I LOVE to shop. It’s my second favorite activity (after traveling). I got this from my mother. So imagine I’m in Barcelona – with my mom – and we are near one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. You know we are going to make a stop along Paseo de Gracia.
Paseo de Gracia is part of the L’ Eixample neighborhood. Barcelona had been a walled Roman city, and when they decided to expand outside the walls, they had a competition for the planning of the city. The plan that won was a grid with apartments the size of blocks with a courtyard in the middle. Through the grid ran the Avenue Diagonal. Paseo de Gracia was designed as a street with wide sidewalks for pedestrians. In the past it had your local shops, but as times have changes and the area has become wealthier it has become the place for high end shops. Some of the most famous brands in the world are on Paseo de Gracia.
We were a short distance form Paseo de Gracia, so we decided to walk there. Our first pleasant surprise was the market of book shops along the sidewalk. There were new books, old books, books in all different languages. We perused at our leisure, looking at all the options. I picked up a few gifts for the kids along the way.
We walked up a few blocks to check out the Casa Batlló. Guadi has two buildings along the posh street, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. My personal favorite is La Pedrera with its white curves and soldiers at the top. But neither my mother or stepfather are interested in architecture so visiting one house outside was their limit. The one we chose to see was Casa Batlló. This one is beautiful because of the mask like balconies and beautiful colored glass that causes the house to shimmer in the sun. We took our pictures, I read to them a little about I had in my travel book, and then we were done.
You can’t come to the most famous shopping street in the world and not go shopping. With brands like Channel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, most of the shopping was a bit out of our price range. But there were some more mid-range brands like Levi’s and Nike that we browsed. But we delayed doing most of our shopping till the Mango Children’s store. Mango is a Spanish brand and they had some amazing stuff for the kids. We helped contribute to the national economy in that store…
We wrapped up our time with an awesome tapas lunch at Tapas24, just off Paseo de Gracia, and more shopping at El Corte Ingles, the big department stop at the end of Paseo de Gracia in Plaza Catalunya. With our hands full of bags and our wallets lighter, we considered the day a success and were happy to indulged in both our favorite pastimes at the same time.