Lisbon, Paris, Barcelona & London

I realize that I have fallen quite behind in my writing our last month and a half in Europe. So, bellow I have written a quick synopses of the last few places we visited before heading back to the States for the holidays.

After Nice we went to Lisbon, Portugal for 2 weeks. This was, across the board, our family’s favorite city so far. The people are wonderfully kind. The city is beautiful with many amazing museums (our favorite being the National Museum of Natural History and Science. This place has a wonderful dinosaur exhibit, an incredible gem exhibit, and our favorite exhibit of all time: a hands-on-board game exhibit. We spent about an hour just in the board-game exhibit playing and learning various different board-games from around the world.

While in Lisbon, we also visited the beautiful and historical city of Sintra. This was one place I had heard was definitely worth seeing while being in the are. It’s about a 45 minute cab drive from the center of Lisbon perched up on top of a beautiful mountain overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. If you google Sintra, you can see what we saw and it is exactly as the pictures show. Spectacular and absolutely beautiful. Definitely a worthwhile place to go back to!

In Paris, we became tourists and visited the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triumph. I really do love Paris. It has an incredible romantic feel to it and the people there are just lovely.

Next, we visited Barcelona. We stayed right by the building designed by Gaudi that is still being built after 100 years of construction. It’s called La Sagrada Familia. It’s a big tourist attraction…and thus has been built to be none other than a tourist attraction, where other beautiful Cathedrals we have visited have been built as places for worshiping God. So, that being said, I didn’t feel giving it the title of church or Cathedral was appropriate. Others may have a differing view, that is just mine. While in Barcelona, we also visited the amazing Gothic Quarters. I would love to go back and spend more time there. The winding streets and little shops were so fun to look at. There is an amazing food market right across the street from the Gothic Quarter which is the most incredible open market I have yet to see. They said to be careful of pick-pockets here, but we didn’t have any issues.

Of course, with Spanish Tapas being one of my favorite foods to eat, I was extremely excited to try some Tapas restaurants in Barcelona! In our quest to find Spanish Tapas, we found a really neat restaurant called Zyriab. Now, this was not Spanish Tapas, but it was Arabian Tapas and oh man! It was incredible food, the atmosphere romantic, and the service amazing. All 3 combined made for a wonderful evening.

We spent our last month in London and saw some things we had not seen before. The first week we stayed up in Camden and one afternoon took a walk through the Camden Market. This Market is fantastic! So many different shops and food and people! Definitely a place I’d like to spend a little more time in next time we’re in the area. We also took the audio tour of the Parliament building and learned some very interesting things about the building’s history and structure. We bought our tickets online, where it was cheaper and we could go strait to the front of the line.

Also, while we were in London, we checked out the Museum of Science and also the Museum of Natural History. I must say that I love how most of the museums are free to visitors in this city! The Museum of Science had fascinating exhibits on the history and development of all different areas of science. They also had wonderful exhibits with models of cars and planes through history–some you could even get in! The kids loved it! The Museum of Natural History was my favorite museum in London. The kids love the exhibit and we could spend days there–especially since it’s free!

Our favorite place to visit this time around in London was the Tower of London. We were surprised at how amazing that place is and could have spent much more time there. We went later in the day, not realizing how big that place is. They closed at 4, so we had to rush through a few things before leaving–feeling as though we should come back and see it another time. I definitely recommend this for people of all ages!

So, that is a very brief, and I fear, a very incomplete synopsis of each place we visited. Over-all, it’s been a great 3 months!

 

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