Wednesday in Barcelona

Wednesday morning marked our 4th day spent in Barcelona. So far, we were having a fantastic time exploring, sightseeing, and trying new foods!

ry=400-6Our first stop was to revisit Escribá, the sweets shop, for breakfast. We had such a wonderful experience a couple days before, that we decided to go back for more! And it was only a couple minutes walk from our flat, so can you blame us?! Read about how much we loved it HERE.

 

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After breakfast we took the metro to Parc de la Ciutadella or, Citadel Park. You should definitely try to use the metro while you’re in Barcelona. It is super easy to figure out and trains come every couple of minutes, so you can get most places pretty quickly! We came here on our first day but we didn’t realize how close we were to the zoo. We entered the park from the Northwest corner and walked under the Arc de Triomf. It is huge and I highly recommend walking to the zoo this way! It’s a gorgeous walk anyway, you might as well add in the splendor of the Arc de Triomf.

We had a fun few hours at the zoo and it ended up being our 2 year old’s favorite portion of the whole trip! Read about our experience here.

ry=400-1After our exciting morning visiting zoo animals, we ended up a bit farther North to check out the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. But first we went to a nearby restaurant to fill our bellies. All this walking got us consuming a lot more food! We went to Tossa, recommended on trip advisor as a family friendly restaurant. I wouldn’t say that it was super family friendly necessarily (no high chairs) but the staff were kind enough! We enjoyed a tapas selection of little sausages in cider, patatas bravas, meatballs, and a baked potato with roquefort cheese. We also used our onya carrier as a high chair!

ry=400-2The Sagrada Familia Cathedral is one of those “must-see” sights when you visit Barcelona. Our boys don’t do particularly well in places where they’re expected to be silent and I was nervous about going inside and disturbing everyone. They’re joyous little noisemakers after all! When we got there, we found a queue out the door that would’ve taken a few hours to wait in. So, the decision was made for me: We’ll just admire it from the outside! This was the perfect choice. We gazed up high into the sky at the towering cathedral meanwhile enjoying all-fruit popsicles from a shop across the street. I’m sure the inside is gorgeous, but I also feel like we had a great experience walking around the entire thing and catching it from every angle.ry=400-5ry=400-3

On our way home, we passed through La Boquería market again. It’s just so fun to explore! This time we got more fruit and some fresh goat cheese for a snack later that night.ry=400-7

Again, we wouldn’t have been able to survive this day without our Onya baby carrier or our toddler Tula!

Check out all our posts about Barcelona!

Monday in Barcelona

After enjoying a night of rest, our first stop on Monday morning was La Boquería Market, just a five minute walk from our flat. 11011110_3509441653402_6463765469983615020_oThis place is HUGE and full of every type of food you could ever want! We enjoyed the fresh fruit juices and smoothies, dried fruit and nuts, freshly caught seafood of all kinds, meat vendors and butchers with every cut of meat (heads and everything!), eggs, breads, chocolates, artisan cheeses, and fresh fruit & vegetables.

10866189_3509442213416_7559007862306958661_oThere are even a few tapas bars inside that will serve you freshly cooked food at bar-type seating. They seemed busy but we didn’t try it with our boys. We enjoyed a cup of fresh coconut and bought a kilo of cherries for 3euro! Nowhere I’ve ever lived has had such affordable cherries, so we devoured these.11406535_3509442053412_1441439492679131623_o 11402269_3509441893408_6134677354243478795_o

After a fun time exploring the market and sampling some goodies, we decided to sit down for a “real” breakfast at a place called Escribá. Turns out, this place is also a sweets shop and it became our favorite breakfast place! I had a lovely café con leche, our 2 year old had peach juice, and my husband (the coffee hater) ordered raspberry hot chocolate. We were surprised when he was served a mug of melted chocolate! It was absolutely delicious and came unsweetened; that’s real chocolate folks! He was given a packet of sugar to mix in and he did end up stirring in a bit of it. This was so yummy, and the main reason we came back twice more during our stay. For food I ordered a spinach and goat cheese quiche and the boys shared ensaimadas, a traditional Spanish breakfast pastry which is like a croissant made with brioche bread… I’ll just say I’m pretty sure God serves these in heaven 😉

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Stomachs full, we headed back to our flat to change into our swimsuits. Supposedly, Barceloneta Beach was within walking distance and we decided to give it a go. The weather was perfectly sunny (upper 20sC, low 80sF) and the beach was gorgeous! It was quite touristy and very crowded, we had to walk down a ways to find a place for our towels and I didn’t see any locals there.11406476_3509444333469_8423814723627102902_o With my kiddos, I like to sit right where the waves wash up over your feet but this area was covered in rocks that were actually quite painful to walk on. The sand is up on the shore a bit, so the water and sand don’t meet each other. We enjoyed ourselves looking for sea glass but it wasn’t quite the beach we had expected. If you’re just looking for a spot to lie in the sun that is near the city, this would be a nice place to visit.  10012091_3509452773680_1486065642639570369_o

