Below is an article from our 9-year-old son, who has decided to publish under the journalistic nickname, “The Scoop”. 

This is roving reporter Ethan “The Scoop” Goodell, reporting from Barcelona, Spain. The article today is about the Picasso Museum, called the Museu Picasso in Catalan. The museum is in the old town of Barcelona, which in Catalan, is called the Ciutat Vella.

Always on the lookout for interesting museums to visit, as well as affordable sightseeing options and ways of entertaining the boy, we decided a visit to the CosmoCaixa of Barcelona was in order. The CosmoCaixa is Barcelona’s Science Museum. Originally built in the early 20th century as an asylum for the blind, it was expanded and reopened as the Barcelona Science Museum in the early 1980’s. In 1998, it underwent six years of redesign, reconstruction and expansion to open under its new name and under the guidance of the Spanish social foundation “la Caixa”.

For many people, when you think of Barcelona, images of Gaudí’s Park Güell come to mind. You might not know its name, but you’re probably familiar with photos taken from its famous viewing terrace. The colorful tiles of the iconic serpentine bench and the fantastical gatehouses in the foreground with Barcelona’s rooftops and the sea beyond. It’s synonymous with Barcelona and it’s no surprise it’s one of the top five tourist attractions in the city.

It may be a surprise to learn that much of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter (Barri Gótic) is not what it seems. During the latter half of the 19th century and just prior to the International Exhibition in 1929, the heart of the once drab medieval quarter was completely transformed through a massive restoration project. A new Neo-Gothic Quarter was created using real Gothic stonework reconfigured around seven real Gothic buildings, but it also included several new buildings constructed in the Neo-Gothic style. The quarter was essentially reinvented as a tourist attraction to help project a positive image of the city for the International Exhibition.

The most common word in Barcelona has got to be vale (pronounced like ballet). You hear it everywhere, all the time. Vale. People say it walking down the street with friends, talking on the phone, ringing up your groceries at the store. It’s constant. We don’t really speak Catalan or Spanish, but you could easily pick it out of just about every conversation. Finally, I had to ask. What the heck does vale mean?