Tag Archives: Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona España

I almost forgot to create a weekly post from my trip to Spain this week!  Here’s a photo tour of Sagrada Familia.  We were anxious to see the progress in the six years since our last visit and we were pleasantly surprised!  The last time there was scaffolding and machinery on the inside and this time the inside is nearly complete.  What a difference! Come have a look see and enjoy!!  Such a beautiful place and a must for any visitor to Barcelona.

First, some stained glass:

Next some of the interior of the church:

Some from the exterior:

One last set of photos, one from 2010 and the other from 2016. We decided to recreate the photo we took 6 years ago to compare.  What do you think?


Filed under Barcelona, Spain, Travel

so…….I’m going back to Spain

We are planning to take a two week trip to Spain during spring break next year.  EEK! It’s NEXT year already!! Wow, how the time it does fly.  And I thought I’d create a blog post just for it.  It’s good to have a rough agenda of at least where you’ll be and to have hotels booked.  We will be staying in only three cities this time, Barcelona, Madrid and Málaga, which will allow us a few day trips. This differs from our last two week adventure 5 years ago when we stayed in too many cities.  Oh, it was a fabulous trip, but it was a bit too much travelling between cities.

We know the hotels we’d like to stay at in Madrid and Málaga but we haven’t yet chosen our hotel for Barcelona.  Perhaps there are other travelers out there that could give a recommendation?  Either way, here are two that really interest me.  We need a hotel that is close to a metro, not on the Ramblas but a short walk to it would be great. It should be able to accommodate three people.  Both of these hotels meet those criteria.

First is Villa Emilia.  It’s #23 out of 516 hotels in Barcelona and it gets rave reviews on TripAdvisor.  Here is the hotel’s website.

Next is Condes de Barcelona which is #96 out of 516 hotels, also gets rave reviews on TripAdvisor.  Hotel Condes de Barcelona’s website.

We will take a flight from Minneapolis and fly through Amsterdam both directions.  After our Paris fiasco, we are hesitant to ever fly through Charles De Gaulle again. One day I might write a blog post about it.   But I digress.

We’ll get to Barcelona on a Saturday and I’m really hoping we don’t miss the sardana at the catedral on Sunday at noon.  Or perhaps we should take a flight out on Thursday so that in case we have jet lag we won’t sleep through the sardana like we did 5 years ago. That’s a possibility.

Here is our rough itinerary as it is right now.

Day 1 (F) – fly to Amsterdam

Day 2 (Sa) –  arrive in Barcelona

Day 3 (Su) – Barcelona- try to see the Sardana at noon in front of the catedral; Picasso museum in the afternoon. (Check website for the Picasso museum to see if it’s still free on Sundays and adjust accordingly)

Day 4 (M) – Barcelona-Gaudi day? (Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Batlo, La Pedrera)

Day 5 (Tu) – Barcelona- do leftover Gaudi stuff we didn’t get to yesterday because, really, that’s a lot! We’d also like to reserve at least one restaurant for a fabulous meal.  I have a few places bookmarked but nothing picked out as of yet.  Any recommendations?

Day 6 (W) – to Madrid

Day 7 (Th) – Madrid – day trip to Segovia(weekly flea market on Th from 8 to 3); make reservations at Meson de Candido? (open 1-4:30) or Restaurante Jose Maria? (TA reviewer said lamb is great)

Day 8 (F) – Madrid

Day 9 (Sa) – Madrid – day trip to Toledo (meet ladyofthecakes!! I hope)

Day 10 (Su) – Madrid – Rastro, Retiro, Reina Sofia is free from 1:30 to 7:00 (El Brillante afterwards)

Day 11 (M) – Madrid

Day 12(Tu) – to Málaga (take early to mid afternoon train)

Day 13 (W) – Málaga

Day 14 (Th) – Málaga – day trip to Cordoba

Day 15 (F) – Málaga

Day 16 (Sa) – Málaga

Day 17 (Su) – fly home

There are some things that I want to get done ahead of time.  Plane tickets are obvious, but I also want to book hotels and purchase train tickets.  There is a post on TipAdvisor that describes how to purchase Renfe train tickets online.  It’s very helpful and I’ll be perusing it once again towards the end of this year to freshen up on how it works. There are updates all the time to this post and it’s a great tool. One other thing I need to make reservations for are some restaurants where we’d like to dine.  One for sure is Posada de la Villa, which is a favorite of ours.  As you can see above, I would also like to reserve a spot at a restaurant in Segovia.

So many little things go into planning a trip.  I will be refining this as it gets closer to our departure and this is what I’ve got today just 13.5 months prior to departure.  But who’s counting?? Ha ha.  I’d love any comments and suggestions for any piece of this trip.  Thanks so much!! I’m going to close with some photos of the places we’ll be visiting next year.  NEXT year!!!  Yay!

La mezquita, Córdoba:

La mezquita, Córdoba, Spain

It will be fun to see the progress of Sagrada Familia, Barcelona:

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

One of my favorite cities in the world and this is a treasured spot – Plaza Mayor – Madrid:

Plaza Mayor - Madrid

One of my other favorite cities in the world, Toledo:

And, one last one.  Teatro Romano, Málaga:


Filed under Spain, Travel

Ah Barcelona, we barely knew ye

Barcelona was the starting point of our family trip to Spain the last two weeks of May 2010.  We had an overnight flight from Minneapolis to Amsterdam and a couple of hours later we got on a flight to Barcelona.  So exciting to be back in Europe again!! It was my husband’s and then 10 year old daughter’s first experience in Europe.  We had a blast travelling all over Spain.  I wish we had spent more time in this lovely city on the Mediterranean.  When I lived in Madrid as a student, I never did visit Barcelona. I passed through the train station on my way to Italy but never got to see Barcelona.  So, it was a good starting point for our two week adventure.

I did alot of research and planning for this trip, along with brushing up on my Spanish which I barely used at all over the 30 years since I was in Spain last. I am happy to report that the language skills brush-up worked out really well! In fact, I guess it worked so well that people there thought I was Spanish. So many of them asked me directions or asked me to take their picture and the lady in the Granada train station asking me where the end of the line was, all in Spanish. The funniest exchange was on our last night in Spain. We were admiring a human statue when a tourist approached me to ask me something. He began in English but stopped abruptly and said to me “do you speak English?” He was American and he too thought I was Spanish!  He also said that I looked as if I could go either way. That was so much fun.  And the planning part of the trip, that didn’t go as well. Read on for one example.

I had planned it so that we would be able to see the sardana danced in front of the cathedral at noon the next day, our first full day in Barcelona.  We got in late afternoon on a Saturday, in time to get a good night’s sleep and get to the cathedral by noon.  Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men. What happened was that we apparently had to catch up on our sleep because we all slept through the alarm and awoke at 1 p.m. the following day, completely missing the sardana!  Fer crying out loud!!  So, next time perhaps eh?  Below are some of the highlights of our entirely too short two and a half days in this charming city full of history, art, architecture and more.  Do visit Barcelona if you get a chance!!


Filed under Barcelona, Spain