The Rosen were on a Barcelona stop-over during their cruise, and they wanted to get to see as much as possible in the little time they had in port. So we arranged a chauffeured tour for them.
At 9am, the driver Ramon and I were waiting for them to come out of the terminal: I was holding a sign with their name, while Ramon waited with the minivan parked and ready to pull in as soon as they arrived.
They were a lovely family: parents, grandparents (Mr. Rosen sr. had a bad knee, so having a driver was a plus!), and a cute little 8 years old girl: Rachel.
We started our tour at the Montjuïc Hill, where we stopped at a vantage point to see the City views. We also took them to check out the 1992 Olympic facilities including Stadium (Hannah was fascinated to hear how the torch was lit with an arrow!), and we also stopped for pictures in the area of the 1929 World Fair & Plaça Espanya.
Next we headed to the Gothic Quarter, to explore the oldes part of Barcelona. I took them on a stroll around the medieval alleys and squares, I showed them Roman ruins, gothic patios, the Royal Palace, the City Council, the Generalitat Government building and much more. And everyone both Rachel and the grown-ups were delighted to hear my stories and legends of this magical part of the city.
We also entered the Cathedral, where of course Rachel’s favorite was the cloister where 13 geese live.
After that, our driver Ramon was waiting for us to take us to the Modernist part of the city, the Eixample District, where in its main street (Passeig de Gràcia), we stopped to see the beautiful Block of Disagreement, with buildings by Domènech i Muntaner, Puig i Cadafalch, and of course, Antoni Gaudí with his Casa Batlló. Again, my stories about the symbolism of the buildings fascinated the whole family.
Just a bit further away, we also stopped for pictures and explanations of the surprising Casa Milà (also called Pedrera), another masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí.
Next we drove to the Sagrada Familia Church, the definite must-see monument of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudí worked here for the last 43 years of his life until his death in 1926. Despite not being finished yet ( it’s scheduled to be completed by 1926-30 aprox.), the inside is the most breathtaking place you’ve ever seen!
After skipping the line (no queues for ForeverBarcelona clients!), we went in and had fun learning all those curious stories about the sculptures of the outside and many hidden details that are easy to miss on your own (Rachel loved the turtles!), and then we entered the church. Ms. Rosen couldn’t stop looking up, and the rest were also speechless for a while. Then Rachel started saying “look, it’s like a giant forrest!” (because the columns where indeed designed to look like trees), and that allowed me to start gently introducing more explanations while they kept admiring the place and taking pictures.
Time flew at the church. When we finished our visit, the driver was waiting for us around the corner. Back to the minivan, they were still all excited about the church, so we continued discussing on our way to the port. I also pointed at the Arch of Triumph and the Ciutadella Park where in 1888 we celebrated our first World Fair, and then we drove past the Olympic village and marina, and along the beaches, the Barceloneta fishermen district, the Port Vell (Old Port) & Columbus circle before dropping them back at the pier.
It had been another great day in Barcelona!
Check out my website to find out more about this Sightseeing Tour of Barcelona.