As mentioned in the last post, we decided to stay at a country house near Barcelona rather than in the city itself. The house is about an hour and a half from Barcelona and in a very quiet and wooded area. There is a river (Riera Merles) that runs adjacent to the property that provided many opportunities to swim in the natural pools and jump off the nearby rocks. There were cows with bells on their necks grazing in the pastures which created a very melodic jingling. In summary it was very peaceful and a good change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the city. The hosts at our house were a very nice couple, Marta and Climent. They live on the upper floor while we rented out the lower two levels of their house. It was a huge space and very comfortable.
One of our bucket list items for Spain was to eat paella. Personally, my intrigue with the dish started many years ago when it was mentioned in a Seinfeld episode. Jerry's parents were supposed to go have dinner at George's parents where Estelle was making paella.
GEORGE: You know my mother made all this Paella.
JERRY: What is that anyway?
GEORGE: It's a Spanish dish. It's a mélange of fish, an meat with rice. Very tasty.
Anyways, we lucked out in our pursuit of paella as our hostess Marta is a Michelin star chef and graciously agreed to make paella for us. She set up an enormous pan on a burner outside. She added mussels, clams, calamari, sausage, and pork spare ribs to go along with the rice and vegetables. It turned out fantastic. It was so delicious! This is definitely something we are going to need to try to make ourselves in the future.
|Joel checking out the paella
|Enjoying the paella near the creek with Marta, Climent and their friends
The highlight of our stay here for the kids was playing in the river. It was really cool how the river had many waterfalls and then pools underneath that made for a prime location to jump of the rocks and then swim. We stayed on many of the lower jumps but Climent showed us a spot where there was a 7 meter jump. It seemed pretty high as we watched Marta's daughters plunge into the water. None of us got the courage to try it. Out of curiosity, I looked up the record for the highest jump and found this guy did a 59 meter jump in Switzerland. Crazy!
|Danielle swimming in one of the many natural pool on the Riera de Merles
|The kids catching fish and then watching them swim the pool they made for them
We spent two days in Barcelona visiting the sights. I think the most remarkable thing for me was to see La Sagrada Familia church in it's very unique Gaudi style. The construction on the church started in 1882 and isn't planned to be completed until 2026 which will be 100 years after Gaudi's death. I bet that my brother (who is an architect who designs and builds homes) would be envious to have even one year let alone 144!
|La Sagrada Familia
|Arc deTriomf (Paris isn't the only city with an Arc of Triumph)
|Placa de Catalunya
|Gaudi's Casa Batllo
|Shoreline of Barcelona