Thanks to the beautiful Brunella, our last day in Barcelona was amazing! After waking early and successfully navigating the Metro, we met up with Brunella who took us on a walking tour through a few parts of Barcelona. The pram now worth every penny, of course! It was early for Europeans (9.30 am) so it was also nice watching the city come to life as the day went on.
Brunella was fantastic and very mindful of Hardy, twice stopping or detouring to incorporate a playground or something she thought Hardy might like. Like churros! After the third one, he said to me ‘I don’t like it.’ I wonder at which point he decided that? The first, the second or the third? Haha. I also grabbed a coffee – Aaron you’ll be happy to know I am living quite well without my vanilla lattes and have definitely come around to a good cappucino!
Because we were with a local, she took us to some local haunts including this incredible food market just off La Rambla. The seafood section had Hardy in awe, with some of the crabs still moving.
We wandered through the Gothic Quarter, the oldest part of town which is where Gaudi lived for a long period of his life. We even visited a tiny square where he used to come and pray daily. It was beautiful and quiet. Unfortunately much of it was destroyed in air raids in one of the many wars between Catalonia and Spain. You can see their fight for independence from Spain everywhere – flags and pictures of yellow ribbons or actual yellow ribbons hanging from balconies and the like. It’s spray-painted everywhere too.
One of my favourite neighbourhoods was El Born, which she described as a bit of a hipster haunt (but also where she lived!). Brunella is part Argentinian and Italian but lives in Barcelona. She also spends several months of the year living in Sydney! El Born was super cool with lots of little alleyways and shops and eateries. I loved it.
After admiring the Arc, we then ventured into the main parkland of Barcelona – Jardins de Fonstere i Mestre (except for Park Guell but that is up in the hills) and Hardy spent a good 20-30 minutes chasing bubbles! They were so cool – the artists had different configurations of rope to make different shapes.
The park also has a spectacular fountain which I remembered from my last visit to Barcelona (this trip is remarkably different as I’m sure you can imagine!).
After another playground visit it was time to bid farewell to Brunella who I cannot praise enough. The best tour guide we’ve had by far. We wandered back through El Born (yes I bought some things! The dress was speaking to me, I had to have it!) We then again successfully navigated the Metro back to our hotel where I took the opportunity to use the free laundry facilities, not really giving much consideration to the fact we leave tomorrow and things could still be wet! So far, the drying process seems on track.
We spent another afternoon at the beach, Hardy was like a little teabag bobbing up and down over the waves. He was getting lots of compliments from local families for his “swimming” abilities, even though his feet never really left the ground haha.
I forgot how liberal the Spaniards are, so when I saw one topless woman I was like wow ok, and then I saw sahhhh many titties and my memory was jogged. Even middle aged and downright old titties. Can you imagine how freeing it must feel? Especially to swim half naked. Goddamn. Luckily Hardy didn’t notice or ask me why because I would have bored the pants off him with some politically-driven response about female oppression!
When we grabbed a snack from the eatery nearby a lady was complaining to the waiter about a sting on her back. She had these big red marks on her back like big mozzie bites. God knows how any life form has survived in the dirty water, but ever the girl scout / organised parent I presented her with a tube of Stingoes! Despite a language barrier she seemed to accept a stranger putting strange cream on her skin. Must have been desperate!
There’s a lot of Barcelona we didn’t get to see in the end and here was me thinking 3 nights was too long! It really is a diverse and interesting place and there’s so much to see and do. It is actually in my opinion a great family holiday destination because of that, so long as the political climate is stable of course! Which is impossible to predict. I think we were lucky with it being summer and many people are away / on vacation. Either way this holiday isn’t about ticking every box or covering as much ground as possible. We are keeping it very laid back and easy, and so far it has been exactly that which is terrific.
We fly out to Bari tomorrow afternoon with a private transfer to take us down to Monopoli. Can’t wait to be back in Italy! UPDATE: I forgot we had an extra night in Barcelona! So we didn’t fly out today. Yes I was packed and ready for the airport!