Thursday, May 1, 2014

Barcelona, Spain

Our last port city was Barcelona, Spain.  We were so bummed because we didn't realize until the night before that we were only going to have a few hours there.  We got in around 9:30, and had to be back to the shuttle bus by 1 pm.  :(  So we got off the boat as fast as we could that morning, took a shuttle bus for about 5 minutes to a closer location, and started booking it around the city!  We had a couple of places that we wanted to see, mainly, the Sagrada Familia.  Gaudi's masterpiece, the Basilica Sagrada Familia, has been under construction since 1852.  Gaudi died in 1926, with under a 1/4 of the construction finished.  They have been working on it off and on since then.   The Basilica is so unique, and is a mixture of Gothic architecture and art.  Gaudi wanted it to incorporate 'nature' in the art.  But before we got to the Basilica, we visited a smaller cathedral in the center of the city and did a little bit of shopping.  We realized that we were super short on time.  Thought about taking a taxi to the Basilica, but couldn't find one that would take 5 people.  So we just walked--fast.  It was a 25-30 min walk.  When we got there around noon, there were TONS of people and super long lines to get in.  There was no way we had time for an inside tour, so we just enjoyed the views from the outside and let the kids play on a nearby playground for a bit.  We were then able to find a taxi van to take us back to the port, since there was no time for us to walk back.  The kids thought it was super fun to ride in a taxi, lol.  Our wallet didn't think it was that fun ;)...especially after we had already paid for the roundtrip shuttle bus, and then didn't even get to take the shuttle back.  Anyway, Barcelona was an amazing city.  We really liked it, and wished we had more time to explore.  I think we may try to go back sometime and spend more time there.  We also noticed that people in Spain (and Portugal) were much more kid-friendly than in Germany or France.  Also, as we were walking frantically through the city, Nathan ran into a bakery to grab some snacks (it was so awesome having Nate around to speak Spanish!  Nice to have a break from being the German speaker, too)...the pastries he got at that bakery were HUGE!  And CHEAP!!!  Best ones we've had yet.  
Shuttle makes me laugh that buses, taxis, and other forms of transportation are the kids' favorite parts about these trips...actually, when we asked them at the end of the cruise what their favorite parts were, Violet said "riding in the elevators on the cruise boat"
Just starting off...

Violet and her facial expressions!  This girl seriously cracks me up!
Nathan liked this statue.  He NEVER takes pictures of things that we see unless someone in the family is in the picture (hence the absurd amount of selfies...).  Apparently this statue was worth a picture of itself. :)
This is the front side of the Basilica (or was it the back? idea, actually)

And this is the other side...

As cool as these structures are...nothing beats that look on Isla Bea's face <3 p="">

Statue of Christopher Columbus.  I thought a lot about those early explorers on our trip.  As I stared out into the vast expanse of ocean, I just couldn't imagine the courage and faith they must have had to just go out there!  Especially without all of the modern conveniences and technologies that we have.  They were definitely inspired.

The first cathedral we saw had a beautiful courtyard inside.  I haven't seen anything like that in any other cathedral.  It was actually really pretty and peaceful..not just dark and gloomy like most of them are.  The kids loved watching those geese waddle around.
A lady offered to take our picture.  We stood there for a couple minutes and she was all confused, saying it wasn't working.  We looked later and she had taken 17 of them, lol.

Violet looks pretty excited about her pastry.  But seriously, look at the size of that chocolate filled croissant type thing in sawyer's hand!  And they were soooo good.  
Nathan speaking Spanish with the cab driver in the front seat.  Love my Spanish speaking hubby...he's just so cute.
They thought they were pretty cool sitting in that cab.  Violet got to sit on a little pull out booster seat.  I thought that was pretty neat.  I want one of those in my van!

Back on the boat!  Goodbye Barcelona!

1 comment:

The Thelins said...

This whole trip looks awesome. And you and Nathan are such good parents for choosing to take your kids around all the ports (besides scary Morocco), instead of just leaving them with the kids club. Really! Even though they might not have appreciated everything at that moment, they will look back at the pictures and be amazed