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Barcelona, Part 1

Jetlag and Timed Ticket Entries

sunny 85 °F
View Spain/France 2018 on amikulski's travel map.

  • *Note: DD1 brought her first grown-up camera on the trip, so I will be featuring some of her pics in this blog. She took the Parc Güell photo and many of the ones from Sagrada Familia.*

For this trip, I wanted to try to reduce our jetlag. I had a 3-point plan:

1. Progressively earlier bedtimes (15 minutes a day until we were going to bed 2 hours early)
2. For me, a trtl scarf/neck pillow (DH didn't want one, and they don't come in kid sizes)
3. Chocolate (kid-dosed and tasty caffeine) for the morning after.


(Note: I got the Barcelona bar a few weeks ago as a gift and kept it to be themed! LOL.)

Part 1 of the plan was enacted, but not optimally. I got the girls down an hour early the night before our flight. I guess that's something. I only turned in a half hour early, and DH stayed up.

Part 2 was a total fail. About an hour into our drive to the airport, I realized that I left the trtl at home. D'oh! I had been so set on making sure it was in a carry on that I set it aside--and failed to pack it. My neck missed it.

Part 3 was OK. The chocolate did give us a little boost. I packed too much, but my girls will be happy with the extra chocolate on the trip.

My husband had his own plan for us: no napping on our first day there. I was so exhausted that I wore him down on this one, but we only got catnaps: he set a timer for 30 minutes. It was a tough first day--the girls dozed off in public a couple of times--but by the next day everyone was feeling better.

It's been 8 years since our last trip to Barcelona, and we've noticed a big increase in the use of timed entry tickets at many attractions. It has caught us a bit off guard, starting on our first day in the city. We went to Parc Güell only to find that part of the park was now designated as a monument zone that required timed entry tickets; we hadn't read about this anywhere, not even in our 2018 guidebook. We had arrived just before 4 PM only to find that the next available entry was at 8 PM. We were hot and sweaty from an uphill walk from the Metro, so this was a disappointment. We had some water to cool down, strolled through the open area of the park, and peeked down into the monument zone, some of which is off limits for restoration.


Our next day included both a hit and miss on timed entries. We had heard that they were being used at Sagrada Familia, so we had bought tickets online before our trip. Children under 6 are not allowed to go in the towers, so we split up with a plan to meet afterwards. DH and DD2 checked out the church and crossed the street to spend some time at a park. DD1 and I went up the towers of the Nativity facade first, saw the rest of the church, and then went to the park.

Sagrada Familia was amazing. Photos really can't do it justice.

The tower climb offered some interesting close-up details as well.

It was cool to see all the work that had been done since my visit in 2000, when the interior was still under construction. DD1 has become a Gaudi fan since doing a school project on him, so she loved it. DD2 was content to leave earlier and eat ice cream and play while her sister explored.

We had heard that the Picasso Museum offered free admission on Thursday afternoons. Having learned our lesson the day before, I went online to get more details. I learned that we again needed timed entry tickets, and that they were all out for the day. Instead of the museum, we walked down the Rambla and in the Barri Gotic. We ended our day meeting some friends for a late dinner who finishing their own vacation. It was great to meet up, and my girls seemed to enjoy hanging out with some other kids. Jetlag or not, we were on Spanish time!

Posted by amikulski 19:18 Archived in Spain Tagged churches children parks airplane

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