruits boasting vivid colours, nuts in abundance and giant fish and prawns. But the items that caught our interest were the meats and cheese. We bought paper cones filed with jamom, cheese and chirizo, all lukewarm and slightly sweating in the sun, but delicious. Unfortunately even the kids liked them- less for me. We also bought some chopped up fruit for the kids and reluctantly left via the back door. This opened up to a piazza that had people preparing to make a human pyramid! We wanted to stay but they were nowhere near ready and both children were complaining. We caught the metro back to our room, showered the kids and gave them their fruit. This refreshed them enough to happily walk to find dinner.

    We had planned for an early night but once again this was not to be. We walked for a long time in search of pallela and tapas, but most restaurants only had tapas. I was about to snap (maybe that's where Adalia gets it from?!) when the road opened into a piazza with restaurants and one had pallela!
    Tapas, pallela and a mojito, does it get much better? Even the kids who had been chanting "chips! Chips!" to the waiter, were happy with our selection. (Adalia wanted a mojito and growled at the injustice of the world that she wasn't 18, but I couldn't really blame her, it did look good).
    Tom had promised more gelato, but I had to be bad cop and over rule. It was 9:30pm! They needed to be asleep, not hyped up on sugar. Tom was shocked at the time as it was still sunny, and quickly agreed.
    Thankfully, all our walking to find a restaurant had been in a circle and we were a very short walk from our hotel, so the children were quickly in bed and asleep before the sun had set.
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  • Day60

    I found Blabla Cars online. People offer seats in their car . We travelled with Jon and Fernandinho in Jons Black shiny Lexus. Hilarious young professional Spanish guys. Very dry country ,olives, fertile valleys growing fruits 🍒🍒 . Monseratt mountains , famous , stark, beautiful . 6 hour trip. My feet are twice normal size after 40 hours sitting 🙄

  • Day61

    Cathedral Gaudi's designed and actually lived here last years of his life. Very eccentric. Dedicated whole life to architecture and Jesus. I think he visited heaven..... look at the photos and see what you think??!incredible man ....

  • Day36

    We did a paella cooking class and made unlimited sangria which was lots of fun

    I have fallen in love with Barcelona it's such a cool city

    We went out all 3 nights and it's a crazy city and the night life doesn't start until 1 am

    And today we caught the bus from Barcelona to Valencia and we will just have a chilled day here tomorrow

  • Day1

    Our visit to Spain starts in Barcelona on beautiful warm sunny day.

    After breakfast in our hotel, Melia Sarria, we spent the day walking through the streets of Barcelona.

    We walked on three main streets. The first was Avinguda Diagonal, a street that, as its name suggests, diagonally cuts through Barcelona.

    Then we walked down Rambla de Catalunya, which had a central walkway for pedestrians with one way streets for cars on each side.

    This eventually became La Rambla, a similar walkway through the more historic part of town. The highlight was the food markets, where they sold all kinds of food from meat to seafood to fruit and vegetables to cheese and olives.

    La Rambla took us all the way to the waterfront.

    We returned by retracing our steps, stopping for tapas and paella on the way.

    All in all a great day taking in this beautiful city, walking for 9 hours and around 20,000 steps according to my FitBit.
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  • Day33

    Today we went to the markets in the morning for breakfast which were amazing!

    Then Annie and I walked around and did all the site seeing of what Barcelona has to offer

    Then we went to a park which was designed by this one man who also designed the big church which was filled with mosaic

    Then we sat down for a dinner of tapas which was really good!!

  • Day3

    Started the day with a guided tour visit to Montserrat, a multi-peaked rocky range with strange eroded rock formations giving a serrated appearance located near the city of Barcelona.

    A Benedictine monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat, is located in the range and is a holy place of pilgrimage for many Catalonians. The abbey holds The Virgin of Montserrat, also known as the Black Madonna, a statue of the Virgin Mary and infant Christ.

    On return from Montserrat we went on a guided tour of the cathedral La Sagrada Familia (the Holy Family), designed by the famous Antoni Gaudi. Originally started in 1880 by another architect, Gaudi took this on and devoted 43 years of his life to the building, dying by accident before it was completed.

    It remains uncompleted today, although work continues and is targeted for completion in 9 years, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of his death in 2026. While incomplete, it is a beautiful piece of architecture in Gaudi's very different style.

    Lastly we were taken on a guide tour of the Old Town, which although we had visited the previous day was fascinating as we listened to our very knowledgeable local guide, Santiago.
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  • Day3

    Friday 19 May sees us in Barcelona. We arrived after an hour flight from San Sebastian on Vuelig Airlines. We took the city bus from the airport - a nice 30min ride at a cost of 6 euro pp. Then we were to have a 15 min walk to our apartment - but it was a bit longer than that- lets just say we were buggered by the time we got there. Walking with suitcases along Passages de Grace mid morning was interesting. We were met by our host - Alessandra - she was really nice and the apartment is gorgeous.

    So Barcelona, its just a little bit busier than San Sebastian. Heaps more tourists and lots more traffic. Another difference is things are a bit more expensive here. No more 2 euro glasses of wine. The city though, has great architecture - all along Passages de Grace you get a sore neck from looking at all the buildings and their diverse facades. You have the Gaudi influenced ones next door to the more modern look.

    Today I set off on my morning walk. It was great - the streets were empty of tourists and I was able to admire my surroundings and get to see the city in the quiet. Tonight we will explore an area nearby where the locals go and check out places to eat and drink.
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  • Day22

    From Nice we had a short stop in Arles for lunch before heading towards the Spanish border and on to Barcelona for a three night stay. We visited Sagrada Famalia, La Ramblas, Park Guell, Camp Nou - Barcelona FC's football stadium, and spent an afternoon on a banana lounge under an umbrella on the beach.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Barcelona, Barcelone, Barcellona

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