I’ll be really honest. The first time I visited Barcelona, which was last summer (I know, I know), I was a bit… underwhelmed. Compared to the raw emotion I felt in Rome or Berlin or Paris, for example, it just didn’t hold the same kind of appeal for me.
But on the final day of our Disney cruise we got the opportunity to spend another day there. And now I get it. I totally get it.
Harriet and I were with another mum on our trip with two under-fives, so our first challenge was to find something that would entertain two grown women (other than a jug of sangria, of course), a teenager and two small people.
We started off with a trip to Park Guell, which is where the amazing Antoni Gaudi made his home, and where you can see many of his fabulous sculptures and creations, his stunning mosaics and extraordinary eye for colour. It’s incredible to think that he planned it originally as somewhere for families to live – how awesome it would have been.
(Our favourite sculpture was the dragon).
Park Guell is absolutely stunning, with loads of places for kids to run around freely, plus lots of shade (the Barcelona sun can be fierce). And it also has the most incredible views of the city.
And of course we stopped (briefly) at the Sagrada Familia, which reminds me of The Two Towers from Lord of the Rings. I do hope it’s finished one day.
Then we decided to hit Barceloneta beach, which is beautiful, although a bit of a nightmare with very small children and bags to watch. Plus it’s 6 euros for an umbrella, and 6 for a lounger…
…and so we ended up at a wonderful tapas bar, right on the seafront. It wasn’t cheap, but my goodness it was fabulous – the prawns and calamari were absolutely delicious, and the Champagne sangria contained fresh berries…
before enjoying a lovely walk along the boardwalk, where we saw the fabulous goldfish, or Peix as it’s known, by architecht Frank O Gehry.
So, it may have taken two visits, but I finally understand why people love Barcelona. And I have a bit of a crush now, actually.
Oh I loved it too. Desperate to go back and explore some more – we managed to see completely different places, which says a lot about how much there is to see and do x