Celebrating in Paris & Barcelona

Old Dec 1st, 2012, 02:27 AM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yankygal, I envy you and your husband. I could do this trip again right away. I told my husband that I wanted the same trip for Christmas; that's not happening, maybe next fall.
opaldog is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2012, 02:46 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,425
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
Great view from that apartment!
Nikki is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 03:53 AM
  #23  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nikki, the view could not be topped. I will have to put together an album of my pictures and post them.

Day 6 - Our first full day in Barcelona was sunny, bright, and on the warm side. How different from Paris! We had a great nights sleep and what a shower in that apartment. It was a rain shower and the water was hot and the pressure was strong. It was therapeutic after all of the walking we had been doing. If only my shower at home in my back of the woods country house would be so nice.

We planned months ahead that we would have breakfast every morning in Barcelona at Mauri, http://www.pasteleriasmauri.com/swf/home.html a combination of many things; a pattiserie, a salon de té, a charcuterie, and a restaurant. It was a quick walk from our current apartment and only one block up from our previous apartment. We looked forward to it every morning for their coffee and morning pastry. We also purchased a variety of their special finger sandwiches for picnics during the trip. I highly recommend stopping there if you are up in the Eixamplé.

After breakfast I purchased the obligatory postcards for the family right out in front of our building at the news kiosk, and found a souvenir for our soccer playing son-in-law, a miniature Messi key ring. We even managed to find the post office around the corner and purchase stamps, although I guess we cut the line as they had a system in place that to me was confusing, but to any native Barcelonian, made perfect sense. Everyone was very nice about it, however.

This was the morning that we would do the tour of Casa Batllo, the beautiful Antoni Gaudi designed house directly across from our apartment. http://www.casabatllo.es/en/ Gaudi was so innovative in his design, everything with a purpose. We had already visited Casa Pedrera on our last trip so we could compare. They were different in their own way. Casa Batllo is privately owned and it appeared as in the Pedrera building that parts of the building were being used for business or even residential. My husband took several pictures of our apartment from the roof so that we would have that perspective of our stay. Day and night tourists flock to the Casa Batllo to take pictures of the tiled building as it is so unique. The whole block is interesting with buildings designed by various modernisme architects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illa_de_la_Disc%C3%B2rdia

The day was getting even nicer, weather wise so we hopped on the metro at Passeig de Gracia and went down to the nearest stop to Parc Ciutadella http://barcelona.de/en/barcelona-parc-ciutadella.html http://barcelona.de/en/barcelona-parc-ciutadella.html We brought our picnic of Mauri sandwiches and pastries, and a bottle of wine all in our handy Nicolas wine bag from Paris. As happens often to us we walked up the metro stairs and got turned around in our directions, but no problem when you're on vacation and don't mind taking in the sights. We walked around and covered the same ground a couple of times, but ended up at an entrance to the Parc Ciutadella. It wasn't crowded, but there were people all around, walking, playing, lying on the grass; kids in groups going to the zoo, and even a couple of two rowing on the very small parc "lake". We found a bench to sit on that was a bit away from people and near to the Modern Art Museum. My husband noticed some green birds flying from tree to tree and he said that he thought they were parrots and sure enough they were and they were all over the place making loud parrot noises. I wondered if they had escaped form the zoo and started a colony, but I'm thinking they must be native to the area.

We strolled all around the parc. We thought we might go to the zoo, but it was too expensive and we thought better of that. I wanted to try to see at least one new area of Barcelona while we were there so we began our long trek through Poble Nou. I had read some detective mysteries by a Spanish author that had the main character living in Poble Nou http://italian-mysteries.com/mystery-Gimenez.html

