This is a trip that we had been planning and been excited to go on for months: a 10 day trip to Spain, beginning with Barcelona! What made this even better? We were going to be traveling, wining, and dining with Jon’s parents, Lori and Joe.
It would be a glorious 10 day trip, and we couldn’t wait to get started!
A Taste of Barcelona’s Art Scene
Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, located in the Catalonia region. This region is quite unique; it has its own language (Catalan), and some Catalonians consider themselves part of a different country. We were excited to explore this cosmopolitan city.
Barcelona is packed with amazing architecture, history, and food. To start the day, we walked from our hotel, down car-free streets, to a beautiful cathedral and had a look inside.
We then made our way to Guell Palace, which was designed by legendary architect Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi’s work is all over the city and is very distinctive, unique, and FUN! It’s as if you’ve stepped into a Dr. Seuss storybook, with twisted iron sculptures and curved stones adorned with colorful mosaic tiles. His art is visually stimulating and exciting to look at.
Before dinner, we went to the Picasso Museum, which was located on a narrow street. The collection was really fascinating and it seemed to focus on a lot of his earlier work (before cubism). But, we also saw many more well known pieces from later in his life.
All About Gaudi
Our next day in Barcelona was all about Gaudi. First, we trekked uphill to Park Guell. Park Guell includes many structures designed by Gaudi, including a plaza and three kilometers of paths, walkways, and steps. If you love strolling and you love beautiful architecture and design, this is the perfect combination for you!
Then, we walked to La Sagrada Familia, which is one of Gaudi’s most famous works in Barcelona. Unfortunately, the snakelike, Disney World line that wrapped around the basilica prevented us from going inside, but the outside was quite impressive!
La Sagrada Familia is a huge basilica that has been under construction since 1882. It’s still not finished because Gaudi didn’t leave complete plans for it after his death. In some ways, its incomplete state isn’t surprising, as it’s a very complicated structure. Still, those who continue to work on it were hoping to complete it in 2026, on the anniversary of Gaudi’s death. But some estimate that it won’t be complete for another 30-60 years!
Our next stop was La Pedrera (Casa Mila), which is a very unusual apartment building designed by Gaudi. It was built between 1906-1912, originally for the Mila family. This is a fascinating place to visit! It combines architectural innovation with ornamental design.
Finally, we visited Casa Batllo. By this point, we were so tired that we didn’t go inside. But, we enjoyed observing the fun designs on the facade of the building. You could probably spend hours studying the intricate and playful designs. I’m sure that inside would be even more impressive!
Wrapping up Barcelona
Dining in Barcelona was spectacular! Each meal was better than the next, filled with paella, a variety of tapas, and wine. You can’t beat finishing your day this way!
Barcelona was the perfect way to begin our 10 day trip to Spain. We definitely plan to come back, but the remainder of the trip brought new exciting adventures, too!
Next stop … Bilbao & San Sebastian!
More fun photos…