A few months back, we jumped at the opportunity to visit Barcelona with the boys over the Christmas break. It's been a long time since we've traveled internationally together, and we're looking forward to the experience with two young adults. Larry and I were last in Spain more than 25 years ago, so we're clearly overdue for a return. Since we have such a short time on the ground, we're thinking of this as a first look at Barcelona, with the thought to return another time in combination with an additional week in the Catalan countryside. We have some destinations in place, but the only things we're really tied to are the timed entry to Sagrada Familia, and a walking tour.
We're flying Iberia Boston-Madrid, have a two hour layover, and then the short hop to Barcelona. We arrive Christmas morning, so we'll have a quiet day to adjust to the time change and acclimate ourselves. Stores will be closed, so we're bringing things like crackers, peanut butter, pasta, instant coffee to tide us over if needed. We've rented apartment 44 from BCNGotic, which several friends have recommended. It's in the Born, one of the older neighborhoods and convenient to much of what we want to do during our too-short stay. http://en.bcngotic.com/apartment/barcelona/bcngotic-44_h_19.aspx
Tuesday--Arrival, Christmas Day
Luckily there's no one in the apartment the day before, so we can get in as soon as we arrive.
We've booked lunch at a simple place nearby, Origens. http://www.lallavordelsorigens.com/Restaurantes.php?len=en
A few things are open that afternoon, or we might just nap and then take a stroll, then have tapas for dinner, there should be a few places open nearby.
After we pry the boys out of bed, we'll do one or two of the neighborhood walks from our guidebook. Pop into the nearby history museum.
Lunch booked at Senyor Parelladra http://www.senyorparellada.com/sitio/ingles/parellada.html
Wednesday afternoon, we'll head up to Casa Battlo. We bought our tickets online.
We'll pick up groceries on the way back. No dinner plans, we'll see what we feel like.
Morning run to La Boqueria Market. Looking forward to buying goodies (Dan is planning on eating jamon at every opportunity) and trying for seats at one of the mouthwatering-sounding places to eat there. http://www.boqueria.info/index.php?lang=en
We'll see what we feel like doing during the day. Perhaps just walking around, perhaps the Museum of the History of Catalonia, which people have said is very well done. http://www.en.mhcat.cat/
From 4-8, we have a walking tour booked with My Favorite Things. They're doing a combination tour for us, with a mix of history, food, wine, popular culture, local things. A private tour for 4 was very reasonable, and they get good reviews. http://www.myft.net/barcelona-tours/walking-tours.html
Booked 11:00 entry tickets for Sagrada Familia. The boys want to go up to the towers, I'm happy to roam around with the audioguide. http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/sf-eng/index.php
Lunch somewhere, then perhaps we'll walk and gawk at some of the Modernesme Route of Art Nouveau buildings. http://www.rutadelmodernisme.com/default.aspx?idioma=en&contenido=body_queeslarutaen.htm
or, 4 pm Moderne tour through tourist office? http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com/Barcelona-Walking-Tours-Modernisme/_vf-SMlY1yIuKQTV1aq49kAo1OWJ1ZmyqsW8lMeMFwjmBy4iHT-xzYQ
Saturday-Sunday. Figure two destinations per day.
11:00 advance tickets to La Pedrera
La Pedera/Casa Mila http://www.lapedrera.com/en/home
Chocolate Museum. http://www.museudelaxocolata.cat/
Boys want to go Camp Nou.http://www.fcbarcelona.com/camp-nou
I may instead head over to the nearby Museums of Textiles, Ceramics, Decorative Arts. http://www.dhub-bcn.cat/en/museums
Dan wants to go to the Picasso Museum, although friends have been disappointed with it. http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/en/
Another nearby market--Santa Caterina http://www.mercatsantacaterina.net/
Walking around Barceloneta, the old fisherman's area. Perhaps get a lunch reservation for Sunday.
Palau de la Musica. Sadly there aren't concerts of interest while we're there, may book a tour. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palau_de_la_M%C3%BAsica_Catalana
Shopping--need to get saffron and Pimenton . Spice store next to the Santa Maria del Mar on Sombrerers 23 Casa Gisbert.
Return Monday. Sad.