Saturday, February 22, 2014

Anniversary Weekend in Barcelona

Posted July 20, 2014

One of the reasons for picking Fitou, in south-western France, was it's proximity to Spain. Barcelona was only a two-and-a-half hour drive away. We left early the morning of Friday, February 21st, and made it there in time to check into our hotel and catch the Sandeman's free three hour walking tour at 11:00 a.m. It was fantastic. We really liked our guide, Helen from Edinburgh, and we loved walking through the Gothic quarter, seeing the Cathedral, the Roman ruins, and learning about Catalan history and legends.

We ended our tour with a stop for gelato, then sandwiches...yes, in that order. :)
The boys all enjoyed Enrique Tomas, where they got Parma ham sandwiches. The girls opted for bakery sandwiches and/or pastries.

We liked the morning's tour so much that we signed up for Helen's afternoon tour, focused on Gaudi, at 2:00 p.m. The kids were troopers—we spent almost another three hours on that tour. It only ended up being 7+ miles, but they totally kept up with the walking and learned a lot too.

A bonus for the day was finding Waldo! Rob couldn't resist sneaking a photo of him on the subway. :) Another bonus was meeting a Westie with a nice owner. These kids miss their dog!

We ate dinner in an Italian restaurant near our hotel...Rob was the only one feeling adventurous enough to go for tapas or paella, and this place seemed family-friendly, unlike many of the tapas bars.
We loved our Hotel, Hotel Hispanos 7 Suiza, a short walk from La Sagrada Familia.

The next morning (our 18th anniversary!) we headed for the St. Joseph's market for breakfast—freshly squeezed juice and fruit. Looking back, after six months in Europe, we all agree that the fresh mango there was one of the best things we've eaten on this trip (well, except Ellie, who doesn't like fruit!!) There were quite a few things we don't often see at grocery stores in the U.S.—tripe, whole animals, various intestines and brains.

We thought it appropriate to ramble down La Rambla some more...

We made our way back to the Gothic Quarter to go inside the Cathedral.

We had to sample the hot chocolate our guide had recommended, and went all out with churros and crepes too.

Finally we caught the bus and hiked up about 38 stories to visit Park Guell, Gaudi's master-planned community. It's amazing, and this is one of my favorite photos from our trip:

This one is more typical though, silly faces and photo bombers. :)

We decided that we could easily make Barcelona an anniversary tradition. Great place to go in February, it was beautiful weather!

We tried Wok to Walk on the Rambla for dinner, and loved it! Everyone (but Mom) got Barca sweatshirts. We walked 24,850 steps (almost 11 miles) and it may have even been without whining! Since it's been almost six months I may have forgotten some bickering or meltdown, but in my memory, it was a perfect day. Here's to the next 18 years with my awesome husband and family. :)

1 comment:

Aimerz said...

Fantastic Riley! Thanks for sharing your trip. What wonderful memories you guys are creating!