With the weather what it is in the spring in Warsaw, I am thinking back to our weekend trip to Barcelona in October. (Yesterday, we had rain – then sun – then hail – then sun – then rain that turned to wet snow, and it is still raining a today by the way.)
Our timing was really perfect for the trip. Temperatures had dipped to below freezing in Warsaw for the first time that Fall while we ran barefoot on the beach.
I had been to Barcelona a few times before so we didn’t have to rush around seeing the sights with Miss H in tow. Instead we took it easy and let Miss H run around. We went to a few parks and the beach twice. We ate nice food and drank wine, and enjoyed the terrace and view from our airbnb apartment.
It was the first time we used airbnb. We will be using it more on our travels in the future for sure. It was more affordable than a double hotel room with the amenities of an apartment – full kitchen, living room and an extra bedroom.
Our trip started they way it should when you land in Barcelona on a nice warm weekend in late October. We had tapas while we waited for the landlord then dropped off our bags, stocked up the refrigerator and…hit the beach!
The next day we checked out Parc de la Ciutadella. It was designed on the site of the former military citadel under the slogan “Gardens in a city are as lungs to the human body” for Barcelona’s world fair in 1888. It was very green with several fun playgrounds and some history to see. The zoo is there as well, but we had enough to do exploring the park.
This fountain was designed by Josep Fontseré in 1881 with Antoni Gaudi as his assistant. The inspiration was the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Another building in the park. Sorry to not remember what it was. If someone can remind me, please do!
Mr. F had a conference call about the time we found the bubble man. That worked out well for us. Miss H chased and popped bubbles for nearly an hour until she was soaking wet.
This building is the home of the Catalan parliament. It was originally built for the citadel’s arsenal and dates back to the 18th century.
You can’t go to Barcelona without seeing the unusual work of architect, Antoni Gaudi. He belonged to the modernisme (or Catalan art nouveau) movement and was also influenced by the gothic revival movement and both oriental and islamic art. He had a style all of his own though, and it is hard to miss his work throughout the city.
Casa Batlló is a Gaudi house — a 1904 restoration of a conventional house built in 1877. It was highly criticized during construction but won a prize by the Barcelona City Council in 1907. The building has a wavy front, balconies shaped like skull masks and beautiful stained glass. The inside is supposed to be pretty fantastical too but with a five-year-old and the long lines this was not the trip to see it. Another time. Here is a nice to link to a short description other Gaudi works to see while in Barcelona.
We did decide to do one touristy thing — go to Park Guell. We made it there on the second try. On the first we got a late start and due to small legs in the group,we got there around 11. We should have known better: it was a two-hour wait for tickets by that time.
So finally on the second day, we saw the park. Every visit of mine to Barcelona includes this park. We took the entrance that has an escalator up the street. It is still a hike to get up there but was an entertaining route for Miss H.
The park has amazing views of the city and all the way out to the sea. The park gets its name from the entrepreneur, Guell that commissioned Gaudi to design it.
We saw this guy on our climb up the hill to the park. He was singing the blues.
After our hard work to get there and a quick exploration and run, Miss H was ready to leave Park Guell. I thought she would be fascinated by all the bright colors and great house shapes but her head was back at the beach.
And why not? It was freezing in Warsaw and she could take off her shoes and run in the water with the sun on her back!
So back to the beach we went– our last stop on our trip. Miss H ran for almost an hour before clothes were all wet and she and mom were covered in sand. The second trip to the beach was unplanned so we were without a towel and a change of clothes.
We retreated back to the comfort of the apartment to watch the sunset and relax in dry clothes with a bottle of wine and a snack for the kiddo before Mr. F ran out for a late dinner takeout. Another week and we would have been on Barcelona time for sure!
We had some adjusting to do back in the Warsaw fall weather. No more 8 pm dinners and certainly no sandals.
Until next time Barcelona!