Our adventures in Spain had just begun when Tuesday rolled around, sunny and warm. We had a slow morning before venturing out to see more of Barcelona. I should probably mention at this point that because I had failed to wear socks on Monday, and we walked something like 7 miles (about 11 km), I had some wicked blisters. Equipped with a different pair of shoes, and enough moleskin to cover a baby elephant, I limped along, happily using the pram for support when needed. We went passed the Gaudi museum, admiring the building, along with all the others along that street.
Little Man was getting fussy after sitting in the stroller for so long, so we found another playground on the way to lunch. They are seriously everywhere. He had so much fun! People walk their dogs on the path next to the playground, so LM got some kisses from a husky through the fence. Then, he showed everyone how not shy he is by stopping to point at a random guy walking by, babble something very decidedly, and make that man stop in his tracks. He looked confused until our little orator kept talking to him. The man chatted back for a minute, then waved and kept walking. It was hilarious!
For lunch, we had paella, something I’ve been dying to try. This restaurant also did not have high chairs, but we were able to pull the pram right up alongside the table and have Little Man eat there, not that he actually ate much. (He’d had a cold before we left home and still seemed to be recovering.) I had the seafood paella, Hubster ordered one with chicken and rabbit, and the in-laws tried to order the vegetarian paella, but it somehow came through as three orders of the chicken and rabbit. Luckily, they were able to easily eat around the meat and since there were a decent amount of veggies, they rather enjoyed it. My seafood paella had mussels, shrimp (with the head on, something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before), scallops, and an entire crayfish. I really wish I had taken a picture of it. It was a bit salty, and figuring out how to eat the crayfish was an experience, but the overall flavor was good (as long as you like fish, which a do). The four of us also shared a pitcher of sangria. Boy do they know how to make sangria in Spain!
With the pain in my feet dulled by the nectar of the Spaniards, we meandered our way to La Rambla. Described in most guide books as the “pickpocket capitol” of Spain, this pedestrian mall was surprisingly nonthreatening. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought it would be (it was, after all, January, and not the height of tourist season), but a lovely street to walk down, lined with vendor booths. Since this side of my family does not particularly enjoy souvenir shopping, we turned off La Rambla early and went into a market hall. One of those places where you can buy just about any form of food: Meat, fruit, vegetables, spiralized sweet potato on a stick (seriously), and a number of other local specialties.
Another relaxing night in, followed by a not-too-early morning on Wednesday, and we could be found on our way to the train station, ready for an afternoon of wine tasting. I think I’ve really become spoiled with the public transportation in Helsinki; nothing seems to rival it. The metro in Barcelona is a little older, mostly underground, and has fewer seats. There’s plenty of standing room, but it does make for a tight squeeze at times with the pram.
As we were smack dab in the middle of cava country, we found a vineyard in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia that makes, obviously, cava. The French, back in the day, decided that Spaniards could not call Chardonnay made in Spain “champagne”, so the Spanish now call it “cava” which means cave. (Really, it’s Spanish champagne.) Seeing as it’s aged in caves, the name makes sense.
It was an hour by train, with about a twenty minute walk from the train station in Sant Sadurni to the vineyard, Cavas Cadorniu. It was nice, once we were outside of Barcelona a bit, to see the countryside. There was a place to park the pram on the train, and with it being mid-morning on a Wednesday, the train was fairly empty. Little Man was actually pretty patient (and possibly not feeling the best). He passed the time on various laps and looking out the window.
It was another sunny day, so the walk to the vineyard was beautiful. The town was quaint, and once we were on the outskirts, mountains loomed in the distance.
The vineyard itself was stunning. The tour was educational and fun and took exactly ninety minutes. Not only did we see the original barreling and bottling equipment, along with pictures of how things used to be done, we were given a tour of the caves where the wine is aged. Afterward, a tasting of two of their premium cavas was included. Little Man quite enjoyed his taste too! (Grape juice, of course.)
There is a winery right across the street from the train station, but we chose Cavas Cadorniu because it was highly recommended. We booked the tour online the night before (I don’t think they offer walk-in tours), and it was a great choice. Aside from the ten minute 3-D movie at the beginning, the entire tour is child-friendly, with very little walking. The quick-paced cart ride through the caves is exhilarating! The tour guide was especially accommodating as he had a son about the same age as Little Man. And to top it off, the cava was delicious! They sell it worldwide, so go ahead and look for it at your local liquor store. You’re welcome. 😉
After the tour, we had planned to get lunch in town, but ended up eating a few things we had with us instead. (I’d made sure to get sandwiches at the Barcelona train station that morning, just in case.) I wasn’t feeling the best and wasn’t very hungry. We walked back to town, where my in-laws wanted to explore. As Little Man had fallen asleep on the way, we needed to keep the pram in motion. By that point I was really not feeling great. I made my way back toward the train station while Hubster and his parents toured the town with the sleeping one. They arrived only about ten minutes after I did, and shortly after that, we boarded the train back to Barcelona. There’s a handicap seat right by the door that I fell into, while everyone else took actual seats, a few steps above me. A WC is also located right by the doors but, unfortunately for me (and very possibly everyone in the vicinity), it was occupied. I managed to get a bag from my mother-in-law (thank goodness for souvenirs from the vineyard!), sink back into my seat, and vomit. I doubt I’m the only person who ended a day of wine tasting in that manner, but probably one of the few who did so on a train. By the time we got back to the apartment, I was feeling better, but not quite sure I was up for three more days of adventuring.