Hello all- first time poster, but been a fan of Rick Steves for years - but usually went over to TA for their forum but figured I would try here to get some different view points.
Background - My wife and I and our 4 year old daughter will be taking my active 74 year old mother to Europe for 2 weeks at the end of September. We have been throwing around ideas - but realize we need to really need to finalize plans. We are leaning towards southern Europe do we get the nicest weather and can spend more time outside - especially with the little one to make things easier.
We are looking to have maybe two bases to avoid the packing and packing and travel between locals. We sorta like to do the slow travel and immerse ourselves in a place vs 2 nights here, 3 nights here, 2 nights there, etc. We really loved Rome for that very aspect of being able to duck into random churches, the pantheon, then grabbing a bottle of wine and just soaking in the world. I am tempted to go back, but both of us and my mom (on her only European trip ever) have been there. I am sure I would love it, but just thinking of other options. Basically thinking about the best place to a sort of slow travel experience similar to what you could fine in Rome/Italy.
My questions we have:
1. Barcelona is obviously a very popular and big bustling city, are there the types of places that Rome has that you can duck in and explore for a bit minutes and move on (think of the walking tours of Rome thru chruches, trevi fountain, etc). Or are most of the attractions ticketed - I know the big ones are (familia sagrada, etc) - I am just thinking if the little one throws a tantrum in the middle of a tour, we might have have to head out and don't want to be out the $$, etc.I am sure she can last throw a tour or two, but every day would get a little old for her.
Food - My mom is not into seafood (I know - her loss) - but that isn't gong to change at this time - will we have any issues? She never complains, but might not be into what traditionally is eaten there (plus spicy food doesn't work for her due to some dry mouth issues) - between her and a typical 4 year old American child - will we have issues at most places?
1 week there- too long? Will we get bored? I doubt it, as I am sure we can always find a park, or football game, etc.
Where to add on for second week? Originally I was looking at Andalusia for two weeks, but it is sorta a pain to get there from Raleigh - 3 flights and just not sure if I want to have that long of trip with the little one. I looked at Costa Brava a bit - if we did that- is it best to rent a car? Any highlights that would be best?
Any other tips? Locations to think about?
thanks in advance!