S: Barcelona & Dublin March 2011
1: Dave was home only 10 minutes after his final and we were out the door to the airport. We flew from OKC to Barcelona overnight. We were both able to sleep on the plane thanks to the complimentary wine! | OKC to Barcelona
2: Hotel Barcelona Catedral
3: After waiting in the rain for a few minutes for a table, we enjoyed our first Barcelona dinner with sangria, paella and dessert!
5: We found a place for coffee the first morning around the corner from our hotel. It ended up being our favorite place! | Bilbao Berria - a tapa and pinxto bar where you can pick out what you want and the waiter simply counts the number of toothpicks when you're ready to pay!
6: The Sardana is Catalonia's national dance and is more complicated than it probably appears. It success depends on the dancers forming a circle and accurately counting the complicated short- and long-step skips and jumps, which accounts for their serious faces. Music is provided by an 11-person band consisting of a leader playing a three-holed flute and a little drum, five woodwind players and five brass players. The Sardana is danced in Barcelona every Sunday in the Placa de Sant Jaume.
7: After breakfast we walked through the Barri Gotic to La Rambla and down to the water.
8: La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona, popular with both tourists and locals alike. A 1.2 km long tree-lined pedestrian mall between Barri Gotic and El Raval, it connects Placa Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell
10: Columbus Monument in Barcelona is a 197 ft tall monument at the lower end of La Rambla. It was constructed for the 1888 Exposicion Universal de Barcelona and is located at the site where Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the Americas.
11: Port Vell, in English means 'Old Harbour', is a waterfront harbour in Barcelona. It was built as part of an urban renewal program prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
13: There was a great outdoor flea market at the end of La Rambla on Sunday. We perused the antiques and then headed down the road to the pier.
16: After exploring the port a little, we got thirsty so we decided to head back up La Rambla for some Sangria and pizza.
19: Placa de Catalunya
20: Brushing his teeth?
22: After Placa de Catalunya we headed back to our favorite place for some espresso and beers! An old local lady made friends with us even though she spoke no English and we could barely understand her, she still invited us to her house.
23: We had to search to find a market that was open on Sundays, when we finally did we were sure to stock up. The wine was amazing, especially at 4 euro a bottle!
24: Barcelona Catedral is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain. The cathedral was constructed throughout the 13th to 15th centuries.
25: We sat outside the Cathedral and listened to a street band play while we drank our bottle of wine and waited for Julia to call and say she was back!
26: Julia's Apartment
27: The Smoking Dog where 5 euros gets you a beer and a shot
28: We got a little lost on our way to meet Julia at the Sagrada Familia and stumbled across another of Gaudi's buildings, Casa Mila.
29: Sagrada Familia | Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The construction of Sagrada Familia, commenced in 1882 by the architect Villar in a conservative Neo-Gothic style, was transformed when Gaudi took over the project in 1883, and redesigned it in his own "intensely personal" style, retaining "Gothic overtones" while synthesing them with three-dimensional curvilinear forms, more closely linked to Art Nouveau, (known locally as Modernisme) and applying his "supremely mathematical" talents to structures such as leaning columns and hyperbolic arches.Gaudí devoted his last years to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família's construction progressed slowly as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War—only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the mid-point in 2010 with some of the project's greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026—the centennial of Gaudí's death.
30: The Sagrada Familia closed right before we got there so we didn't get to go inside. After that, we walked to a few shops and then went to Julia's favorite Mexican restaurant. It was one of the best meals of the trip!
31: The next day, it rained again, so we went to the Picasso Museum. | The Museu Picasso, has one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. This is one of the most popular and most visited museums in Barcelona. The museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces in Barcelona's La Ribera. The original idea for the museum came from Picasso’s lifelong friend, Jaume Sabartés. Picasso had given Sabartés great many paintings, drawings and prints during the course of their friendship. | Picasso
32: The first mention of the Boqueria market in Barcelona dates from 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate housing mostly fishmongers and butchers. | LaBoqueria | After the Picasso Museum we walked through La Boqueria and then stopped at a few cafe's for happy hour.
36: After happy hour we walked to the Block of Discord in the Eixample district. Then we went back to the hotel and got ready to meet Julia and Julie for paella.
40: The previous night's festivities caused us to miss our flight to Dublin. We re-booked our flight for the next day and we were able to welcome John and Matt to Barcelona with Julia.
44: We had to wait 20 minutes to get into the Cathedral for free, so we showed Julia and Dad our favorite pinxtos place.
47: We arrived in Dublin and were welcomed with fresh brewed coffee and cookies! The Roxford Lodge was an amazing bed and breakfast. | Dublin, Ireland
50: When in Dublin, drink as the Irish do.
51: We walked from our hotel through Merrion Square Park to see the Oscar Wilde statue and then to the Temple Bar district for the St. Patrick's Day festivities. We feasted on Irish beer, fish and chips, leek soup and cottage pie.
55: St. Patrick's Day 2011
56: We flew back to Barcelona and went exploring with Dad and Matt. We walked down La Rambla and then walked to meet Julia and her roommate Julie at the beach for some afternoon cocktails and relaxing.
65: After the beach we stopped for tapas and sangria. Then we headed to the Champagnaria. It was very crowded and very fun.
66: The next morning we woke up ready to see the inside of the Sagrada Familia, we were bummed to find out it closed early for a special service.
68: Park Guell
70: Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gracia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914.
73: We had a nice Italian dinner on our last night, said our goodbyes to Julia and headed back to get some sleep before our long journey home.