Traveling thousands of miles around the world is an adventure but when I'm with you I am always at home.
¡Viva España! Barcelona and the Catalan culture is so romantic and easy to fall in love with. The Spanish spoken in Madrid is more familiar to me but different from the Catalan Spanish that is spoken in Barcelona. Luckily, I speak a bit of Spanish, making our navigation in our first country a little easier. The Word Lens app has also been our friend, which translates Spanish signs into English without needing wifi. Awesome app. 👍
We have been walking 5 to 6 miles a day, getting lost in the cities. The cobblestone walkways of the gothic quarters are lined with shops and are fun to just walk around. We did go around La Rambla, the main shopping area of Barcelona, but we found it to be quite tourist-y and not as interesting. The back alleyways were more interesting and where we were able to buy more local goodies (ie olive oils.. Which btw, the olives in Spain are so yummy!), find local restaurants, and brands.
If you want to shop for high-end brand names, Passeig de Garcia and Parallel are where you want to shop. We wanted to shop a local brand and a place called Pull & Bear was recommended to us. I'm glad we stopped in because it's sort of like an American Eagle of Spain. And best of all the seasonal clothing were on sale. Seriously...we bought $2 scarfs...😳
La Sagrada Familia is a wonder in itself. The basilica has been under construction for over 130 years and is one of the last major gothic structures to be built during our lifetime. Thanks to several recommendations from friends, we booked our tour in advance to avoid the lines. However, our entire visit to Spain has been easy as we travel during an off-season for tourists. We wouldn't want it any other way! There were no crowds anywhere, but we have been quite cold in the 30 to 40 degree weather... A major difference from our spoiling Californian weather.
A couple more days in Spain, and off to Italy we go!
*this post was written by both Jay and Liz, you can guess who wrote which part ;)