Barcelona is, from a tourist perspective, a huge Gaudi museum. His influence on the city is remarkable and tons of the sites are out in public, making life as a visitor quite easy. The line at the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s famous Cathedral, was insanely long today so we went for another option, visiting Guell Park. The park is a short metro ride up from the waterfront/La Ramblas area and was reasonably tolerable even with a pretty big crowd today. There are the more popular spots and they were definitely crowded but there were also rather empty sites quite close by.
I really want some of whatever Gaudi was on. I think it is unfair to say that he was living in a parallel universe. There is nothing parallel about it. Still, there is an amazing beauty to much of his work. You have to be willing to let go from “normal” and appreciate the way everything flows together. You also have to be willing to accept the rather trippy style. I suppose drugs could make that easier but simply forgetting what you think of as normal and going with the flow seems to work pretty well, too.
The tile work throughout the site is amazing. Gaudi wasn’t content to simply use beautiful tiles. There are amazing mosaics set on both concave and convex curved surfaces. I cannot imagine what the workload was like to make all of them. Hardly a surprise that the park construction was halted because the project was not financially viable.
The site also has the great advantage of being up on a hill side. This means that the 1.2 kilometer walk from the Metro station is mostly uphill, steeply so at the end of the walk. It also means that the views are phenomenal. Simply off the charts amazing. The winds were whipping around pretty good today but the view down to the waterfront and beyond was awesome.
The park is a must-see site for any visit to Barcelona and with good reason. I’d love to go back and spend some more time just soaking in the atmosphere, away from the crowds. The paths and woods are truly calming and peaceful.
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