Family,Holidays,Travel

Why I love Barcelona

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Before we became parents, we spent a good few years going on holidays two, maybe three times a year, booking one break as soon as we returned from the last. We spent long weekends in Venice, Seville, Budapest and Berlin, taking time to mooch around Paris, London and Florence. By the time we got married in 2011, we already had an almost two-year-old son, and although we wanted to go on honeymoon as a family, we wanted to recapture some of the fun of our city breaks from before.

We chose Barcelona for the promise of some Mediterranean sunshine, a big dose of culture, a shortish flight and its family-friendly credentials. It didn’t disappoint.

I’ve just been looking through the photo album I made from this trip, and my eyes welled up to look at how happy and carefree we were back then. A lot has happened in the past few years, and not only have we spent a lot of time in hospitals after my husband fell ill, but we also have another member of the family. Our three has become four, and although baby gal has a passport, she is yet to use it!

Thinking about why Barcelona is my favourite city, I found a common theme. Yes, it’s got the quirky architecture, fantastic food and vibrant nightlife. But it’s also got three more unusual things that make it stand out – its fountains! This is Barcelona we’re talking about though, so they’re not as obvious as you might think.

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There is the fountain in La Seu cathedral, where a flock of white geese make their home. It’s in a courtyard within the cathedral, like a small slice of tranquility within the bustling city. I remember running through the pouring rain to get to the cathedral, before chasing our toddler through the building, only to be drawn to the geese plodding round the mossy pond within. No-one said holidaying with kids was easy, but when you find little gems like this, it makes those hairy moments memorable and magical.

Which brings me to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, or Font Magica. Based at the top of Avenida Maria Cristina, this evening spectacle sees jets of water lit up in ever-changing coloured light, all set to music. The atmosphere is amazing, as tourists and locals alike gather round to watch the show on a Friday and Saturday night. And the best part is, it’s absolutely free, leaving you some spare cash to treat yourself to a cerveza or two on the way home.

Staying on the Montjuic theme, up on the hill is the unmissable Joan Miro Foundation, home to the famous Mercury Fountain. The fountain, designed in the 1930s by American sculptor Alexander Calder, is full of pure mercury, which wasn’t known to be dangerous at the time. These days, the shimmering silver-coloured liquid metal is displayed behind a pane of glass to keep visitors from breathing in the toxic fumes. The museum is such a relaxing place, full of light to show off the Miro collection at its best. It was definitely one of my highlights and I would recommend anyone going to Barcelona to pay a visit.

This post is my entry into the Accor Hotels competition, A Tale of Three Cities.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    mummyofboygirltwins
    January 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Good luck lovely and these photographs are amazing! I have always wanted to go there, and this post makes me even more determined to go! Good luck with the competition. You deserve that place! Jess x 🙂
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…The three things I love about the City of ChesterMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    January 26, 2015 at 9:45 am

    What wonderful memories of such beautiful places you have visited. I have yet been to Barcelona. It is high on my hit list. Good luck with your competition. Sounds exciting. Hope you win lovely. Well deserved after everything you have been through. Xxxx
    Kat | Beau Twins recently posted…Are you filling up your happy jar?My Profile

  • Reply
    Tim
    January 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Like you, we also travelled a lot pre-kids and Barcelona is definitely one of my favourite European cities. (Although if I could choose an overseas city to live in, it would be either Sydney or San Francisco, but Barca would be right up there too.) I love the photo with the sculpture – that’s outside the Miro Foundation, isn’t it? – one of my favourite artists and a wonderful museum. I can’t wait to be able to take our kids there one day.
    Tim recently posted…Toby’s triple whammyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      January 26, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      Yes that’s right, it’s the Miro foundation! I loved it there I really did. I would love to go to San Fransisco, it’s up there at the top of my list! X

  • Reply
    mamasvib
    January 27, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Ahh, Barcelona! One of my fave cities too! I went when I was an student an it’s the only place I have ever been to that when I came home I wish I could paint- not sure what it was but the artistic and creative-ness of the place and all the Gaudi made me want to paint! Ahh, I digress – or maybe I had too many taps and wine! I really want to go back soon after reading this post. Lovely picts too hun and good luck xxx
    mamasvib recently posted…V. I. BRAND: A sneaky peak at S/S 2015 – and what we have our eyes on!My Profile

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    January 27, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Aww I hope there are brighter times ahead lovely Julia, and great post with beautiful photos. I love Barcelona it is the most stunning City instate it? Chris and I had a wonderful weekend here for our 20th Anniversary this year.
    sarah christie recently posted…Being Treated Like Royalty at The QueensMy Profile

  • Reply
    Katie Haydock
    January 27, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I just LOVE the photography in your posts.
    And I love this post especially – Barcelona is such a beautiful place and all the better for the memories we imprint on it xx
    Katie Haydock recently posted…What’s in my bag?My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      January 28, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks Katie xx

  • Reply
    My week in pictures #6 - Rainbeaubelle
    January 29, 2015 at 10:28 am

    […] row – One of my favourite photos of my first born, who came with us on honeymoon to Barcelona in 2011. Here he is posing outside the Joan Miro Foundation. Those curls!; My disorganised […]

  • Reply
    Katy {What Katy Said}
    January 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I went to Barcelona when I was about 15 I think, I went for a school art trip and loved it! It is a fab city! Good luck with the competition! x

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    January 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    All those fountains sound beautiful. I always think there is something quite magical and tranquil about a fountain. The fountain with the geese wandering through looks postcard perfect! And the idea of the mercury fountain did make me chuckle! Good luck with the competition lovely. It is a great entry. Hugs Mrs H xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…My Captured Moment #4 – our darling daughterMy Profile

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