We left off on our Spanish adventures Wednesday evening with me falling ill. By the time we’d returned to the apartment, Hubster was fighting off the same bug. Thursday morning saw us both feeling better, though me slightly more so. We persevered, however, and hit another spot I’d been anxiously waiting to see: Park Güell. The walk to the park was up the steepest hills we’d had to climb in Barcelona. So steep, in fact, that in some places, there were steps built into the sidewalk. Conveniently, there were also escalators. Although, keep in mind that they only go up, which was not so convenient on our way back down.
The exertion was worth it; the park is beautiful. Once again, we had purchased tickets online the night before, and were given a thirty minute window for entrance time. A section of the park is free, but of course, the cool part requires a ticket. It’s well worth the cost, and definitely worthy of a few hours of exploration.
The tile work is so intricate and colorful. I love how these buildings look like gingerbread houses. It was a nice day, so we decided to let Little Man roam around a bit. This was the perfect place for that. As much as he loves people, all he wanted to do was climb the stairs. Another reason this place was ideal: the stairs seemed to be endless. He made a few friends in the tourist group as we went up and down, but ultimately remained focused on his goal: climb, climb, climb!
There was some construction going on, but as loud as it was at times, the views were still marvelous. The tile work continued throughout, and Little Man had fun walking, climbing (more stairs), and chasing pigeons.
A few rest breaks were necessary during this exploration as Hubster and his dad were both still a bit under the weather. There were quite a few benches scattered about, so this was easily accomplished. We were there so long that Little Man fell asleep in the pram! When we’d all decided our sight quota had been met, we attempted (with only moderate success), to wind our way back down the hills. Hubster beelined it to the apartment, while the rest of us (Little Man still snoozing away) went in search of the ever-elusive churros. The one bakery that advertised them had run out, so I settled for some other chocolatey pastry concoction. The flavor of the chocolate reminded me of Mexico. It’s not quite as sweet as what I’m used to, but it’s still delicious.
More relaxation took place at the apartment that evening. I kept thinking of it as a waste; being in a foreign city and sitting inside? When I could be seeing new things?! I have since gained some perspective on this. As much as it frustrates me, there are some things I simply don’t expect Little Man to do. Like sit quietly through a two hour walking tour, or be content as I leisurely browse through museums. It ain’t gonna happen, mama. That being said, if I can’t relax on a beach while sipping rum, I might as well relax in an apartment in Barcelona while sipping Spanish wine with good company. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being an expat, it’s to make the most of what you do have, not sit around lamenting what you think you’re missing.
Friday was an anomaly: Rain in Barcelona! Not just a little, make-your-hair-frizzy drizzle, either. This was an all day downpour. It made for a good forced day of rest for all of us. I’m no stranger to rain, but even I did not want to venture out in the deluge.
After allowing Little Man to take a much-needed long nap in a crib, I decided it would be necessary to get out of the apartment in the evening. The rain had let up a bit, so Hubster and I found our way to the aquarium. We paid 20€ each to get in (Little Man was still in the free age range), and snagged the last large locker for 2€ in which we stored the folded pram and our damp jackets. A stop at the cafeteria was much needed as we hadn’t eaten much that day. We finally obtained some churros and, while I’m sure they weren’t the best we could’ve found, they were quite tasty. Once that task was complete, we sought out the children’s area.
It included a koi pond, a couple tunnels, and a slide that looked like it was spraying the rider with water. After we’d exhausted those attractions, we headed back downstairs toward the famed tunnel. Along the way, there were smaller tanks with a variety of sea life. They were pretty cool, but Little Man seemed to enjoy the freedom more than the fish, and raced from one place to the next. Eventually, we made it to “the tunnel”. 80 meters long, it’s filled with many different fish and, the most exciting part, sharks! You stand on a slow-moving conveyor belt that takes you the length of the tunnel. (Or you death-grip a squirmy toddler who is more excited by the conveyor belt than the sharks.)
Totally cool. There is an outdoor play area for those kids that simply can’t be entertained any other way, but remember how it rained all day? The entire play area was soaked. As much as I enjoyed the tunnel and the various fish displays, I don’t think the aquarium was worth the entrance fee. All the older kids there (aged five and up) appeared to greatly enjoy themselves. Sigh. Some day our child will be old enough to appreciate these things.
Friday came to a close as we dried off at the apartment and made plans for the next day. One more day trip was scheduled before our flight home on Sunday.