I Want to Go with Oh to Barcelona

Have you ever felt like you just don’t fit in?

I was born on the Canadian prairies, on a family farm. Chores at 6:00 am? Check. Winters so cold they’d freeze the icicles off a snowman? Check. Big, heavy breakfasts at the crack of dawn? Check again.

This is all a problem. A big problem. I’m a night owl. Getting up earlier than 9 am is a struggle. Naps? Love them. And breakfast? Forget about it – I’m just not interested in food until about 11 am. And cold? Oh, for the love of all that is good, give me some warm sun and I’ll never be happier.

When I first read about Spain in my junior high school text book, I fell in love.

Credit"> Barcelona Beach

That looks more like where I belong… on a beach in Barcelona Credit

Spain, where the temperature rarely dips below 50 °F, and the entire country takes a siesta from about 3 to 6 pm. Where families are often seen starting their evening meal at around 10 pm, and where they eat churros for breakfast with chocolate so thick you have to eat it with a spoon. You read that right – for breakfast.

Spain sounds like a place where I just might fit in.

Imagine how happy I was to read in Leah Travels blog about a contest sponsored by Go With Oh that offers a month’s accommodation in Europe as one of their great prizes. Leah’s finishing up her European adventures, and Go with Oh is looking for a new blogger. If I win the contest, I’ll get to choose four cities from a list of ten to visit:  Berlin, London, Florence, Rome, Prague, Paris, Dublin, Vienna, Barcelona and Venice. Honestly, any one of the ten is a hit, but four? Beyond wonderful.

Credit"> Barcelona at Dawn

Barcelona at Dawn Credit

To enter their competition, I have to write about a perfect dream trip to my favorite city on that list. That’s going to be a piece of cake – or should I say a piece of chocolate-dipped churro. Barcelona, it is!

Here’s why I want to Go with Oh to Barcelona, Spain.

Who would I to love to take? Well, that one’s easy. Charles and our two little ones, Cole (7) and Jordan (4). They love the sun, chocolate and late bedtimes every bit as much as me.

The quest for chocolate…

We’ll start our dream trip with my dream Spanish breakfast: chocolate con churros.

Credit"> chocolate con curros

Chocolate con churros Credit

Churros are a long, fried pieces of dough, served with a dipping bowl of warm, thick chocolate sauce. They’re traditionally sold in granajas, small Spanish cafes.

We’ll hit the best granajas in town, on our quest to discover the best chocolate con churros in Barcelona. Top on the list are La Pallaresa, La Granja, and Granja Dulcinea, all rumored to serve the best chocolate con churros in the city.

Hunting for fairy tales…

Our kids are at the perfect age for fairytales. And Gaudi, Spain’s most famous architect, left Barcelona dotted with buildings straight out of a Grimm story book.

We’ll take our little ones to see Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia and wander through Park Güell. We’ll make up our own fairy tales about the magic creatures who might live inside.

Credit"> La Sagrada Familia Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia Barcelona Credit

Walking through the old city…

We’ll wander through Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (The Old City) and get delightfully lost. We’ll start at Las Rambas, a busy pedestrian street filled with cafes, street performers and leafy old trees. From there, we’ll head to the Gothic quarter, where we’ll navigate the hidden streets and watch gargoyles look down on us from above.

Credit"> Las Rambas Barcelona

Las Rambas Barcelona Credit

The best photo souvenir of our Barcelona trip will be us learning to dance the sardana, the traditional Catalan dance in the square outside Barcelona’s cathedral. The sardana is a group dance where circles of people join hands and dance with small, intricate steps slowly round and round as people join to make the circle bigger.

Finally, it’s beach time…

After a couple of days in the city, we’ll kick of our shoes and walk barefoot on the beach at Sant Sebastià. With a name like The Barefoot Nomads, you had to know we were going there…

Sant Sebastià Barcelona

Sant Sebastià Barcelona

Searching for the Holy Grail…

Next, we’ll go searching for the Holy Grail. Literally. Legend says that the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat was once the location of the Holy Grail. Some even say the Grail is still hidden in some secret catacomb.

We’ll take the Funicular de Sant Joan funicular railway to the top of the mountain, and explore hovels abandoned by reclusive monks.

