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The long awaited trip report! Part 3 - Barcelona

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Jul 16th, 2013, 02:43 PM
  #1
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The long awaited trip report! Part 3 - Barcelona

So Part 3! BARCELONA!

For those new I have so far been in London(Part One) and France ( Uzes, Paris, Disney, Sarlat and Carcassonne) and now it comes to Part 3 Barcelona.

I was so sad to leave France behind. It truly has a special place in my heart and I look forward to returning as soon as possible! But time to find new loves and adventures.

We found the drive from Carcassonne through to Barcelona easy. Traffic was light (except for one mad toll booth of heavy traffic) and therefore we knew we were in for some sort of DRAMA because that's us!

and
yes that is what happened!

For some strange reason I had imagined that we would be able to just casually drive up and park outside our apartment ...GPS in hand we go . . and go and go for a good 40mins of chaos and nightmare traffic before I said to hubby let's instead drop the car off and taxi to the apartment before either a car kills us or we kill eachother SO off we go to drop the car off at a shopping centre..again I had this thought that it would be clearly signed,outdoors and stressfree. That would be a big negative...again with GPS in hand we drive around and around and then I say with the wisdom in my head "let's just park in the carpark and I'll go walking and find out where it is" Low and behold as we drive into the carpark we see the sign HERTZ and follow it . . we find the spot to park the car and thankfully unpack the car and sort out the luggage so we have minimal bags.

All done and checked in...no stress in that regard. Time to find a taxi big enough to hold our luggage and 4 people...took maybe 20mins . . taxi driver couldn't speak English but I had written the address down and handed it to him..no worries!

Once we found our apartment in El Born we saw why we couldn't find it! We are in a pedestrian only street! Thank god we changed ideas and dropped the car off when we did!.

Anyway by now it was after 3pm and the office/check in was shut! So I had to ask kindly the shops next door if I could use their phones to call as we had no way of getting in etc. I can only imagine how often this happens for them! The shop on one side said no ...she doesn't like the owners and doesn't wish to help them! the other shop said no worries! I made the call and someone was there to let us in within 5mins! EXCELLENT!

Apartment is GREAT! Location seems WONDERFUL! So really pleased about that!

First things first was the boring unpacking and washing no dryer so we know we have 2 days of air drying to do!

after a couple of hours of this! We head off to the harbor/beach for cocktails and tapas!

YUM!

Think we picked somewhere expensive but first night here and after the day of stress with driving in the city I felt we deserved the treat and what a yummy treat it was!

We are really lucky that our kids LOVE seafood! SO they were also in heaven eating squid/octopus/prawns and cuttlefish while we enjoyed paella! One of many I am sure!

So plans for tomorrow??? HOHO bus tour . . I just feel it works well for my situation . .I know others disagree but for the kids and us it works well and allows us to get our feel for the city! Then we think we will head back for the beach in the evening with a lazy 8pm dinner somewhere.

It does look like a bit of a MECCA for shopping so I am so going to have to watch my shopping or at least find the post office to send clothes and toys back or something! The other idea is getting another small suitcase . . my son has been wonderful pulling it along so far and that will allow us to spread the weight out for the airlines. I said to hubby that with customs it might work well as we can put the items we want to claim back the tax in can put into the one case etc the least of our worries now.

So fingers are crossed that these pickpocketers stay away and we get to really enjoy the city for what it is!

Night everyone!
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Jul 16th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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Claire

So glad you are enjoying everything with your wonderful attitude.

I am a bit miffed at the shop owner who wouldn't let you use her phone. So she didn't like the owners, but there you were, from across the world, and with two kids, in need of nothing more than a little phone call.

I've not been to Barcelona and look forward to more of your report.
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Jul 16th, 2013, 03:59 PM
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We are wanting to visit Barcelona at some stage, so eagerly looking forward to your impressions and recommendations. Thanks Claire

Have a great time!!
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Jul 16th, 2013, 07:05 PM
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Just signing in so as to continue following you all on your adventures (couldn't leave now, could I ? )
Enjoyed the first two parts and looking forward to this one.

