Subject: Re: Barcelona for a 7 year old
Hello Roger,

Barcelona is one of the best European cities I could think of to take a 7 year old to. By all means, plan at least a half-day in Gaudí's Parc Gell. Take a picnic lunch. Your child will be in heaven. I loved it at 20, at 30, and at 40 years of age. He'll also enjoy just looking at the Cathedral of La Sagrada Familia (reminiscent of a dripping ice-cream sundae), but be sure to go inside so you can look around and climb the towers.

A walk along the Ramblas is a delight for people of all ages. Best times are early in the morning when the sidewalk shops are opening, and in early evening when the paseo is underway.

You could spend more than a day exploring the little mountains that are on the ring of the city. Montjuic can be reached by a cable car from the port area near the bottom of the Ramblas, and once there you can explore the gardens, the Magic Fountain, several museums, and some pavilions from the 1929 Exposition. The Pueblo Español is also up there (I think), which is a recreation of village architectural styles from all over Spain. It's a little Disney-esque, but well worth it, especially for children.

The other mountain up the slopes behind the city is Tibidabo. There is an amusement park up here, but also a castle and a belvedere overlooking the city,

Apart from suggesting just walking around the old Gothic quarter, I'd also recommend a tour of Barcelona underground. The remains of the original Roman city have been nicely excavated and are presented in a beautiful museum-like environment.

You'll find that Barcelona will keep your child, and you, enthralled until you're exhausted. It's a fantastic city, recently described in The N.Y. Times as being like Paris but with a Latin flavor. I'd throw in a little bit of northern Italy as well.

Joel, in Chicago (where it's 60°F/15°C, but the harbor is still frozen over.)