To Tibidabo

Ever since re-watching episodes of Friends and seeing that one episode where Joey tells the story of how he was backpacking through Western Europe and hiking up Mount Tibidabo, it was a sort of reminder of how close I am to such amazing feats, that I must take advantage of.

Where is it?

Assuming my embedding skills are up to date, below you´ll see a map of the exact location of Tibidabo, just click on “Directions” to figure out how to get there. Heading up there we took the train up to Peu de Funicular and then the funicular up to Vallvidrera Superior, following that you can take the bus to the top or you can take a 15 minute walk and enjoy the sights along the way.

Walking up you still get views of the city of Barcelona and if you didn´t know that there was even more higher up, you might even be satisfied with just seeing them and not going any further. Fortunately for you and I, we know there´s more ahead!

Walking from Vallvidrera Superior up to Tibidabo

Generally the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Tibidabo is the large structure at the top of the mountain. It´s known as Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor.

And when you start making your way up, it´s pretty much the first thing that you notice and it’s rather amazing both in photo and in person.

What is it?

It´s a Roman Catholic Church that was built because of rumours that a protestant church and a hotel-casino  was going to be built over there. It took just under 60 years to build this feat of Neo-Gothic architecture with the building beginning in 1902 and completing in 1961.

Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

What else is there?

Aside from the epic views and great areas to walk around, they´ve also stuck an amusement park to keep things interesting.

You don´t have to pay to be up there and walk around for most of the area but there are sections cut off to paying customers only, like some of the viewing platforms and play areas for the children. There´s more than enough though to keep you entertained and sights to see if you decide to take the free entry route. When we were up there, we just walked around and found it more than suffice in not making any purchases.

One thing I´ll especially recommend is to go up to Tibidabo for just before sunset because it´s quite simply stunning.

If you decide to head up to this place, leave your thoughts of it in the comments!

CosmoCaixa – It’s Like The Others, But Maybe More Fun

The name CosmoCaixa intrigued before I knew what it was, maybe by as much as this blog post does to you!

When you’re in need of a place to go with your child that will keep them occupied and not require much work of you, go there.

Riley and the world
Taking it all in

What is cosmocaixa?

A Science museum!

CosmoCaixa spiral rampFrom my own experience of science museums in different countries, they are always a great place to go. You press lots of buttons, take photos, see crazy inventions and unique mechanisms.

There’s such a diverse mix of things to see that it helps to encompass all types of people.

So when it comes to children, it’s perfect! They get to experiment, learn and play.

 

How is COSMOCAIXA?

It’s huge, and I’m sure when Riley and I visited it, we missed things. The missing things is how they get you to come back again!

When it comes to the basics of a science museum, this place ticks the boxes of what I’d personally look for: buttons, wheels and cogs, optical illusions and wildlife. But then they threw an little (HUGE) extra thing into the works….

A RAINFOREST!

You don’t just get all the standards, but you also get an aquarium/rainforest experience; climate and all.

 

How to get there

There’s always a few ways to get anywhere but personally I always find easiest to just go by train. So, we went by train. We headed to Av. Tibidabo and then walked up the mammoth hill to be greeted by another hill and a bridge (top picture). So just be prepared if you decide to not take a taxi, bus or tram up to the top. All in all, worth it though and can’t go wrong with a bit of exercise.

Av.Tibidabo
View from Av.Tibidabo on the L7 Line

Plaza España – Plaça España

Take the scenic route… whenever possible.

I like waking up early in the mornings, not because it makes me more productive, but because it allows me to take my time to get things done. When this comes to work, it’s not such a good thing, I work a lot better under pressure.

However, when it comes to exploring (which I hope will be my full time job one day) the scenic routes always require a lot of time, there’s just only so fast you can walk before it becomes running, then things just get way out of hand.

In my last travel category post, I wrote about Palau Nacional but I didnt’ mention where I went on my way over there because it deserves its own spotlight. My early morning walking allowed me to stop by Parc de Joan Miró which is known for housing the 22m high sculpture known as Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird).

Wulf Willis - Dona I Ocell in Barcelona
Dona I Ocell in amongst a construction site

The structure was designed by Miró but the colourful tiles on the outside was the responsibility of Joan Gardy Artigas and was created as a means of welcoming visitors to Barcelona via land. It was a part of a trilogy of sculptures for land, sky and sea with this one being the last.

This isn’t the only thing to do there though, there’s a park (clue’s in the name), a few ping pong tables, a playground and palm trees which should meet the minimum requirements for having fun outside.

wulf_willis_joan_miro_park_barcelona
Heading into Parc de Joan Miró

Moving on from there, I stopped every two minutes to take a shot down towards the Plaza and then turned around and took one of the palace, back and forth. There’s just a whole lot in one area.

Here’s what I could have seen on the way to Palau Nacional, if I hadn’t stopped, in about 15 minutes of walking:

  • Palau Nacional
  • Plaza Espanya
  • Parc de Joan Miró – Dona i Ocell
  • Arenas de Barcelona – The Old Bull Ring and now shopping mall
  • Torres Venecianes (The Two Towers)
  • Font Mágica de Monjuic (Magic Fountain)

As sightseeing goes, Barcelona makes it pretty easy to do!