The walk took us far away from the usual tourist route and into the regular working class neighborhood of Poble Nou. It was interesting to see, but my feet were beginning to wear out so we began to look for the nearest metro which turned out to be not near at all. We were headed in the wrong direction and once we got ourselves turned around decided to just keep walking until we got to the Glories metro stop. We walked right past the torre agbar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torre_Agbar a building that stands out in every view of Barcelona. I was surprised to see that it was fully functional as an office or residential building. It is deceptive from afar and you don't notice the windows that are hidden by the facade. So back to the apartment to rest and sit on the balcony with a snack and figure out how to use the washer and dryer and the dish washer.
opaldog is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 04:30 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 140
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey Opaldog...great report. Planning a Barcelona trip for March and considering the apartment you just stayed in. Had a couple of questions I'm hoping you could answer...did the apartment have good WiFi and TV (habitat's website doesn't mention TV). Is the main bed big enough for 2 fairly big people (I'm 6'3" and from the pictures the bed looked a little small). Thanks in advance for your help.
clemson91 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 05:29 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,596
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, great memories for us....I love Gerard Mulot! We had a terrific meal at Cafe Constant on our last trip to Paris...missing Paris!
denisea is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 05:39 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,656
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
Love the apt in Barcelona -- what a view!
yestravel is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 05:59 AM
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Appreciate all of your comments.

Nikki: we originally rented from habitat based on your La Pedrera review, thanks.

clemson91: The wifi was very good, no problems. The TV was in spanish only so we just turned it on to see what the spanish stations were like, but didn't really watch. The weather was great and we were out most of the time. As for the bed, I am 5 feet and my husband is 5'10. He didn't complain and I thought it was comfortable.

yestravel: I hate to let the secret out about the apartment, but it was too good to keep quiet about.
opaldog is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 06:01 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29,737
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wonderful TR.
TDudette is online now  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 06:06 AM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
denisea: I forgot to say that I have followed your trip reports about Paris and enjoyed all of them. I feel the same way about Paris that you do. I'm getting that feeling about Barcelona!
opaldog is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 07:01 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,425
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
Yes, this is making me want to go back to Barcelona.

I like Cafe Constant too (on my visit there in March, by the way, I was given a menu in English).
Nikki is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 07:51 AM
  #31  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nikki: They gave us a French menu and then when it was apparent that I didn't speak much French they offered us an English menu, but at that point I knew what I was ordering. I kind of hate to admit that I could benefit from an English menu so I muddle through with the French one.
opaldog is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 08:04 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,425
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
I was there with a group of people from this message board for a get together. We were speaking English so they gave us English menus.

Sometimes it is easier to tell what you are ordering from the French menu then from the English translation.
Nikki is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 08:07 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,425
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
I am using my smart phone but it isn't smart enough to know the difference between then and than.
Nikki is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 12:49 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,596
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks opaldog...haven't made it to Barcelona yet but hope to. Glad you enjoyed your trip.
denisea is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 06:44 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,574
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Enjoying your report. We went to Barcelona several years ago, and to Paris this past summer, & love both cities, so appreciate re-living our trip via your report. I love Casa Battlo, even more than La Pedrera. We stayed in Eixample, too, & really like that neighborhood. You had a great location!
Kwoo is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 07:15 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 15,816
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks for the report...I love Mauri - what a classy spot.
Rambla de Cataluya is such a lovely street.
I am going to Barcelona in April... ( it will be seventh time)
and Paris( lost count)
Two fabulous cities!
danon is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 12:17 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm so enjoying your report - thank you!

We'll be traveling to Barcelona, San Sebastian and Paris this May. I think our hotel in Barcelona, the Murmuri is quite close to your breakfast spot. I'll definitely have to try it!
Vonse is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 02:49 PM
  #38  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Kwoo; danon - I'm following your pattern of travel; Vonse, you are correct the Murmuri is right near Mauri's.

