No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

20 April, 2012

Catalonia, Spain

We spent the week before Easter in Spain's Catalonia region, home to Barcelona.  Even though there were spots we wanted to see in Barcelona, we decided we needed more beach and less city on this trip.  So we headed along the coast, in both directions from Barcelona, in search of sun and sangria.  
We rented a car, but quickly learned that a car seat is Woody's worst nightmare.  Which also made being in the car our worst nightmare given his unbelievable screaming.  I guess all of our bicycle riding has taught him the car isn't the answer. 

 We spent a few nights south of Barcelona in the town of Castelldefels.  It wasn't much to write home about, but the drive along the coast line was dramatic and beautiful.  Woody enjoyed playing the sand, and even let us nap in the sun on the beach. 

On a day of nothing but torrential downpours, we took the recommendation of a guide book and headed north to the small isolated town of Cadaques on the French border.  We drove over a steep mountain pass lined with terraced hillside olive groves to find this little gem on the Mediterranean.   

After lots of screaming and rain, and getting frustrated on small Spanish streets, arriving in Cadaques was as if the skies had parted to reveal a little slice of heaven. The gorgeous green sea was peaceful and the white washed buildings with blue doors and windows beckoned us to stay.  The sunshine helped, too.

Little Felix loved the pebbles on the beach.

The town is a little artist enclave. Picasso and Dali and numerous other artists and poets called this home at some point in their careers.  I can see why.  Who couldn't find inspiration in this setting?


We loved the architecture and blue details.  

We kept extending our stay, day by day, so that we ended up with no time to see Barcelona.  But that didn't matter.  We had hit Cadaques in it's quiet season, just before the tourists arrive for Easter.  Our sweet little "hostels" were only 65 euros per night and the food in town was delicious.  House paella, sangria and wood fired pizzas.  And compared to Copenhagen prices, it was completely affordable.

Cobblestones were a bit tricky for the littlest walker.  But he was willing to traipse down every morning in hopes of mom and dad buying him a croissant.  The coffee was amazing, too.

Eating in Spain with a toddler was a bit tricky, as toddlers aren't usually on the "Spanish schedule."  Woody's dinner time is more like their lunch time, so we usually had a big late lunch and tried to find some things at a grocery store for Woody before he went to bed in his stroller.  That freed us up to eat tapas and drink sangria while he slept! 

We headed back to Barcelona on our final full day.  We didn't have enough time to see the two main sights we wanted to visit, but we did a quick drive by on our way to our bed and breakfast. 
This is what the Sagrada Familia looks like from the backseat of a car. 

And Parc Guell.  Oh well, another time. 

Our final night was spent in a beautiful little B&B with this expansive view of Barcelona.  It left us wanting to see what was down there. To be honest, I'd never had much of an inkling to visit Spain before this trip, but it far exceeded what I had imagined and I can't wait to go back someday. I just think it will have to be sans bébé in tow.  Woody is a great traveler, but it's too harrowing to trek around with a little guy who finds danger at every corner.  


Erik R. said...

What a wonderful write-up. Some of the best travels are the ones where you find hidden gems and blow off the scheduled stops. Vonnegut referred to such trips as "dancing lessons from God".

My three-year-old feels the same about motor vehicles. We often choose not to make the five minute drive to a neighboring town because of the pain and suffering the car seat causes.

I will definitely add Cadaqués to my list of Iberian travel destinations.

Scott and Heather said...

I am so happy you found Cadaques and had a relaxing vacation. The photos are gorgeous and it makes me want to go back to Spain, which I never thought I would say.

What's next on the travel list for the Foss family?