July 16 Frankfurt to Barcelona - Arrived into BCN around 3 PM. It was a breeze to get hold of a taxi to go to the homeaway apt on Carrer d'arago. Settled into the apartment, figured out the nearest grocery store (there were 3 supermercats within 5 min walking distance). Motivated the jetl-agged family to go walking to Ramblas. The moment we turned into Passeig de gracia, we were stunned to see the fish building (as my son called it) "Casa Batllo" - That really woke my family up from the jet lag. We stopped at the metro station at the corner of Arago and Passieg de Gracia and bought a T10 ticket. Took pictures around the fountains in Placa de catalunya. Walked Ramblas all the way up to the Licieu metro station. By this time the family was tired so walked back to the apartment.
Jul 17 - In the morning took a taxi to La Catedral in the Barri Gotic district. Used RS walking guide to walk around. Did a bit of shopping and ended up having lunch at a tapas place. Being a vegetarian the choices were limited. After lunch, we returned to our apartment and rested a bit. Late afternoon, we took off to Nova Icaria beach. The water was warm (a bit dirty, sad to see several plastic bags floating) and calm and was easy to play around in it. Enjoyed a warm(!) beer on the beach. Walked up to a beach side bar and had a nice Watermelon Sangria. We walked by the dock and found there were several restaurants there. We had dinner there and went back to the apartment.
Jul 18 - I had booked tickets to Sagrada Familia for the 10 AM entrance (Nativity Tower). We walked to the church from our apartment. It took about 15 minutes. Wrong decision. The day was already warm and by the time we entered the church we were a bit exhausted by the humidity. The church was mobbed. It brought back memories of visiting Vatican few years ago. Once we entered the church it wasn't easy to identify which elevator to take to go up the tower. Also I had wrongly assumed that we could take elevators for coming down. We had to climb down 400 steps ( if I remember right). As we were already a bit exhausted by the walk, it was a bit challenging on the way down - I don't think it was the physical exertion of climbing down the steps but more due to the claustrophobic space. In my opinion, the views from the tower were just OK, possibly overshadowed by my irritation that I had overlooked the method of descent. The church was a unique experience. The whole space inside the church felt surreal - the soaring columns and the way the stained glass windows lit the place up - pure magic.
After spending couple of hours in the church we had lunch around the area and went back to the apartment to recover our energy.
I had planned for two things for the evening. I had bought tickets for Parc Guell - entry time was at 7;30 PM. I planned to attend a concert that was part of the Music in the Parks series. It was in the Nou Barris neighborhood. We took a taxi to the Parc Guell and entered on time. Spent about an hour there - enjoying the monument. It was really pleasant to visit the park at that time of the day. We got great views from the terrace and the whole place made us feel relaxed. We took a taxi from there to go to Casa De L'aigua where the concert was happening. It took more than 30 minutes to reach, the concert was in an open area outside a beautiful building (Cass De L'aigua). http://meet.barcelona.cat/en/discover-barcelona/districts/nou-barris/casa-de-laigua. It was chamber music played by a band called Quartet Vela ( https://www.quartetvela.com/eng-about-us). It was a great setting, in the middle of the park, with the declining light, the whole area was filled with excellent classical music played by four talented saxophonists. At the end of the concert we panicked as we couldn't get hold of a taxi to get back to the apartment. I remembered passing a metro station on our way into Nou Barris,