Cheers, (or more appropriately I suppose, "Saludos!")
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Jul 16th, 2013, 07:36 PM
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Loved your first two parts and looking forward to reading more. I have not visited Spain yet. I have a special love for France, too.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 01:19 AM
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Hope you have a wonderful time in Barcelona, I haven't been since I was 23, back in the Dark Ages. Please post apartment link at some point, I want to get there soon.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 01:22 AM
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Have enjoyed following your travels in London and France and am eagerly awaiting this instalment. Have been to southern Spain and am looking forward to reading about your Barcelona experience. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 03:40 AM
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looking forward to hearing what you think of Barcelona, have never been to Spain and my 6 year old keeps asking if we can go!
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Jul 17th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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I hope you are having a grand time. Following along.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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Good job.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 06:13 AM
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Just came back from 2 weeks in Barcelona with a kindergartener and a husband in tow. We stayed in El Born too. Beautiful neighborhood. Enjoy! I will follow your adventure.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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I'm happy to be in Barcelona with you (you didn't see me following you through London and France, but I was there, thought I'd finally say "Hi!"). I'm glad your trip is going so well, you seem like a great traveler with a great travel attitude, taking everything in stride. And I have to applaud your ability to put your daily plans aside if it turns out the kids need a nap or early bed, or whatever. I know you've probably learned that makes life easier for everyone, but still, you seem like a great mom, I bet the kids are having a ball! Even though the youngest probably won't remember the trip, at least you're building their travel skills. Enjoy Barcelona!
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Jul 17th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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I usually don't recommend hoho buses but they work well in spread out Barcelona. Isn't the seafood wonderful?
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Jul 17th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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bookmarking
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Jul 17th, 2013, 08:54 AM
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Havent been there in ages but a Foodie friend highly recommends Big Fish - a fish restaurant, obviously.
Problem with eating out with kids is that dinner is so late, after 9 pm. Lunch and then tapas later is an option.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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LOVE Barcelona. Jealous that you are there! Looking forward to following your adventures again
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Jul 17th, 2013, 01:56 PM
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Oh my god it is hot hot hot here! And that is coming from an Aussie!

We had to have a somewhat lazy start day as the kids just need to be allowed to be in their pjs a bit longer(I also think hubby needed it after his long drives and stressful Barcelona drive ;P )

So basically we just slowly got sorted and then wandered our streets ... Absolutely love this location! Really clean and safe and nice places to eat ... I think though it might be on the expensive side of things? Not sure... But our 3bed apartment is only costing 155euro a night and is in an awesome location with this great little tapas bar right next door that does tapas on a stick ...basically has around 40 or more different yummy tapas on display with sticks ..each stick cost 1:65 euros and omg it is to die for! Having that next door is brilliant because if mr 4 is desperate for the toilet well we can just quickly go home ...so huge plus there! Hubby is a bit miffed though ...he likes to try a different place each time...I am more a why try and reinvent the wheel...if the kids eat the food and its cheap and delicious then why try somewhere else. Anyway....

From lunch we made our way to the hoho bus .... Got the best seats ..up top and front row and off we went for two hours ... Kids got their sleeps in and we got to listen about the sites and history. It just seems to work really well for us. I get to relax and hubby gets to take the photos he wants from the outside.

We then got off and did La Rambla ... I was so on alert here! But to tell you the truthnitnwas nothing like I expected...4pm on the afternoon... I thought it was a bit boring and didn't really get much out of it...maybe I missed something?

Then we walked...yes walked...back to el born .... By the time we got home from stopping and looking etc it was close till 7pm ... My 4yr old wanted a power nap so we decided to let them both chill and we would go for tea at Taller de Tapas ... Literally across the road and to the right ... The cocktails and food was delicious but it was really expensive for what we had ... Hubby said spending close to 200 a day on food and drink in Spain is going to send us broke before we arrive in Varenna so I need to balance out cheap tapas and paella for one of the meals and then splash out for tea etc.

Anyway ... What does tomorrow bring? Well our plan of attack is some site seeing on foot ...we are really close to alot of beautiful sites and then we are thinking we might take the cable cart up to the palace on the mountain ( I think that's right ) head home ..rest and then go to the beach and have an early tea ready to come home and pack for the ferry the following day

Till then goodnight!
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Jul 17th, 2013, 03:25 PM
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signing in here too, claire.

we just got back from a short break in france and even in Brittany it was "scorchio".

hope you're not frying in Spain.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 07:40 PM
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Following still. Hope you enjoy Spain!
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Jul 18th, 2013, 01:31 AM
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Checking in.
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