BARCELONA

It’s no surprise why Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the world and only trails London, Paris and Istanbul for European destinations.  Plenty to see and do – if you are centrally located you can walk to just about everything.  We’ve had warm mediterranean days, perfect for wandering narrow streets and twice daily gelato stops.

Of course our first stop was the local zoo.  B’s favorites included the anteater, giant tortoise and dragon.  It was a komodo – but to him it was just a dragon.

We didn’t hang our child over the crocodile enclosure – the presence of this sign tells me someone must have.

We are staying in the El Born neighborhood adjacent to the Gothic Quarter, but with 1/10th of the tourists.  The car-less, narrow streets and alleys are relatively quiet during the day, perfect for letting B check things out at his own speed.  It’s filled with small shops, cafe’s and tapas bars all surrounding the local church – Santa Maria del Mar.  Later in the evening the locals come out for dinner and drinks and the narrow streets become lively.

View from our balcony.

La Sagrada Familia.  Along with the Gothic Quarter, way too many tourists for us to enjoy beyond a few quick photos.  Construction started in 1882 and could be completed in 2026.

Arc de Triomf

We did manage to get free passes to the Picasso Museum which holds over 4,000 pieces of Pablo’s work.  B got to watch Zootopia on his kindle while we wandered around.  No pictures allowed.

It always amazes me how adaptable young kids are – more so than most adults.  B has had no problem adjusting to our daily routine here as long as he gets his gelato and some time to run around.  He’s had seafood paella, croquettes and prosciutto wrapped cheese.  I think most kids will eat what’s in front of them if their hungry.

Jamon Iberico – black Iberian ham.  Apparently, these special pigs feed naturally on acorns, grass, herbs and roots.

Tomorrow we leave for Mallorca.  Fingers crossed that the airport workers don’t decide to strike.  That’s been on and off recently along with rallies and protests around the upcoming Catalonia independence referendum.  We’ve had to change our route a few times seeing the heavy police presence and crowds of locals with Catalonia and “Si” flags, hoping for a yes vote.

Camp Nou, if I’m ever back I’ll make sure to plan the trip around a FC Barcelona game.