Thursday, 18 October 2012

Gaudi's wacky wonderland


Day 152 22.09.12 Barcelona

Gaudi's Park Guell in Barcelona - beautiful tiled bench
 
Barcelona skyline from Park GuellPark Guell in BarcelonaWe managed a little bit of a lie in today thanks to the workmen on the nearby building site not working weekends.  I must say we both appreciated the absence of our usual pneumatic drill alarm clock!
After some lunch we headed over to the nearby tram stop to meet up with my friend Rob who has flown in from Nottingham to spend my birthday weekend with us.  It’s great to see him and we waste no time in picking his brain for all the Notts gossip we’ve missed while we’ve been away.  We swap stories and catch up whilst on our mammoth walk up to Gaudi’s Park Guell. 

The entrance to Gaudi's Park Guell in BarcelonaGaudi's Park Guell in BarcelonaThe park is a wonderland of bizarre architecture and Gaudi’s trademark brightly coloured tilework.  The free entry means the park is busier than we’d like but it’s a great place to visit regardless.  We walked up to the highest point, a huge cross atop a hill, which offers phenomenal views of the city and out to sea.  It also provides a rather scary drop if you fall off the very slippery, uneven steps – a small insight into Barcelona’s health and safety there, more to follow!  Up there we also encountered a hilarious busker trying to pull off some old rock classics in a very thick Spanish accent, making up for what he lacked in talent with buckets of enthusiasm!

We then walked down to the main part of the park with the famed tiled salamander – impossible to take a picture of without somebody else posing alongside it!  Up the stairs you find beautifully domed ceilings with more lovely mosaic work.  Upwards again takes you to the terrace with its sea serpent styled bench which snakes around the edge, again adorned with stunning mosaic designs.  The park really is a lovely place to be and even on a busy day like today there are corners of calm to be found if you stray a little off the beaten track.

After a little while more of looking around we part ways with Rob and head back to the van for dinner.  In the evening we head into the city for the fireworks.  We’re early so head to a little rock bar we’d found a couple of days ago for a drink.  Its thankfully happy hour so only a glorious 1.50 euros a pint, quite the bargain considering we’re a stone’s throw from Las Ramblas!  The music and punky d├ęcor were great too. 

We picked up Rob from the metro station and head down to the beach for the firework display over the sea.  The show was fantastic although not quite as good as we remembered it from our previous trip.   Hopefully tomorrow’s will be!  We walk back to the van through the Ciutadella park where they have erected a huge screen with karaoke songs on.  It’s quite late by this point but there are still crowds of people, couples and families all singing along and dancing to the music.  It’s an amazing atmosphere that really makes you smile.  Back at the van we go straight to bed to get plenty of sleep for tomorrow is MY BIRTHDAAAAAAY!

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