September 2, 2008

Parc + Gaudi = incredíble!

The famous bench.

My own montage of the tiles. As usual, I couldn't stop taking photos of them!

The view from the very top!

Some funky man-made "trees" with hidden benches between.

Stone formed in ways I had never seen stones formed.

The famous Parc Guell (or at least famous here in Barcelona) was where I went this afternoon. It was a perfect blue-skied day and I was looking for a calm setting to spend my time after school and eating lunch as I had no flats to look at until this evening (yes, I am still trying to find a place). My neighborhood is fairly close to the Parc and so I decided to hike up the steep hill that is the top of Barcelona and found my way to the Gaudi-designed great outdoors.

I must say, it was very impressive! I had seen pictures and postcards around Las Ramblas but didn’t know really what to expect. The view of the entire city was breathtaking, as were the many broken ceramic tiles that Gaudi used on the crazy twisty and turn-y bench that is so famous. These pieces ranged in colors from reds to yellows, pinks to blues, green to oranges and everything in between. The sizes and shapes and clarity and sheen and patterns were all different and to be honest, I could have taken pictures of every piece of every part of this very long seating area! Not only was I able to sit on this funky bench and look at all of the tile pieces that were used, I also had a view all the way to the Mediterranean and over all of the buildings throughout Barcelona. It was incredible.

Walking my way around the Parc (after having a 65-year old Spanish man talk to me for about 20 minutes – of which I might have understood a third of what he was saying the Spanish talk quickly and ask me multiple times if I would see the sights around the Parc with him; to which I of course declined and kept saying no until finally he backed down. I need to learn the Spanish phrase for “I am all set. Thanks anyhow, but leave me alone.”) I saw the Gaudi museum (of course designed by his truly), a few other edifices also with vibrant colors, fantastic and very different benches and lookout points, and some other random structures made from stones of all kind but all with the Gaudi touch.

The Parc winds you up and around and around until you get to the top by some 115 stairs (yes, I counted) from one of the walkways. At the top is the most “ahhhh” view that I had seen since arriving into the Parc; though at each twist and turn and looking out to Barcelona I thought that “no. THIS is the best view. Wait! No, THIS is the best view”. Well folks, walk up to the top of the Parc because THAT is really the best view. The horizon line was blurred this afternoon and sort of looked like an oil painting where the sky and the sea met. If there were not hundreds of buildings below, I would have felt like I was in a remote mountain village up there as it was so peaceful. I don’t think the herds of tourists all waiting their turn to take pictures of each other on the famous benches made their way up to the top.

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