As you know, my honey and I just recently returned from a Western Mediterranean Cruise in celebration of our anniversary. And what a fun anniversary it was! While we got the ball rolling in Rome, I thought I’d begin from the end with my tale from Barcelona (since I’ve already shared two Roman adventures with you). Have you guys been to Barthelona? If not, you must – you’ll see …
Since Barcelona was our last stop on the cruise, we booked a hotel for two nights which gave us two full days to explore the city. After leaving the ship and walking to the city center (it wasn’t too far but if we had to do it again, I’d be hailing myself a taxi), finding our hotel and dropping off our luggage, we were beyond faaaamished. We decided to head in the direction of Casa Battló and look for a brunch stop along the way – We ended up at Cachitos and enjoyed two variations of the Spanish omelette (my obsession with these began in Madrid) with fresh OJ. Yum, yum and yum.
If you’re not familiar, Casa Batlló was built between 1904 and 1905 by Gaudí and is considered a modernist icon. The house feels very sea-like with cavernous walls and ceilings, a staircase that ebbs and flows and mimics the spiny backbone of a sea creature. The lights are supposed to remind you of the back of a sea turtle. My favorite feature of the house was probably the main front windows. Does anyone remember the Casper movie with Christina Ricci? I was totally having a flashback. We were also able to explore the rooftop …
That night, we explored the Barri Gotic and went in the Cathedral – gorgeous – then shared some paella, patatas and Sangria along Las Ramblas:
The park was originally a project between Gaudí and Guell and meant to become a housing development. The idea failed and the city took over the property and turned it into a public park: Gaudí lived in the development and his house was meant to be the ‘model home’ for the community. For 5,50 euro, you can tour the inside of his home (shown below) which we did.
After the park, we walked over to tour La Sagrada Familia, another Gaudí project which is actually still under construction:
We ended our last day with gazpacho soup, grilled veggies and, of course, more Sangria.
Top Tips for Barcelona:
– Gaudí everything. His modernist vision seems to embody the essence of this city and you can’t really visit without seeing his work so I recommend doing a bit of research and choosing a few key Gaudí works to check out in depth. J&I visited Casa Batlló, Park Guell, Casa Mila and La Sagrada Familia – and those are listed in order of my favorites.
– Hotel Andante. We stayed here for two nights and I loved almost everything about it. The location was great for us – one street away from Las Ramblas and close to a metro stop. Also within walking distance to the cruise port. Very clean, spacious and welcoming. The hotel had a modern/minimalist vibe which felt fresh. The rooftop pool was amazing but early November proved a bit too chilly for us to take a dip. Shucks.
– If you’re a ballet flat fanatic, check out Kokua. Amazing selection.
– Shopping in BCN is fabulous. J&I were amazed how spacious the stores were and I loved how creative the shop windows and installations inside were.
Photography by Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride blog.