From Malaga to Barcelona With Kids In The Car

Why do I always get these hair brained schemes? Always I create these perfect visions in my head that turn out to be something completely different.

Maybe it’s because once a few months pass, the memories of the screaming and the fighting fade, and I’m left only with the happy imprint of a distant memory. Yea that must be it.

With that in mind, I figured it would be a fantastic idea to drive from Malaga to Barcelona with a two and a five year old. This was April’s new obsession.

We set off early en route to Grenada. Obsessed with mountains all I wanted was a glimpse of the Mulhacen, Spain’s biggest peak. I wasn’t disappointed although from a moving car, no phone can capture the beauty the eye sees. I had this idea in my head that we would get to Grenada and find ourselves eating lunch with beautiful mountain views. It was not to be, because there was no time to divert to somewhere with a mountain view. Another dream shattered.

After a quick stop, we pressed on towards Valencia. We arrived early evening. To our dismay we realised Valencia was shut. One thing you have to realise about Spain it it takes Catholicism seriously. Easter weekend isn’t about consumerism. You’d be lucky to find a restaurant.

We managed to find the kids some Churros whilst we ambled round the science park. The science park was mostly closed, but there were a few people Zorbing.

To be fair it’s a beautiful place with some stunning architecture. I wish we had done more research. The quiet was compatible to Christmas Day.

It was a brief stay and then it was onwards and upwards to Barcelona. By this point I was totally sick of driving and listening to the kids whine. We should have flown. Even the mountain drive was mostly flat and much duller than I had expected. I was envisioning something akin to the drive we had to the Sierra de las Nieves. Ah well.

Arriving in Barcelona our hotel view was something else! The city on one side and the sea on the other, the view was spectacular. The rooftop bar was ambient and the food delicious. Incidentally we came back later that evening to eat. Sitting by the window they shut the curtains at sunset!! What on Earth?

A good sleep and faith restored in my holiday we headed into the amazing city that is Barcelona. Aiming to get around, we bought a hop on hop off pass. Big mistake. Well if you’re apt to lose things like we are, it’s a huge mistake. Beware of these bus tours in places where public transport is cheap and plentiful. Because unlike losing a metro ticket, these will cost you £70 ish for a couple of days and if you misplace it, that’s it, you’re off the bus and no proof of purchase matters. Learning curve: stick to public transport.

We decided to get a better look at some of the fabulous Gaudi architecture that Barcelona is so famous for. We started out with the park. When we arrived at the park, it was full. With no tickets available for the duration of our stay. How disappointing!

Instead we figured we would go and look at the Sagrada Familia. Sadly we encountered the same situation. No tickets. If anyone reading this ever wants to visit a major Spanish city over a religious holiday, all I can say is plan ahead. We are a fly by the seat of our pants family and it just doesn’t work in these situations!

Despite this it was a glorious day and it didn’t stop us enjoying the amazing cathedral from the outside. It’s really something else.

We enjoyed the rest of our trip just sampling the variety of food and drink that’s always available in a big city, and taking in the colourful art nouveau style streets.

On this trip, I learned that Easter isn’t the best time to visit prominent Spanish cities, and if you want to see some of the best known sites, book in advance. If you have a two and a five year old, a ten hour road trip might not be the best idea. One day I’ll return to Barcelona a bit more prepared.

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