Our first stop was the Barcelona Cathedral.
The cathedral was mostly built in the 14th Century. And while it is impressive, it doesn't quite make the top twenty list of cathedrals in Europe.
Outside the cathedral, we began our walk around the Barri Gotic. The Gothic quarter of Barcelona has narrow windy streets and some impressive ruins. This segment of the former Roman wall.
This bridge looks Gothic, but was actually designed and built in the 1920's in the Flamboyant style that is seen elsewhere throughout Barcelona.
These pillars, tucked away in the corner behind an apartment building date from around 100 BC and were part of the Temple of Augustus.
Also in the Barri Gotic, I wanted to visit Els Quatre Gats. This restaurant was a hangout of hometown boy Picasso. We went in to try to grab some hot chocolate, but the owner seemed very uninterested in serving us with our four children. Seriously, he was pretty rude. So we left and found a sandwich shop that was much more friendly and ordered lunch and fresh squeezed orange juice. Fresh orange juice was served everywhere in Barcelona and it was the BEST we have ever had. And so inexpensive. We had lots of vitamin C on this trip.
After lunch, we walked down Las Ramblas. This pedestrian area goes down the middle of the main drag, and you pass flower shops, souvenir shops, candy shops and ice cream parlors, etc.
We stopped at La Boqueria Mercat, along with half the population of Barcelona, to do some shopping. This place was so crowded! This market has been in operation since the 1200s.
We had to buy some of these chocolates to take with us. They were gorgeous! We ate them that evening before bed, and they were as good as they looked. We also bought a big cup of pomegranate arils for one euro. Our kids ate this awesome snack as we continued our walk.
Our next stop was just a slight detour off Las Ramblas to see the outside of Palau Güell. We didn't want to take the time to go inside (there was a long line) but enjoyed looking at the details on the outside of this home designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Then we stopped at a playground. Barcelona is a fantastic city for playgrounds and park benches. We stopped at several different ones each day.
After all the grown-up sights, it was time for some kiddie fun. We passed by the Christopher Columbus monument (thanks for the holiday weekend!) on our way to the Barcelona Zoo.
This wasn't my favorite zoo ever, but it did have some impressive animal exhibits.
We got there at the right time to see the penguins being fed.
And they had a nice playground area too.
These are my favorite animals.
Day two in Barcelona was busy and we ended it with a traditional meal at a nice restaurant. The kids got pizza and Rob and I had paella. It was our 11th anniversary dinner! And I wouldn't have wanted to walk 20,000 steps with anyone else that day.