Saturday, October 19, 2013

Warning: Castles are Built on Top of Mountains

When Bobby posited for us to visit Castell de Montjuic on October 18th, I readily agreed.  Little did I know that we would be walking up a mountain for what seemed like hours to reach the castle.  We had two options: 1. ride the funicular up to the castle OR 2. walk and enjoy the views.  Can you guess which option we chose?  Can you guess which option we would choose if we were to do this again?  :)  Okay, enough complaining.  Although I was tired (and I wasn't pushing both kids on the stroller), it was worth the stroll (the term stroll used loosely here).  

We exited the metro stop at Espanya and walked up the hill past the Magic Fountain, the Palau National (National Art Museum of Catalonia), the Olympic Park (from the 1992 Olympics), and up to the Castle.  We got detoured a couple of times, but finally made it to the top.  We had about an hour in the castle before it closed.  There was not a lot to see of the castle, but the views of the city and port were nice.  In addition, it was free to enter which is always a selling point for us.  We were able to talk to Amelie about the purpose of a port and how ports operate.  Liam and Amelie loved racing from one end to the next.  We also walked through the grounds and climbed on the large guns.  When we asked Liam if he wanted to get out of the stroller to climb on the guns, you should have seen his face.  He lit up like we had offered him the moon.

After the castle closed we walked back down the hill, but this time through a more populated park.  After going on switch back after switch back we came to a slide.  Surprisingly, for the size and grade of the slide it was really slow.  We then decided we were tired of walking and caught a bus for the remainder of the ride down down to the main square.  

Our goal was to eat dinner and then go to the Magic Fountain.  As we drove by on the bus, we saw the Magic Fountain lit up.  I had done faulty research and thought the shows started at 9 p.m. and ran until 11 p.m.  With it being Fall, the hours were different.  Oops! We ate dinner at an overpriced street cafe, and then walked back to the Magic Fountain to discover we had missed the last show.  Although we missed the last show, we had fun being out again at night.  When traveling, you have to be flexible.  You have to roll with the punches.  We talked it over with Amelie and Liam and had no melt downs or tantrums.  I am thankful they are learning to be flexible as well. 
Amelie and Liam in front of Palau National.  This area rivals with Trocadero Square in Paris.
The palace on the hill with the many fountains and shaped hedges....pretty cool.

Climbing up hill on a less traveled road.

We made it to the castle entrance!!!
The moat was beautiful!  I loved the view across the moat to the sea.

View of the port.  We even heard cruise ships blowing their departure horns.
"On your mark, get set, GO!"
The view of the city right up against the Sea is remarkable.
Great views of the city.  Amelie can now point out Sagrada Familia on her own.

Palau National lit up at night.

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