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Parc Guell, worth the climb?

By Guest
Posts: 7

Posted on: April 27, 2010 at 6:19PM

If you go to Barcelona Gaudiís Parc Guell is the one sight you must not miss. Itís free to go in, unless you want to go inside Gaudiís house and I get the feeling you could go back again and again and see something new each time. We set off on the metro feeling pretty confident that it would be easy to find but when we came out of the station we really didnít have a clue where to go next. There was a little park close by so we decided to sit down and study the map. No sooner had we sat down than a wizened old man appeared as if from nowhere, at this point we hadnít even got the map out. ĎAre you looking for Parc Guell?í he asked in perfect English. We both wondered how he knew what we were looking for and that we were English just by looking at us. I took out the map and he pointed out the best route, he also told us there was a bus as it was quite a walk. We decided to risk the walk, after all we are seasoned walkers. As we waited to cross the road I looked back at the park. The bench where we had been sitting was empty and there was no sign of the old man. Perhaps itís true that only the English go out in the mid day sun and I suppose that there is really only one thing that lost tourists would be looking for in that area, even so it was a little eerie. Much as I like walking, there were moments when I wished I'd listened and taken the bus.The higher we went the steeper it got. The road seemed to go on forever, then, just as we began to think weíd been led astray, we saw the sign at Carrer de Larrad. Looking up the steep hill I sighed. It was boiling hot and it looked like a long hard climb ahead. It was. The pavements were uneven cobbled affairs and there were crowds of people going up and down. Still we had come this farÖ Eventually, just as I thought I couldnít take another step we were at the top and looking at the entrance to Park Guell, a big gateway with mosaics and crowds of people. Then I saw the steps! Everything was up hill! After a moment catching our breath we set off up the winding dirt path. Before long we forgot we were even climbing, everything was so breathtaking (and I donít mean just the climb). There were giant structures of stones that looked like dirt, columns like wizened treetrunks and arches woven in amongst the trees that looked as if they had grown there. Our path opened out onto the famous serpent mosaic benches and we stopped for a while to rest and admire the magnificent views over the city. Apparently Gaudi used the impression left by a workman sitting naked in clay to design the shape of the benches. Iím not sure if this is a myth or the truth but they are very comfortable to sit on, especially after such an effort to reach them, and the mosaics are beautiful. The views across Barcelona are spellbinding, we spent a long time picking out the landmarks. Sagrada Familia is unmistakable almost as if Gaudi planned the whole thing just to show off his creation. The benches surround a large open space filled with musicians, people selling souvenirs and crowds milling amongst them. People stop to scratch pictures and messages in the sandy floor and others stop and spread out picnics. It is a wonderful place to linger and watch people of all nationalities passing by. After a short rest we began our winding decent. We wound our way down under the columns and were delighted to find an area beneath the benches with beautiful mosaic ceilings. We passed the house where Gaudi and his family spent their final days. It is possible to buy a ticket and go inside to see how he lived and the furniture he designed but time was getting on and this would have to be one more reason to come back. Finally we were back where we began and the final surprise was the giant mosaic lizard fountain, hidden from view at the start by the crowds and the greenery at the entrance. report a problem

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