Day 87 - La Pedrera & Restaurant Fun

Today we checked out 2 restaurants, 1 bakery, and probably the last Gaudi work we will check out on this trip: La Pedrera (also known as Casa Mila).

Sant Joan Restaurant

For lunch, we checked out a small restaurant called Sant Joan.  It is owned by a mother and daughter, and is very well reviewed by others who have visited.  The staff were incredibly friendly and spoke English well enough.  They have some interesting choices on the menu, such as rabbit (::faints::) and fried lamb brain (::faints again::).  We stuck to the "regular" options, such as steak and potatoes, soup, and pasta.  Overall, we'd say if you are in the area it's a great place to go for lunch, with good food and excellent prices, but I wouldn't particularly go out of my way just to eat here.  Should you find yourself at this restaurant, I strongly recommend the Gazpacho. It is delicious, and the small plate full of diced veggies (as toppings) make it all that much better.

Sant Joan Restaurant

Splashing in the Pool

After lunch, the kids enjoyed splashing around the rooftop pool at the hotel my sister and brother in law are staying at.  Our kids always love a good pool, and this infinity pool on the roof of the hotel has a great view, though it is a bit on the chilly side.  Thanks Joe and Neda for letting us swim at your awesome pool again!

 Infinity pool at Olivia Balmes Hotel

Infinity pool at Olivia Balmes Hotel

Boldu

On our way to the last Gaudi work we plan to visit while in Barcelona, we stopped at an adorable bakery called Boldu and got 2 delicious doughnuts for our "thing 1" and "thing 2" :).

The doughnuts from this bakery are not only cute, but they are also delicious.  An excellent "in-between meals" place to visit if you are craving something sweet.

La Pedrera

La Pedrera, meaning the Quarry, is a modernist building designed by Antoni Gaudi as his last civil work.

Travel Tip: The ticket costs € 16.50 per adult and € 8.25 for children between 7-12.  Children under 6 are free.  Although you do not need to pick a time slot to enter (like many other attractions in Barcelona), it is still advisable to buy tickets ahead of time and skip the lines.

At the moment there is some construction going on for the outside facade of the building, and they have it covered up (which is a bummer), but there is a small portion on the side that is not covered so visitors can somewhat see what the building looks like.

The Roof

Upon entering, all visitors walk through the courtyard and wait for an elevator to be taken to the roof.  The roof is truly the most magical place of the entire building.  After walking through Casa Batllo, this was another dream-like experience.  The roof is quite vast and has a series of stairs, creating a fun space to walk and wonder what was going through Gaudi's mind when he designed the various architectural designs.  All the structures found on the roof serve an actual functional purpose, such as chimneys, air ventilation, etc.  What they look like is left to each person's imagination.

The Attic

A building model of La Pedrera on display in the attic

After seeing the roof, instead of taking the elevator back down, all visitors take the stairs and go through the attic, where some information can be found regarding all of Gaudi's work in Barcelona.

La Pedrera, also known as Casa Mila "was commissioned by businessman Pere Milà i Camps and his wife Roser Segimon i Artells. At the time it was very controversial because of the bold undulating stone facade and twisted wrought iron that decorate the balconies and windows, designed mostly by Josep Maria Jujol."  After visiting Gaudi's House at Park Guell, we learned that in his later life, Antoni Gaudi was a very religious man.  Often, he attended church twice a day.  As such, he had planned for a statue of Mary and two archangels in Casa Mila.  Interestingly enough, "the owner (of the property) decided not to include (the statue) after Semana Trágica, an outbreak of anticlericalism in the city.  After the decision was made to exclude the statuary of Mary and the archangels, Gaudi contemplated abandoning the project but was persuaded not to by a priest."  Read more about the history of Casa Mila/La Pedrera here.

The Apartment

"Located on the 4th floor, this apartment recreates the home and lifestyle of a bourgeois family in Barcelona in the early 20th century."  Despite not receiving too many colorful reviews, we enjoyed walking through the Apartment.  We were able to see a few rooms with some classical furniture and a typical Gaudi touch.  Some rooms were not accessible and we could only peek in, however, most rooms allowed visitors to walk through and experience the feeling of walking through an actual apartment.  As my sister pointed out, it felt like we were walking through an open-house (a preview of a home up for sale for those not from the states).

After the Apartment, you can either take the elevator back to the ground floor or you can be crazy like us and go the entire way down the stairs on foot :)

Travel Tip: La Pedrera's day visits end at 8 PM.  You can also visit La Pedrera at night when they light up the roof.  Check out their website for more details on night visits.  We recommend you arrive around 6 PM, as we barely encountered any crowds and had a very pleasant visit with plenty of time to explore.

Before exiting the building, we enjoyed walking through not 1 but 2 gift shops!!  Time for dinner...

Cornelia & Co

Thank goodness for Yelp and all the awesome people out there who contribute to it.  We were able to find a very well reviewed restaurant only a few minutes away from La Pedrera, called Cornelia & Co - A Daily Picnic Store.  I am so glad we decided to find this restaurant.  The atmosphere was amazing, the food was very delicious, but best of all they were amazing with kids :)  The host brought cushions for the kids to sit on so they would be more comfortable.  The waiter brought blue and green straws for Kian and pink for Hannah.  Both the host and the waiter would stop and chat with the kids whenever they came to the table to check on things or bring food out.  It's the little things :)

That was most definitely a delicious end to our awesome day of sightseeing and restaurant going.

Interested in reading more about our stay in Barcelona?