Cribline Takes Barcelona: Parte’ Dos
The Cribline returned to the Iberian Peninsula for vacation in Summer 2019 to revisit our favorite stomping grounds and explore some new terrain. This year we will feature three (3) blog posts highlighting our experience in Barcelona; Sitges, a popular beachside resort nearby, and Lisbon, Portugal.
We started the trip in our favorite Catalonian capital city, Barcelona, at the luxe Ohla Hotel conveniently located between the Gothic Quarter and L’Exaimple. As we posted last year, this hotel offers exceptional customer service, sleek accommodations, complimentary breakfast buffet, and a swanky rooftop pool with sweeping views of the Cathedral and Sky Lift. If you look closely, you can even sneak a small glimmer of the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s quintessential masterpiece.
If you don’t speak Spanish or Catalan that will not be a problem at this hotel-or anywhere in Barcelona-where English speaking tourists have hit an all time high recently. We noticed more American accents this time around by the pool and around town. I guess celebrating the 4th of July abroad has become in vogue? And this probably should not come as a shock.
We dined at the Michelin Star rated BarcelonaMilan Restaurant in L’Exaimple. You will need reservations here, although, we had the restaurant to ourselves at 9PM.
Things start to peak closer to 10:30PM in Spain, and this actually accommodates the long-standing siesta tradition where most Spaniards take a break mid-day. This comes in handy especially during the hottest time of the year. Our favorite place to cool off pre and post dinner is across the street from the Picasso Museum. Get the oysters!
On the tour front, you can’t go to Barcelona without going on a Gaudi tour, even if you’ve done them all. This trip we toured the Casa Milà, Gaudi’s penultimate project before focusing his attention 100% on the Sagrada Familia. At the time of its construction, it was given the degradatory nickname Le Pedreiry by the Catalan elite-“The Quarry” for its unusual aesthetics, like its underground parking garage for automobiles. It is a wondering ode to all things nature.
Time has given it a makeover in more ways than one. It has become an emblem of Gaudi’s legacy at the height of his career, a time capsule for where he chose to live his final days, and one of the top tourist attractions in Barcelona. You can opt for two types of tour – during the day or during the evening. Both tours start on the roof but offer very different experiences.
Day Trips from Barcelona? Look no further than Montseratt, the famous monastery built high up into the mountains is less than an hour via public transport. You take the train from Barcelona’s Sants Station and at the end of the line, you will have the option to select the Cable Car or continue up on a smaller train..
Take the cable car!
Want a day trip beach suggestion, stay tuned for Sitges next week!