We’ve found our Rick Steve’s Spain travel guide to be incredibly helpful, and his self-guided walking tours are the perfect way to get a know a new city. Not only is it a quick way to see the highlights and learn a bit of the history, but it also just seems to be a good fit for our family. I get to see the city, the girls get to ride in the stroller, and Chris can stop and buy all the tasty treats he sees as we walk around. We started at the Block of Discord, named for several famous art nouveau buildings all on the same city block. We enjoyed the buildings and snapped some pictures, then realized our walking tour actually began about three blocks away. So off we went.
The Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona is a well thought out and pre-planned addition to Barcelona. All the streets are straight and each block is a square. The center of each city block was meant to be reserved for a park or green space for the residents of the apartment buildings. Over time, those spaces often got turned into parking or other non-green uses. But this cute little block has a courtyard with a water tower and a space that turns into a mini swimming pool and beach for the residents to use.
We made a quick stop at The Church of the Holy Conception. I was surprised to learn that this church was at one point moved, brick by brick, to this location in the 1870s. It always impresses me when I hear that a whole building or giant monument was moved to a new location. If someone had ever asked me if it was possible to move this huge church, my answer would be a resounding no. It seems too monumental of a task. It would be like taking your laptop or computer apart and then putting it back together and you have a couple screws leftover…. I think I would’ve had a few extra bricks leftover at the end. I would be scratching my head saying, “I wonder where these bricks go….”
[Imagine a picture of a delicious pastry here.] Somehow, we managed to forget to take a picture of these. It was probably because we gobbled them up in an instant. But imagine with me a pastry that looks like a donut hole, but is ooooh so super soft, moist, and ever so slightly chewier than a donut hole. We stumbled upon these little gems as we walked through a neighborhood market. We spotted them from a distance and were drawn to their beauty (let’s face it, any pastry shop catches our eye). But as soon as I walked up to the counter I said, “Those look delicious.” And they were. We ate the six we got all too quickly, so we had to go back for more.
Now, jump ahead to about four days later. Chris has some spare time while Lucy is napping and he is totally jonesing for some more donut holes. (See what I did there?) He took Charlotte and headed back to the market and buy some more of those little gems. When he returns to the apartment completely distraught. Firstly, the lady in front of him bought the last Nutella Croissant (that should be a crime). And secondly, and most depressingly, they didn’t have any of those tasty doughnut holes. “No problem,” he thought. “I can just come back tomorrow.” But upon further communication with the cruel Nutella Croissant thief in front who kindly acted as translator, they only make them once a yearfor the Barcelona celebrated holiday Whit Monday. How is this possible?? How can you only make something so delicious only once a year!? I have tried to figure out what those little pastries are and how they could possibly be associated with that holiday or why but I have found nothing. So, we will see you again this time next year, Barcelona…
In a city full of interesting, unique, and beautiful buildings we stumble upon this monstrosity. It sticks out like a sore thumb. I guess if it was placed in a different city it might not stand out so bad, but it is surrounded by very beautiful buildings that make this thing look like a dog vomited on a pile of bricks that assembled themselves into the ugliest brown box you could imagine.
My girls just love the birds. We walked to the nearby Park Guell to feed the birds and have a relaxing afternoon. Whenever Lucy sees a little bird she says, “bird!” But whenever she sees a pigeon she says, “Chicken!” I guess she is trying to say pigeon, which in all fairness does sound a lot like chicken. However, pigeons also look a fair bit like chickens, so I can understand the confusion. And, given her serious love for chicken wings, I can understand her excitement at seeing those adorable little birds. I keep correcting her, but she always seems more interested in the delicious bird in front of her than my lecture on the nuances of the English language. So, enjoy the pictures of chickens below!