Barcelona!! What a fantastic spring break choice. We enjoyed a beautiful week in Catalonia’s capital city and we were blessed with perfect spring weather. Grandpa and Grandma Marini joined in on the fun, which made it even better. We had heard that the best way to see Barcelona was via bike, so off we went to explore this beauty of a city. Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces abound in Barcelona, and we were lucky enough to see Park Guell, Casa Batllo, La Padrera, and the Cascada Fountain in the Park de la Ciudada.
The next day, it was off to marvel at La Sagrada Familia. This is Gaudi’s most famous work. This Roman Catholic church has been in construction since 1892, and it’s not expected to be finished until 2030. The church’s facades depict the relationship between man, nature, and religion through its architecture and sculptures. We climbed one of its towers and were rewarded with a gorgeous view over Barcelona.
We had heard about all of the beautiful shoes you can find while shopping in Barcelona, and we were not disappointed. Sophie and I even had some shoes made for us!
Barceloneta Beach was beautiful! While the water was not quite warm enough for a swim for us (although there were people swimming), the beautiful spring day was perfect to sit on the beach, drink some sangria and people watch.
We also visited the Mercat de la Boqueria, the famous market on La Rambla. The current building was built over a long period, from 1840 to 1914. Tourists abound here, but it is also a place where locals come to shop. In fact, many of Barcelona’s top restaurants get their ingredients here. It is an almost overwhelming experience for the senses…the sounds, the smells, the colors. Market stalls spill over with fruit, candies, vegetables, along with cheeses, sausages, fish and meats. Some of the meats are quite hard to look at, with horse’s heads and unidentifiable sea creatures seeming to stare at you as you walk by. I believe this is the site of my husband’s first taste of what has become his most favorite food ever: Iberico ham. Luckily, we’ve found a market here in Schaffhausen that sells it (for only about a million francs)! I grew fond of pan con tomate, which is, quite simply, bread with tomatoes, but no one does this better than the Spanish. Oh, and the hot chocolate is pretty much like hot pudding in a mug. Yum…
When we decided to take the expat plunge and move abroad, everyone got to pick a top place that they wanted to visit. Vincent’s pick was Barcelona. He wanted to go to Camp Nou. So, by far, Vin’s favorite part of the trip was going to an FC Barcelona game at Camp Nou. We were able to witness Leo Messi’s 500th career goal right in front of us. And yes, the stadium went wild. How lucky is my boy? I want to remember that day forever. Pure bliss all over my child’s face.
I think we’d love to go back to Barcelona. There’s still so much to see, learn and do. Maybe next time we’ll get out and explore Catalonia more. Until then, adios, Barcelona! Gracias!