Costa del Sol

After a relaxing week at a golf resort near Murcia, we headed to the Costa del Sol region of Spain.  We took a day trip to Granada, a day trip to Mijas, and an afternoon at Aventura Amazonia.

The Alhambra is in Granada.  It is a spectacular site.  Nathan prepared a great presentation on the Alhambra and you can see that here – Nathan’s presentation.   Also check out our photos page.  I posted my two favourite photos here.

DSC 9929

We also visited the Basilica de San Juan de Dios in Granada.  The outside doesn’t look like much but the inside is very ornate. Probably the most gold coloured and fancy altar we’ve seen.  

The problem we had with Granada was some of the roads can only be driven on with special permits or are for taxis and buses only.  Unfortunately, our GPS didn’t know those rules and we violated the rules 3 or 4 times.  We were expecting a large bill from the car rental company for all our fines.  But when we received the charge to our visa there weren’t any extra fines … Yet

DSC 0370DSC 0329

We couldn’t go to Spain without seeing some Flamenco dancing so we headed to Mijas.  Mijas is a small village about 19 km from where we were staying but it took us about 45 minutes to get there.  Me. being Miss Cheapo was tired of paying the tolls so I thought what the heck, let’s take the scenic route.  What a scenic route it was!!  We winded up and down some very skinny roads but had some awesome views.  The Flamenco dancing was great and Mijas was like a little treasure. We saw an old original bullfighting ring and had some fantastic views.



The boys also spent an afternoon at Aventura Amazonia.  It is a ropes course and zipline adventure park.  Super fun and very safe. 



DSC 9503DSC 9510

Hands down the Sagrada Familia is the most interesting site in Barcelona.  It towers over the other buildings and stands out like a red apple among a basket of green apples.  The construction of the church began in 1882 and it is expected to be completed in 2026.  Nope  …  That wasn’t a typo.  Antino Gaudi took over construction of the church in 1883 and his plans contemplated that it would take 200 years to complete.  He said that his boss was in no hurry so there was no need for him to hurry either.

DSC 9515

Some of the reviewers on tripadvisor were appalled by the Sagrada Familia.  Stating that it looked more like a Disney attraction than a place of worship.   The Sagrada Familia was started quite a bit before Disney so one might say that Disney looks a little like the Sagrada Familia.  Gaudi was known for elaborate and sometimes bizarre designs.  The photo on the left is of the Nativity Side of the Church (completed while Gaudi was alive).  The photo on the right is the Passion Side of the Church.

The outside of the church is somewhat gaudy in my opinion and I actually wondered if the word “gaudy” originated from Antino Gaudi.  It doesn’t.  For those that know me, I had to goggle it and gaudy is an English word from the 15th century.

DSC 9574DSC 9537

The inside of the church is another story.  My eyes opened wide when we walked into the church.  It was stunning and not at all what I expected.  The design and the colours are amazing.

Two of my favourite photos.

DSC 9540Sagrada Familia - inside

The other highlights of our stay in Barcelona included the Fat Bike Tour, our day trip to Montserrat Monastery, and the Supa Copa Football (Soccer) Game.

The Fat Bike Tour hit most of the major sites in Barcelona, Arc de Triomf, Gaudi Fountain, and King Ferdinand and Isabella’s Castle.  It is a great way to see the city and to get some exercise at the same time. 

DSC 9651DSC 9634

The Montserrat Monastery was quite the site to see. It sits high up on a mountain and we needed to take a cable car to get up.  The major attraction to see at the Monastery is the statue of the Black Virgin Mary.  It is believed that the statue was carved at the beginning of Christianity and brought to Spain.  Some of the information I read later stated that it may have been carved by St. Luke but that isn’t believed by all.   It was later hidden in a Santa Cova cave and was rediscovered by shepherds in 880 AD. They saw a bright light and heard singing that led them to the cave and the statue.  The first recorded discovery of the statue is from the 13th century.

Not sure about some of the accuracy of these details.  What seems to be agreed upon is that is was carved a long time ago and was hidden in the cave when the Moors were attacking Spain.  The statue was then discovered by shepherds and shortly after miracles were reported.

IMG 0203

The boys would tell you that it wasn’t the Sagrada Familia or the Montserrat Monastery that was the most exciting thing.  They would say that the soccer game where they got to watch Messi play was the most exciting.  Only Quinn, Nathan and Tom went.  Like all things in Spain, the game didn’t start until quite late. 10:00pm.  Way too late for Jaxon.  The boys had an interesting adventure on the way back to our apartment.  The buses that they were suppose to take weren’t running and there were people all over the place trying to get home.  In the end they managed to return but not until 2:30am.  They boys didn’t care.  It was all just extremely exciting for them.


Best Things about Barcelona

Supa Copa Soccer Game

Sagrada Familia

Fat Bike Tour


Worst Thing about Barcelona

The heat in our no ac and no fans apartment


Most surprising things about Barcelona

Barcelona is in the state of Catalonia and many people in this state want to separate from Spain (kinda like Quebec).

There are two official languages – Catalan and Spanish


© VanKosh Family 2015