Love and Food in the Big D

Monday, July 11, 2011

European Adventures In the Making - Part 1 of 3 - Barcelona, Spain

As the excitement builds for our Great European Takeover of 2011, the "responsible, super annoyingly organized" ADULT in me really wants to have every single detail of our 10 day European excursion planned out to the millisecond.. making sure that no stone is left unturned.. no travel book left questions left un-answered.  Basically, if we could pack our bags now, just so we make sure we don't forget anything... I probably would.  It's a sickness really.

On the flip side of that coin, the "free-spirited, I still want to live like a 21 yr old" Yvette, just wants go-with-the-flow and figure it all out as we go along...knowing full well that everything will be an amazing adventure regardless of what kind of well laid plans we might have. 

We begin our 3 part trip in my home away from home.  Barcelona, Spain.  The place I once knew like the back of my hand.  I devoted my time there to learning the ins and outs of this great city and I have to say that I'm having a hard time fitting the four months I lived there into the 3 days we'll actually be in Barcelona for this trip.  I want to show Chad EVERYTHING!! It's going to be impossible to narrow down the choices ...but here's our very, very generalized itinerary of what we have planned so far. 

PART 1 - Barcelona, Spain
(PART 2 - Avignon, France & PART 3 - Paris, France )
Arrive in Barcelona, Spain - September  25, 2011 (Wooooo Hoooo!!!) :)
Check in to our Apartment - We were so incredibly lucky to score a short term apartment rental right off the port, down by the Ramblas :)

That's us waving "HI" to all the beach goers and people walking around the Port from our apartment ;) 

And for those who may be wondering... or planning your own trip to Barcelona, the Ramblas is one of the most famous streets in Barcelona. A 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall between Barri Gòtic and El Raval, it connects Plaça Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. 

Placa Reial is an absolute MUST stop for us on this trip.  Set right off the Ramblas, this square is home to many restaurants, beautiful fountains and tons of people watching. If it's still there... (and by the looks it and their fully functional and updated website, they ARE... Woo Hoo!)...I hope to take Chad to Les Quinze Nits.. a mediterranean restaurant I visited several times during my stay back in 2001.  Ahhh.... sweet memories.. :)

Among the other must stop attractions for our visit: (and by no means is this everything we want to see.. just a snip-it of some of the best)

Parc Guell - built between 1910-1914, this 50 acre park is one of Antonio Gaudi's masterpieces. 

Sagrada Familia - Another of Gaudi's most famous works, this Basilica has been under construction since 1882 (the photos below were taken by me back in the day with a FILM camera!  Can you even believe it?!) 

Casa Mila - One of my favorite Gaudi buildings.  Also known as La Pedrera, Casa Mila has a rooftop unlike anything you've ever seen before.  (Again, the photos below are from my 2001 trip)

And last but not least...(for this post at least)...a ceremonious visit to the little 'ol neighborhood I called home.  A few blocks up the steep Escorial hill from the Joanic Metro Stop... I can't wait to take the trek we used to take everyday to our apartment. 

View out our apartment window.. :)

Alright, alright... as if you care.. lol. I'm just walking down memory lane now and I could do this all day.. ;)  I'm just amazed at by the power of google street view, I can instantly be back there.  :)  Funny how not much in the area has changed in the 10 years since I've been there.  Crazy-ness.  :)  Can't wait!