Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Barcelona {Day 3; Arc de Triomf, Parc de la Ciutadella and the Gothic Quarter}

Day Three.
We decided to try a few new places, even though I've been to Spain a handful of times, I always try to find something new to experience, so I looked up some family friendly places and here's what I found...
On the walk from the metro to the Arc de Triomf we passed a playground and some wall art in an area of Barcelona I hadn't really been to before,
Barcelona's Arc de Triomf is unique among the other cities in Europe as it's made of red brick in the Neo-Mudéjar style.  It was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. The most beautiful aspect to me are the top domes on each pillar.  This is is the enterance to another place in Barcelona I'd never been to, Parc de la Ciutadella.
Before walking over to the Arc we decided to stop at a cafe for a beer and espresso, (note, I don't recommend the food- seriously I ordered patatas bravas - because I ordered them everywhere we went- and they brought out fries with mayo and ketchup, I gagged).
Vera wanted just a taste of the espresso (don't worry it's literally the last drop and actually most of the sugar that didn't mix in, not that, that, is much better but still don't judge me).
as soon as we walked in, we saw our favorite; giant bubbles!  He even had Vera blow them.
Sonja didn't mind chasing them while her sister practiced her skills.
as we walked along the courtyard we approached the parc.
This beautiful red brick building is called the Castle of the Three Dragons. Love those little details on the top, after damage from bombings during the Spanish civil war, the building was closed and restored, although it didn't look open while we were there, I think they're renovating the interior at this time. 
And the most majestic fountain I've ever seen.  Yes, Rome does have some beautiful fountains but this one is just on another level with the gold chariot and staircases.  
The girls were having so much fun they didn't want to even hold still for a photo.
We walked though the gardens before finding somewhere to sit in the shade.  From the end of the parc you can see the Castle of the Three Dragons and all the way on that back mountain the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor.  Which actually is another place, here, that I've never been to,  I guess it's something to look forward to next time,  Every time I come here I think 5 days {more than anywhere else we usually stay} is enough time, but it's never enough time to do all the things I want to. 
Little love birds hiding in the grass.
Husband ordered a mojito from the small stand at the end of parc, just in front of the zoo entrance and it was huge, like 6 euro for this, and the lime and mint were hand muddled and totally unexpectedly good.  We emjoyed our adult beverages while the girls tried Fanta for the first time, we don't drink soda at home so they're always excited to share a 'fancy' drink.
After our afternoon in the park we knew we wanted to walk back to the Gothic Quarter, one of my favorite areas in the city.  It was actually pretty close to where we were, walking to a metro stop would have been about the same distance. Plus I like walking even if it's just a bit more because you see so much more above ground.  Like this monument.
In the small streets of the Gothic Quarter.
and then the back of the Barcelona Cathedral

Pretty much my view for the whole trip, husband holding Vera in his arms and Sonja skipping along. 
There's a tiny hallway of a store that has a variety of candy called Happy Pills, located near the courtyard of the Barcelona Cathedral and it's always a fun spot to stop and fill up on some happy. 
The containers aren't big but you can stuff them full, plus portion control.  I would eat all the things! these little pills are already prepacked.
This is our neighborhood on the walk back to our apartment.  I was thinking I might do a time lapse of all of these daddy daughter images just for fun,  I love watching Husband father our girls.  He's so much more patient than I am with them.  He's stronger and willing to hold our toddler for hours on end, even though now she's three and can walk and run for hours.  I love that when we travel it's time just with them, not coordinating play dates, and babysitting schedules, just us as a family exploring places together and being together,  I hope they remember all these adventures or at least appreciate all the moments I captured for them, so they can create their own memories when they're older.

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