On our walk back toward the city, we found a cheap and delicious place for a to-go lunch, BuenasMigas. 10003600_3509528655577_3316680050219139758_oThis restaurant serves focaccia which is similar to pizza, but it is rectangular and doesn’t have sauce. You can choose a variety of toppings and get it to go, which was perfect for us at this moment.  Both of our boys had fallen asleep while we wore them in their carriers! Playing at the beach obviously wore them out! 11357160_3509453093688_8461033028813933378_oBuenasMigas also serves freshly pressed juices. We got apple & basil and it was delicious! My brie/bacon focaccia was a good choice and so was my husband’s, tomato and goat cheese. The total for our meal here was 14 euro, very affordable!

After a quiet and relaxing walk home past the marina (both boys slept on us the whole way), we changed our clothes again and headed out to Parc Guell to see some Gaudí architecture.

11357224_3509393452197_4185240165584354689_oThis was when we figured out how to use the Metro we’d heard so much about. Barcelona has great public transportation and there is even a metro app (Barcelona Metro Map for iPhone) which was really handy. From the metro stop, we climbed a very steep hill to arrive at Parc Guell. I was impressed with our efforts because we were both carrying the extra weight of our children! Once it got too steep to climb, they had installed escalators to finally get to the top.  11078162_3509468214066_5969360625862725302_oThis was a huge outdoor area where you can take various hikes/walks to see Gaudí architecture. Our 2 year old loved running around and exploring this place! There were gorgeous views from the top and I’m so glad we came in the late afternoon when the sun had a bit of cloud cover; the weather was perfect. After wandering around a bit, we ended up paying the entrance fee to see the most famous Gaudí pieces (most of the park is free except for these) such as “El Drac”. Hosea was on the search for the “big lizard” and was excited to finally find it! 11539070_3509470134114_3045482771265951311_o 11402654_3509474134214_5398298887293102313_o 11537451_3509472414171_66248143703519989_o

After our walk/escalator ride down the hill, and metro ride back to the city center, we finished off our day with more tapas and paella in the Plaça Reial. Our baby charmed the women at the table next to us and we were glad for them to keep him entertained during dinner! It was another beautiful day.

Stay tuned for Tuesday in Barcelona! You can read about our Sunday in Barcelona too.

Sunday in Barcelona

We just had the great blessing of being able to travel to Barcelona for the week. My husband, two young boys, and I had such a wonderful time exploring this fascinating city! I want to document our daily adventures here in hopes of remembering all the fun things we saw and recommending activities for other families traveling there with small children.

11537957_3509382971935_2495650037582778780_oOur flight landed in Barcelona around 10:30am so we had the whole day to explore! First we set off to locate our flat that we found on airbnb.com. It was in Las Ramblas area, a great location just a few minutes from La Boquería market and tons of restaurants. First things first, I have to mention that the BEST IDEA I EVER HAD was purchasing a toddler carrier so that my husband could wear our 2 year old. I wore our 8 month old and we were able to navigate the streets/metro/trains/buses with so much ease! I highly recommend using carriers over strollers or buggies if you have wee ones. The boys were able to observe their surroundings without feeling overwhelmed and “out there” in a foreign city, they napped on us and we were able to continue exploring during the day, and we weren’t ever worried about them running off!

After dropping off our bags, we had lunch at Ambos Mundos in Plaça Reial and our favorite was the seafood paella! The servers were very kind here and this was the only restaurant that offered us a highchair for our baby. Feeling rejuvenated, we set off for the Picasso Museum but, because it was after 3pm on a Sunday (and therefore FREE), the queue was super long and we didn’t feel like waiting. We decided to just walk and explore the side streets. We passed by several neat artisan pottery shops and gelato places (try the coffee flavor!). We ended up at the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella and rented a rowboat at the lake before enjoying a walk to admire the flowers. Our 2 year old loved the boat and even attempted to help us row.

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At dinner we visited a different place in Plaça Reial called Cañón. All of the seating is outside and so fun when street performers come around! We were treated to a group of guys doing capoeira, Brazilian martial arts. The boys loved this! We sampled various tapas and I fell in love with “buñuelos de bacalao”. It was a fried cod cake type thing and reminded me of a savory donut, yum!

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Stay tuned for my next post, Monday in Barcelona!