Montserrat

Montserrat

It’s your turn!

We’re not the only ones that can win with the Go with Oh contest. The thing I love best about the contest is that you can win some of the fantastic prizes on the Go With Oh Facebook page, including a new iPhone 5, $750 Euro in European city break apartment rentals, and a new iPad 2. Good luck!

Late night tapas…

As for me, I hope to be making up for years of early nights in Canada by staying up late and indulging in tapas on a sidewalk in Barcelona. A plate of pimientos de Padrón, the famous summer Pedron pepper lightly sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt sounds like just the ticket. These little peppers are unique because you never know when you’ll pop a spicy one into your mouth. Most are sweet, but occasionally one is a fiery hot surprise.

Credit"> pimientos de Padrón

Pimientos de Padrón Credit

Where’s your dream destination in Europe? Let us know where you’d Go with Oh.

26 Responses

  1. Julie Sheridan

    I love your enthusiasm for the city! I’ve been living in Barcelona for the past year and a half, and it’s an incredible place. It definitely deserves a solid chunk of time to take it all in and get to know. Best of luck in the contest!
    Julie Sheridan recently posted..Beauty and the BeachMy Profile

    Reply
    • Micki Kosman

      Julie, I love that you’re so enthusiastic after over a year in Barcelona! It looks like it would take quite a while to explore the Old City alone!

      Reply
    • Micki Kosman

      Oooh, thanks so much for the tips, Krista! A train trip through the Spanish countryside to taste sparkling wine sounds like a fantastic way to spend the afternoon.

      Reply
  2. gabi klaf

    this is where i get that insatiable need to keep traveling, from seeing pics like these. how can this not be on my to do list now in world travel. and that palace that looks like wet sand, omg. thank you for sharing guys.

    Reply
    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Gabi, Oh, I know what you mean! I love reading travel blogs, but my list of places I’d love to see is now far too long of one lifetime. :)

      Reply
  3. Allison GoWithOh

    Micki, your ideal lifestyle is that of the Spaniards in Barcelona! Your passion for the city is effortlessly expressed through this post, thanks so much for the entry! And really, what city stands a chance against one that eats chocolate for breakfast?!

    Reply
    • Micki Kosman

      Allison, thanks so much! Yes, Spain definitely had us at chocolate for breakfast! My kiddos keep asking me when we’re going to the city where everyone stays up late and dips churros in chocolate for breakfast. I think they’d love a visit to Barcelona as much as Charles and I would!

      Reply
  4. Steph | DiscoveringIce.com

    Wow, now i really want to go back to Barcelona. I was only there for 2 short days back in 2009, as we messed up our dates and had to leave quickly if we wanted to get to Madrid on time for our flight home!
    I really hope you win this! You have the perfect itinerary planned already and your passion is obvious! Best of luck!

    Reply
  5. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas

    Be careful about generalizing about Spain – Catalonia is definitely different from the rest of the country, and there are places that get below 50 degrees (Madrid being one of them – it’s hovering close to 35 these days!). I’ve never been a big Barcelona fan during my three visits, but I’ll be there next week with my family. Hoping to see Monserrat and Besalu, along with Girona again, while we’re there.
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Tapa Thursday: Eating (and drinking) La RiojaMy Profile

    Reply
    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Cat,
      Thanks so much for the words of wisdom from someone who’s been there! 35 is indeed a bit chilly, but all the better for enjoying tapas in a little tapas bar, right? I hope you have a wonderful time in Monserrat and Besalu.

      Reply
  6. jessica - Chez Babette: Wandering the World

    I’ve been lucky enough to escape France, I mean, travel to Barcelona, twice now in one year! One of the perks of living in Europe is cheap trips to cities that make your friends jealous. I love to say, “I spent the weekend in San Sebastian or ” “Just popped over to Amsterdam.” It sounds so much cooler than saying you spent your vacation in, say, Cleveland, doesn’t it? Although I did spend a pretty crazy New Year’s Eve there once! :)

    One thing you must do is ask a Barcelonian what they think about Catalonian independence. It will really get the conversation started!

    Good luck and buena suerte!

    J
    jessica – Chez Babette: Wandering the World recently posted..PhotoMy Profile

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