Our Spanish Imposition 

I try to balance the thought-heavy posts with light-hearted photo-heavy ones. Easy to do this week as we had a little escape to Spain. The kids had their 2-week Sport Holiday. As rule-following Swiss, they did get out skiing so we could check off the Sport part of the holiday. But after that it became a completely non-rule-following adventure.

Thank heavens for Spain and its free spirited, creative approach to life.

The mere act of crossing the street, whenever you choose to, having assessed all-by-yourself that it is safe to do so, made us giddy with liberation. (My mom can relate to this having experienced first hand the shock and horror a Swiss person will express if they think you might step off the curb before the light turns, despite the streets in all directions being visibly deserted.) We crossed the streets in Barcelona with total abandon!

From there, the sky’s the limit. You can eat when you want to, shop when you want to, skateboard where-ever you want to, sleep when, where and with whom you want to. The possibilities were limitless with no overshadowing fear that we were breaking the rules. (Note we only took advantage of some of the aforementioned liberties. None of us skateboard after all.)

My new job has allowed Manolo and I to switch roles. He has officially taken the apron as the Hausmann, covering the myriad duties involved with caring for the kids and the household routine. Holiday planning falls within the purview of the Haus-person.

This was the first significant holiday that I wouldn’t be on duty. Manolo found a crazy good flight, awesome Airbnb and he and the kids set off to discover Barcelona. Lucky for me, their two week break ended on a long weekend so I was able to join them for the last 3 days.

He met my flight with a yummy beer for me! He looked so relaxed and happy, despite appearing to be napping here.

It was fantastic.

There was sunshine! It was heaven.

Just look at that blue sky! It was glorious.


We were there in low-season which was a bit mind boggling considering there were more people on the streets each night than at Stampede.  High season must be total insanity.

The beautiful Spanish chaos greeted me as soon as I arrived, having landed during a massive Catalonian separatist demonstration. Streets were barricaded & vehicles rerouted, so that this passionate, albeit very peaceful, mass of people could move through town. Such an interesting political situation. It was odd to see such a huge mass of protesters who were all older (late-60ish on average by my guess) and very well dressed. Not your typical protest crowd.  Certainly nothing which made us feel unsafe or unwelcome despite the reputation Barcelona has gained lately.

Arrived at the top of Las Ramblas, full of energy and vibrancy. The street that is, not me.
Some of the protesters. This doesn’t do justice to the sheer volume of people who took to the streets that night. 

 

Another amazing sight as we made our way to the Airbnb.

 

We spent our days strolling the streets, marveling at the sights and the warm air. Our cups are topped up once again.

Our funky, art-deco apartment, right in the heart of the city in the Gothic district.
Amazing art throughout the place made us feel far more young, hip and edgy than we actually are.
The kids at our place (door on the left) ready to set out for my first day of exploring.
The square around the corner from our place having just been washed by the street cleaners.

 


To the amazing St Josep market to find some breakfast.

 


Tempting, but a bit early in the day…
Not sure which the kids hate the smell of more, a fish market or an open-air raclette stand.
Hello Heaven. 
It’s llike a snow cone only made of meat and cheese. Breakfast of champions? I think so!

But then the real trouble began…

Ladies, you can’t even imagine. This store sold only one kind of shoe – the perfect ballet flat in every colour you could possibly imagine.


So dangerous.


The boys.
At the site of what was the Bar Association just prior to the 1900s. Thought of you Uncle Tim!


Made our way to the water. This is a personal yacht. The largest in the world. The boats in the background are massive yachts. This one dwarfed them all. It’s like a cruise ship – complete with a pair of helicopter landing pads. The photos don’t do it justice. Total insanity.
Our happy adventurer.


Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf
Happiest with a little buddy.
Skateboarder’s paradise.

 

That famous art-installation on the beach…
I ordered a large sangria, topped with a little Diego.
One night in a hotel before we departed.
In case we couldn’t find our way.
Complimentary bubbly and snacks in the lobby. I may have returned for a refill, or three.
You can tell which feet are mine, they go with the reflection of the champagne glass. Slippers and robes – kids were pretty excited. 
Fancy-schmancy library.
We contemplated staying here but we were worried it might be shitty.
Contemplating the giant head.

 

Fetching me another drink. He’s doing the Hausmann thing so well!

 

A final visit to the beach.

​A taste of the soundtrack which accompanied these days.

One cannot visit Barcelona without stopping to have a gawk at some Gaudi.
A fancy Spanish bakery? Nope, this is what a European MacDonald’s looks like. 


Reminding us which way is home. 


Nothing like being hit by some pigeon poop to signify that the holiday is done.

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