December 2021 to January 2022 - Barcelona and the "Golden Coast", Spain  

  The stars finally aligned and we managed to leave the Netherlands for the first time in two years. We spent our Christmas holiday in Catalonia, Spain, soaking up enough sun to last us through another pandemic winter.

Yes, that was the view from our balcony for two glorious weeks. And due to some serendipitous geographical alchemy we still can’t comprehend, we could see both sunrise and sunset into the sea from here.

This trip the kids joined us on a suprising amount of day trips.


We opened our presents on Christmas eve and traveled on Christmas day.

AirBnB (Calafell)
Calafell is one of the beautiful beach towns on the "Golden Coast" south of Barcelona. We stayed in this AirBnB for the entire trip and rented a car to take day trips.

Made it in time to enjoy sunset on Christmas day.



Calafell castle was a 30 minute walk from the beach.

the view from our balcony

We watched THE WITCHER every night together and finished season 3.

Excellent couples massages. Only regret was not doing them during the day with the balcony doors open

Sarah is the lucky winner, finding one of the 3 kings in the cake

rare family photo

when your dog is also a movie star

morning pages

and daily walks on the beach

fresh churos and thick hot chocolate

one of many cocktails on the beach


Axa and Raj playing with Lyra on the beach

teenagers on holiday :)

"long hallways" to chase a ball is high on Lyra's AirBnB requirements

Raj swindling Tony and Axa out of 10 euros to jump into the ocean at night with all his clothing on

We love to play games... especially on holiday! We didnt have space to bring any board games but here are some of our favorite phone games.

ROOT (Tony and Raj)

Flight Rising (Axa)

Polytopia (Tony, Axa, and Raj)

Hearts and poker

Brawl Stars (Tony and Axa)

Hearthstone (Tony, Axa, and Raj)

Terraria (Axa and Raj)

"La Sagrada Familia" (created of famous artist Antoni Gaudi) is the thing people normally think of when they hear Barcelona. It was an amazing cathedral. There are also various examples of art nouveau through the city.

The kids joined for the first day trip to view the cathedral, but skipped the second one to see The Parc del Laberint d'Horta.

Park Guell is also one of the most famous sights of Barcelona

teenagers on holiday :)



possibly the best outdoor seating at any FIVE GUYS burgers in the world :)

inside La Sagrada Familia

most cathedrals have an overwhelming and oppressive feeling, but La Sagrada Familia was open and filled with light

windows filled with yellow and orange stained glass for morning "sunrise" light

green and blue stained glass for "sunset" light

"La Boqueria" food market had an amazing amound of food items

The Parc del Laberint d'Horta

Sitges is a coastal town in Spain's Catalonia region, southwest of Barcelona, with great access (20 mins) to the airport. It's known for its Mediterranean beaches and seafront promenade lined with grand mansions from explores who made their fortunes in the "New World".

Cool, winding old town and surrounding streets are filled with shops, restaurants, and many gay bars and nightclubs.

We had a fantastic day out and tried some delicious traditional paella.

18th century cannons (replicas) protecting the seafront

Cau Ferrat, orinally one of the homes of a weathly Spaniniard

Cau Ferrat, renovated and filled with period treasures and is now a museum. One of the coolest places we visited.

teenagers on holiday :)

this room in Cau Ferrat hangs over the ocean

Spanish food... nom nom

famous BLACK rice paella. The black color is from squid ink

Tarragona was the original seat of the roman empire and is still an importand and busy port city in northeastern Spain’s Catalonia region.

Many ancient ruins remain from its time as the Roman colony of Tarraco.

2nd-century Roman arena

We left the kids for this day trip as we were celebrating our anniversary

seafront promenade

16 euro 4 course lunch in an art nouveau theme restaurant

The weather in Spain was pretty much perfect the entire trip with hardly an rain and temperatures in low 20.

Perfect weather for hiking.

this was possibly Lyra's favorite day trip :)

frog hunting

The children were also introduced to Popeye's chicken

Monestary and MontBlonc
The Monestir de Poblet is one of the key religious and historical sites in Spain and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The fortified monastery was a royal residence and large interior buildings

It contains the pantheon of the kings of Catalonia

Resting place of St. George, fabled dragon slaying patron saint

nearby city of Montblanc, with a gorgeous old city center
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