Friday, July 25, 2014

Europe Trip: Barcelona

After a quick flight south, we arrived in Barcelona on Sunday night.

Ty was, once again, amazing on the flight.  Fortunately, we had an empty seat in between us so he just hung out laughing in between cat naps.

Once we landed, we found our way to the metro and a couple of train rides later we were on La Rambla, one of the main streets in central Barcelona.  Our hotel was right off La Rambla, so we dropped off our things and walked around for a bit before finding somewhere to grab a late dinner.

The city was so clean and there were people everywhere, I couldn't wait to see it during the day.  Where our hotel was seemed like it was in this dark back alley, when really it was a main road of stores with roll down doors that was really busy during the day.  There were no cars allowed in this whole shopping area except for the trash trucks and street cleaners.  The next morning, Brie met us at our hotel and we walked over to La Boqueria to get some breakfast. 

I can't even describe this place.  It was row after row of stalls filled with any and every different kind of food you can imagine.

It was pretty overwhelming.  All those choices and we ended up with fresh squeezed juice and pastries.  We walked over to a square near the market to eat.

We spent the rest of Monday walking.  And walking.  And walking.  We stopped for coffee, went to a restaurant on the beach, shopped, people watched, explored the city, ate and ate.

Ty was his usual trooper self and just went with the flow.  Tuesday was the Festival of San Joan in Barcelona, which is similar to Fourth of July here.  The fireworks and celebrations started Monday night and the city was basically shut down on Tuesday.  We decided to take a train up to Monserrat, which is a monk monastery up in the mountains.  After about an hour long train ride, we boarded a gondola for a 5 minute ride up the mountain.

It started sprinkling right when we got up there.  We should have checked the weather!  We sat in the lobby and fed Ty to see if the rain would let up.  There was small break in the rain, finally, so we made our way up to the church.

It was so beautiful.  And old.  I can't get over how old everything is.

We were going to go out and check out the views and then this happened…

We should have checked the weather.  Rain like I have never seen before.  We stood in this courtyard for a bit and the temperature dropped like crazy.  There were people coming out of this door we were standing near so we decided to go in there.  We sat down on the floor to wait it out a bit.  And then the power went out.  And then the water started coming in onto the floor.  So we moved to higher ground, up the stairs a bit.  In a pitch black hallway.  With a baby.

It finally slowed down enough that we could make a run for it down the hill to the little restaurant where we camped out for a while and watched more rain…thankfully Ty slept through all of it.

Eventually we were able to walk back up, as bundled up as we could get, and see the views from the top of the mountain, which were incredible.

Getting down the mountain proved to be a bit of a challenge.  Since there was still power, we couldn't take the gondola so we had to take the train down with everyone else that was visiting that day too.  We decided to get off early by the Olympic park and eat some tapas.  There was former stadium, turned mall, with a viewing area that you could see all of the Olympic park and the beautiful art museum.

We finally, finally, finally made it back to our hotel after an unintentionally really long day.

Wednesday, our last day, we spent the morning doing some shopping and visiting the Barcelona Cathedral with plans to visit La Sagrada Familia that afternoon.  My mom kept telling us that it was the most incredible thing she had ever seen in her life and that it was indescribable.  Truth.  It is just crazy to think that is has been under construction for over 130 years and will be completed in our lifetime.  It was so massive and so detailed.  It was amazing.

Thursday morning, we were up really early to catch the train back to the airport.  It was a whirlwind of a trip and a long 22 hour trip home, but I am so glad we did it.  I am beyond thankful that Ty was so great during the whole trip, that Barry's parents, my parents & Becky took such wonderful care of Sawyer the whole week, and that we had a wonderful tour guide in Brie to show us around the city that she fell in love with!

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