Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Changing Plans Worked in My Favor

On Thursday, October 24th, we headed to Plaza de Cataluña to catch a direct bus that drives straight to the top of Tibidabo Hill (Bus T2A).  After searching around the square without any luck of locating the bus, we then finally sought help at the Tourist Information booth.  We found out during winter months the bus only runs on Fridays and Saturdays.  Bobby and I contemplated for awhile about getting as far as we could by public transportation and then hiking the rest of the way to the top.  The two girls in the booth advised us that it was not a good idea and very steep (especially lugging up two little ones).  In addition, it would be 3 transfers (metro, tram, and then funicular).  After deciding that we did not feel like making such an effort, we headed to the center of the square to allow Amelie and Liam to chase pigeons.  Well, actually Liam escaped his stroller while we were finishing up our conversation and had already begun chasing the pigeons before we technically gave them permission. :)  
Being at the top of La Rambla we decided to go for a stroll while enjoying the nice weather.  We decided to walk by the Güell Palace since we were nearby and it was something I wanted to see before we left Barcelona.  After deliberating with Bobby for a while about whether we wanted to pay to go inside, we decided that Amelie (who was free) and I would go inside while Bobby and Liam would do something else for an hour and a half.  It was not our original intention to split up, and I was very hesitant about spending 12 Euros for the tour.  However, I am very glad that Bobby encouraged me to go ahead.  As I stated in a previous post, I have been really interested in architecture especially regarding to Gaudi.  

The tour included a free audio guide for me, and kid version for Amelie.  It was awesome to have descriptions and details in English as we walked around the palace.  Before we took the tour, I had read that one of the special features of this palace built in 1888 was that it had stables in the basement.  In addition, it had an entrance and an exit that the carriages were intended to use which can be seen in the picture below.
Amelie and I were very interested in the basement stables so that is where we headed first.  The round mushroom shaped pillars were important for allowing the horses to move around without getting hurt.   I will not bore you with all of the details, but we loved our experience touring the palace together.  Amelie loved pointing out everything fancy and I enjoyed the dialogue about Gaudi and his designs.  I felt like by doing this tour I could justify not going inside any of his other works.  This was the most cost effective way to learn about Gaudi and his works in my opinion.

This stainglass window was designed by Gaudi with inspiration of the Catalan flag.  
We have noticed the Catalan flags being flown from balconies all over the city.
We had even thought about bring home a Catalan Independence Flag as our representation of our time in Barcelona, but we never found one small enough that would make sense for us to carry around with us.
In the end, we actually didn't buy anything in case you were curious. 

We both loved seeing the pictures of how the rooms looked when inhabited.
Another favorite part of our experience was the roof.  On Casa Batlló, there are a number of really neat chimneys.  I was a little bummed that I didn't get to see them.  However, when I stepped out onto the roof at the palace I was delightfully surprised that there were amazing chimneys!  The sun was setting over the city as we walked around rooftop.  We had so much fun looking up close, admiring the mosaic tile work for each chimney.  The sunset over the city was also beautiful.  Overall, this was a super fun experience!

National Art Museum of Catalonia can be seen in the distance.
After about an hour and a half, we met up with Bobby and Liam.  Our meeting spot was the McDonalds on La Rambla.  You will never guess where we ate for dinner. :)  Dinner was fun as we both shared of our fun experiences from the hour before.  Bobby and Liam had walked to the harbor area and through the local market, La Boqueria, to munch on food.  We ate at the outside tables directly on the Rambla so it was also fun eating at dark when everything gets busy.

So, a change of plans ended up working in our favor today!  I am continually reminded how important it is to be flexible and to go with the flow.  It is a little against my nature as I am a planner and like it when things work exactly the way that I plan them.  This trip has been good for me in that I have had to relax on of my stronger personality traits.  I still have to work on my attitude at times when things are going amuck, but one way to improve is to practice.

No comments: