The blog writing has given me an oportunity to revisit all the lovely places we have been to and refresh those beautiful memories and writing this one was equally overwhelming experience as was visiting this absolute astonishing city.
As I have mentioned in my previous blog that Barcelona was the first city we explored before starting our ultimate Spanish road trip. And I just can’t wait to go back one day to explore more of Gaudi’s work.
You must be wondering who GAUDI…????
My answer would be read further to find out……..
Time of visit – End of March 2019
After taking an early morning flight from London we reached Barcelona in about 2.30 hours. Again we have booked a lovely AirBnB apartment but the check-in was not until late afternoon but the host was kind enough to let us leave the luggage before we can start exploring the city.
The first place on our list was Parc Guell– one of Antoni Gaudi’s finest work. It is the UNESCO World Heritage Site which attributes lush gardens and unconventional buildings with fanciful details. We had bought tickets well in advance(recommended), so we could enter from any of the three entrances. We choose the hill side entrance which turned out to be so scenic and the best part was that you only have to walk downhill.
Before we go ahead let me tell you that we were not aware about the world’s most famous architect – Antoni Gaudi or any of his works until we visited the Parc Guell.
So going ahead we quickly hustled our way through the other tourists to the entrance passing through this beautiful viaduct (bridge).
Once inside the park came across another one.
We were literally mesmerised by the absolute beautiful and intelligent architecture of the park and the fact that all this was constructed using the stones taken from the site itself.
The slanting column path was so much fun for my daughter.
We had a lovely memory of playing hide and seek around these stone columns. My daughter absolutely loved it.
As we continued to explore the park we reached the main entrance which had this grand staircase also refered to as Dragon staircase. This part of park is the most famous for the tile mosaic of the Salamander or should I say the dragon.
Even my 3 year old daughter was enjoying all the beauty around. She just enjoyed running every where as she had so much of her own to explore.
The main entrance also had two pavilions a warehouse and a shelter which my little princess fondly referred to as a Castle.
The warehouse serves as the ticket office and souvenir shop and the shelter you can visit to get glimpse of the interiors.
Further upstairs was the large open area known as Greek Theater (improvement works were going on there) from where you can get the stunning view of the city.
After visiting the quirkly designed park we wanted to know more about Gaudi and his work which got us even more excited to visit the next attraction we have booked – Casa Batlló. So we took a bus which took us straight to Passeig de Gràcia, the shopping street of Barcelona. It has been just been about 10 minutes when we got off the bus and there was mass protest on the street blocking the whole traffic.
Even though it was a riot like situation with police helicopters monitoring the situation and police car blocking the streets but was safe as long as you stay away from the crowd.
So after a cup of coffee and hot chocolate at one of the cafe nearby we head to Casa Batlló.
The guide was available for kids as well which was very educational as well as helpful to keep them busy. My daughter find it so fascinating.
The virtual and augmented experience was absolutely magical. It gave us a peek into the fantasy world created by Gaudi. From the mushroom shaped fireplace to dragon back chimneys such creative imagination left us astonished.
After the tiring well spent day we head back to our apartment where we had our dinner.
Your visit to Barcelona is incomplete without visiting the most precious work of Gaudi – The Sagrada Familia, a large Roman Catholic church. It was only about 15 minutes walk away from our apartment. We have booked the morning slot well in advance(highly recommended). As we were getting late had a quick breakfast & rushed ourselves to reach the iconic church in time for our choosen time slot. (Tip – Morning slots are always best for the most popular attractions as they are less crowded around that time.)
As we stepped inside the church, we were awestruck by the genius architecture of Gaudi. From the colours of the glass windows designed keeping in mind the sunrise and sunset, the different stones used to make the four main towers with branches that support the tallest tower of the church to the beautiful spiral staircase leading to the top of tower, the feeling to be there can’t be descibed in words.
He is rightly referred to as ‘God’s Architect‘.
I was filled with amazement and was literally lost admiring the beautiful architecture.
If mummy was awestruck so was the daughter.
So far the experience was truly a feast for the eyes and now it was time to treat our tummy with spanish delicacies. Our host recommended a restaurant – Kserol near our apartment. My husband ordered the very traditional spanish omelette which I was a bit reluctant to have but after trying it I could say that was the best omelette I ever had.
It was getting warmer in the afternoon, the sun was shinning bright. We thought to ourselves it would be perfect to visit the beach then. We decided to take bus to Arc de Triomf – the triumphal arc in Barcelona and then stroll to the beach through Parc de la Ciutadella – an absolute gorgeous park which has alot to offer for kids as well as adults.
Our daughter had a lot of fun here- popping the huge bubbles, playing in the playground and ofcourse exploring the park. As I said earlier park has a lot to offer -the major attractions include a zoo, Art museum and the Catalan Parliament.
After playing for hours my little angel was so exhausted and by the time we reached the beach…….yes that’s right…..she was asleep.
We were tired so the peaceful and calm view at the beach was perfect to recharge ourselves. The sound of waves crashing on the shore was the most relaxing sound. We had our little picnic with some crisps and cold drink.
After resting at the beach we were feeling rejuvenated enough to visit the next attraction on mind – The Magic Fountain in Montjuic area of Barcelona which is known for its spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics. Montjuic is also known for the National Museum of Catalan Art.
Our daughter was up by the time we reached there. We were very excited, the weather had been beautiful so far. As we reached there realised there was no show on the day. We were a bit disappointed but I suppose God had his own plans to surprise us….keep reading.
It started to get cloudy and in no time it was drizzling. So we decided to head up towards the National Museum of Catalan Art which was right behind the fountain and the spectacular view from up there was totally worth the visit.
The pictures below perfectly describe what happened next……God’s own fountain……RAIN.
As it started raining heavily we took shelter in the only corner with a large shed with other tourists. It doesn’t seem that it was going to stop any sooner. We thought we will be stuck for long but our little munchkin was having fun which reminded us of our childhood days when we used to soak ourselves in the first rain of the season. I believe this was so MAGICAL.
So we did experienced the Magical Fountain.
After waiting for about half an hour the rain finally stopped and after an interesting day we decided to go back to our apartment.
The next day was the day we were the most excited about – beginning of the road trip (about which you can read in my previous blog).
You have more to add or share about Barcelona, don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments section below.
Till then keep exploring places, enjoying moments and making memories