Gracia, El Raval, and La Rambla: Barcelona, Day 4

Day 4 in Barcelona: Gracia, El Raval, and La Rambla

Like on our second day in Barcelona, we again took to the streets and explored a few different areas of the city.  It was a Saturday, so we bumped into a few different street markets, lively with friends meeting at cafes and families strolling together.  We first took to Gracia, an area of the city that used to be a village unto itself until it was swallowed up by larger Barcelona.  Gracia was a relaxed neighborhood with lots of families and small shops and a neighborly feel.

Next, we walked a few of the streets of El Raval, an area close to the well-known La Rambla street.  This area was a bit more hip, a bit more multicultural, and had hundreds of photogenic little nooks.

As the evening set in, we joined the lively street of La Rambla.  We had dinner and sangrias and stayed around to watch the artists and street performers show off their crafts.

La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell: Barcelona, Day 1

Barcelona! It's the city everyone who had visited raved about, so when Eric had a conference there for his PhD, I jumped on board.  After telling my Mom of our plans, she jumped on board too.  And so we toured the city together with Leo in tow.

We just returned last night from our time in this lovely city.  Here is how we spent our days:

Day 1: La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell
Day 2: Gothic quarter, La Rambla, La Boqueria market, Barcelona Cathedral, and Ciutadella Park
Day 3: La Padrera and Casa Batllo
Day 4: Gracia, El Raval, and La Rambla
Day 5: Barceloneta and Labyrinth Park

Day 1: La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell

Before Eric's conference began, we had to tick off the most famous of Barcelona's landmarks - La Sagrada Familia.  I heard many wonderful things about this masterpiece of a church, Antoni Gaudi's seminal work, but I was still unprepared for the amount of awe I felt during our visit.  My first words upon entering were "holy crap."

From the astounding trunk-like pillars to the minutest of details in the doors, everywhere you look in La Sagrada Familia, you'll fine something at which to marvel.  The structure, the light, the symbols - it's all fascinating and you can easily spend hours in wonder at this gem of a landmark.

After our tour, we grabbed lunch across the road (Eric and I tried the local favorites of paella and tapas) and then we attempted to make our way to Park Güell, another of Gaudi's famous works.  We got a bit lost along the way and by the time we arrived, tickets had sold out, so we couldn't enter the most well-known areas.  We were also in a hurry to get back, so we just strolled around the outside of the park for a few minutes.  I do wish we had more time to spend at this site, but Eric needed to attend his conference and our energy tanks were running low from a long day of travel the day before and a morning full of standing and walking.  We told ourselves we would return to Park Güell, but there was much more to see in Barcelona and we never made our way back.