Barcelona’s Park Güell

Posted on December 5, 2015. Filed under: Spain, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , |

DSC07438We did some things right and some things wrong.  Isn’t that always the case when you are traveling by your own wits?  It’s also part of the adventure.  Our first full day in Barcelona I was itching to get to the famous Park Güell, designed by  Antoni Gaudí, the famous modernist architect in 1900 to serve a small community of well-off society.  It had grown larger than life in my imagination and I wanted to sit on those undulating, mosaicked benches!

We proudly hopped on a city bus to take us to the north into very residential areas.  This is always fun.  You get to see how people actually live in a place, not just the busy tourist areas.  Also, the number of tourists on these buses are usually low and those that are there are like us, and we often meet interesting, adventurous people!  Also, it’s a bit nerve-wracking because, “Yikes!  How will we know where to get off!  And how does one indicate to the driver to stop?  And how do you get the door to open!?”  All these things get figured out in a snap, sometimes with and sometimes without help of local passengers.

When you unload you are a bit rattled from the experience, but also gratified that, indeed, you used the bus to arrive!  Ok, so we got to the entrance and found out that we made a big mistake.  Here is my proclamation for you if you are going to Barcelona (even in the supposed low season, which I don’t think really exists):  Use your smartphone to make reservations at all Gaudí sites unless you go very, very late in the day except for the cathedral for which you absolutely should have reservations in advance.

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We had to wait in line for an hour in the hot sun to get a ticket which gave us an entrance time 2 hours later.  So we killed 3 hours of our first day in Barcelona waiting around at the entrance to the park.  If I had just gotten the tickets on my telephone we could have waltzed right in.  It is very easy to go on the websites of these sites and purchase tickets.  Then you just show your phone and they scan it.  Boom, done.

Ok, so I can learn!  But for this day we were stuck.  There was nowhere to go, really, and the vendors at the entrance knew they had us.  Sky high prices for ice cream, water, and soda.  And, although it was October, it was hot in the sun, so we did spring for some water.  When we finally got in it was worth it, of course, there is no place like this anywhere in the world!  I felt as though I was inside a piece of art.

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In spite of the tickets and specific entrance times, it was quite crowded.  We had to wait in a line of sorts to get that photo of us with the lizard fountain.  The good part, though, is how all the various tourists from literally everywhere help each other out taking pictures for each other.  This simple act always warms my heart.

That morning I had thoughts of seeing the park in the morning and the cathedral in the afternoon.  Ha!  I knew that wasn’t happening, but we did pass Casa Batlló on the way to the park.  The line for that stretched very, very far.  But now, later in the day, I wondered what that line would look like.  Next time I’ll tell you about Casa Batlló!

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