Barcelona – Day 2 – Gaudi – Parc Guell

July 24, 2010

After touring Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral, we took the metro a few stops, then walked a couple of blocks to a series of escalators.

We also climbed some stairs.

Finally we were high enough to get a good view of the city. Notice the spires of Sagrada Familia rising higher than anything in its surroundings.

Parc Guell is high on a hill, and is suprisingly dry, supporting desert vegetation. From this spot, we also could see the tops of some of Gaudi’s structures in the park.

To visit the park, you walk along a wide dusty path, among a variety of flora, including palm trees and cactus.

Follow the crowds and noise to the Gaudi stuff!!

It was a challenge to take pictures that didn’t include a single person!

Patios, rooftops and structures have the characteristic undulating forms typical of Gaudi, with ceramic mosaics in a variety of designs and colors, with whimsical figures such as open mouthed lizards ending in fountains. Even the plants in this area give the impression of waves and arches. There is a house there that Gaudi lived in, but did not design. Inside you can visit the rooms (the ticket price for this was included in Sagrada Familia) and also see some of the furniture he designed, with handles that mold to your hand, chair backs and arms that are designed to conform to a person’s natural curves. Once again, pictures tell the story better than words.

By the time we had finished seeing the park, we were really exhausted! We dragged ourselves back to the Metro (a different one, with less steep decline, but still lots of steps to go down), stopping at a souvenir shop to fulfill Dale’s promise to his sister and daughter to get them the souvenirs they asked for.  I got a t-shirt with the image of one of the park’s mosaics on the front.

The Metro was quite far and we had to make a pit stop in a public library before entering the station. On our way back, we came across an interesting church, with a patio in back, where we took a rest!

When we got back to our apartment it was nearly 8 pm! We stopped at a place to buy a sandwich (for me) and a bread pizza (for Dale) and some boxed pineapple juice to have for our breakfast the next day. Around 9 pm we finally decided we should go somewhere for dinner. Right down the narrow street from our building, on the edge of a square, is a place called Menage a Trois. The waiter was dressed in a tank top and jeans and had tattoos all up and down his arms. But hey, he did his job and the tapas we ordered were quite good!! And not TOO expensive!!!! The sangria was just right, not too strong.

By the way, on this square are some Roman tombs that had been dug up. They looked like a series of gravestones that you might see at a place where you can order headstones. A big plaque explains what you are looking at as you peer down at them. (No pictures – it was too dark!)

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