Continuing on to Friday and Daytripping to Sant Sadurni d'anoia where they produce wines and cavas. We had in mind a tour of the cava producer, Cordoniu. http://www.codorniu.com/home.html?wlang=en We had booked a tour online that would begin at 11:30. So after another breakfast at Mauri's we got ourselves over to the Sants station for a train to the town of Sant Sadurni d'anoia. It was about 45 minutes northwest of Barcelona in the Penedés area of Catalonia. The landscape was striking. It was hilly, mountainous with ravines, and browns and greens everywhere. It was also quite industrial looking in some towns heading toward our destination. Here's a link to the town http://www.santsadurni.org/index.php...dscape&sec=195 We ended up taking a short cab ride to Codorniu as the directions we got at the train station had us walking along the highway over some very high bridges and that just didn't seem quite right. On our way there we saw a couple that I guessed to be walking toward Codorniu and I was right. We walked back to the town and train station after the tour.

The building and grounds of Codorniu were beautiful. They were designed by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch in the modernisme style. Of course the original family had lived in the buildings until late in the last century. It is still family owned. There were two other couples on the tour with us. One couple from England (retired professor from Oxford) and one couple from Germany, although the woman was from Austria. Once again at the end of the tour after the champagne began to flow, the talk did as well.

We were given a tour of the grounds first and then in to the building. The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about all things cava, champagne, and wine. We went underground to the old and new storage areas. We were taken on a tram ride through the long narrow tunnels. Something that would never happen in the U.S.; a class of elementary school children were on a tour at the same time. They were very excited and as they passed us in their tram they screamed with excitement and yelled hola at us. I am assuming they were served grape juice at the end of the tour. They were leaving the tasting room as we were arriving.

At the end of the tour of course we were shown to the shop. We purchased a reproduction poster of Codorniu cava when they were allowed to call it champagne and 3 small bottles that would be perfect for our planned picnic on our last day. We asked the Austrian/German couple the walking directions back to the town and then strolled back. It was raining slightly, but it didn't keep us from walking. The town was very interesting and had some really old modernisme style buildings. Wineries were scattered all about, but they were closed and then we began to realize that everything was closed. It seemed that all stores, restaurants, wineries closed from 2-5. So back to the train station we went to find food in Barcelona.

We changed to the metro at Sants station and went to the Diagonal stop and walked down to C. Mallorca for some tapas at Cerveceria Catalana http://www.bcnrestaurantes.com/eng/b...ceria-catalana the sister restaurant of Ciudad Condal. The inside was packed and we would have to stand. Outside on the sidewalk the tables were full. We waited a minute and a table opened. I asked the waiter if it was available and he gestured for us to sit. We ordered several tapas, way too much, and a beer. A family of 6 adults sat next to us. They didn't speak spanish, but asked the waiter to speak to them in english. It turned out they were Greek. They were very interested in what we were ordering, so we got to talking and pointing and gesturing at menus and food and speaking bits of english. They ordered everything we did and much more. It was another nice moment on vacation in Europe. That day alone we had spoken with people from England, Spain, Austria, Germany, and Greece.

We walked back to the apartment, rested up and then walked back down to the El Cortes de Ingles to buy something for our granddaughters. It had to be something small, easily packable, with something indicating it was spanish. I finally found two small stuffed dogs with collars that had names in spanish on them, perfect. So foot weary we walked back up to the apartment and rested for the night.

I have forgotten so many small things about our trip and have remembered things that would be so out of context. Next trip I'll have to keep better notes.

Next - our last day in Barcelona
opaldog is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 04:19 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,362
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Opaldog, we've really been enjoying your report of two of our fav cities. We, too, enjoyed staying in the Eixample area of Barcelona. We're looking forward to the account of your final day!
tomarkot is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2012, 07:38 AM
  #40  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
tomarkot, glad you're enjoying the report. It is definitely helpful to get the positive feedback. It makes me want to keep going.

On another note, I've created a web album using google and I would like to embed it in the report, but I'm not sure if by doing so it allows access to my google account, not just pictures. I imagine it wouldn't be it's hard to tell by all the info and the "trying" it out I've been doing. Does anyone have an answer for that? Thanks.
opaldog is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -