After several Covid swabs and a second doctor’s appointment, it was clear that the big kid’s throat infection had escalated to bronchitis. Armed with a puffer, N95 masks, lots of Ricolas and a clearance to fly we hopped the flight from Mallorca, headed for Barcelona.
Barcelona is one of our favourite places! We spent 10 days here in 2019 and fell in love. So much so that we almost chose it as our home base. But with tight timing and lots of other new destinations to see we only had 3 precious nights in Barcelona. No sooner did we arrive at the hotel when I started with that dreaded tickle in the throat and came down with the big kid’s bronchitis too. We kept Covid testing to be sure, always negative. But a heavy cough and when the big kid or I get a cough EVERYONE within a 5 kilometre radius knows it. It’s deep and its loud and it sounds waaaaaaay worse than it is. In Covid times, a cough is the bright red A sewn on to Madame Bovary’s dress. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Big Kid and I spent A LOT of time in the hotel.
On our first day in Barcelona, we had booked a Gaudì Tour. On our last visit here, some of Monsieur’s love of Art Nouveau architecture and of Gaudì’s incredible designs rubbed off on the kids and I. So this tour was something we were looking forward to. However the bronchitis kept the Big Kid and I in the hotel room while Monsieur and the Little were the lucky ones who headed out with the guide. They returned to see the amazing Sagrada Familia Basilica, no surprise that the very lengthy building time was only further delayed by Covid. They also visited the beautiful Park Guell.
After many more covid tests and a break in the bronchitis, we did manage a visit to Barceloneta and a seaside lunch along the marina. Monsieur and I also managed a stop at the Apple Store to buy some AirTags for our checked suitcases.
Shopping in Barcelona is pretty good. Of course, all the big chain shops are here but since its home to both Zara and Mango, it seems like there is one of those on every corner. Sprinkled in here and there are some very cute little shoe stores and other boutiques. We were also impressed with all the little bakeries that have croissants as nice as their French neighbours.
Tapas bars are everywhere but since they are quite small and jam packed, we avoided the close quarters. We did have one totally rotten meal at La Taperia at El Nacional on Passeig de Gracia. A highly Instagrammable and stylish location, El Nacional boasts four restaurants, four bars and a dessert place all under one roof. We were unimpressed with the rubbery tapas that was served with such speed and lack of care. The servers didn’t even bat an eye when we paid the bill and left after only 15 minutes.
We did however have an absolutely delicious meal at L’Olivé where we found a really yummy paella. The interior was decorated with a vast collection of olive jars, one of my current Mediterranean obsessions so I was very happy to check all of them out.
Our stop in Barcelona was sadly very brief, even more restricted by this stupid bronchitis that keeps hanging on. But we were reminded how much we love this part of Spain and the Catalunyan people. We’ll definitely come back.