Sunday, February 7, 2016


Barcelona is a city so filled with eye candy that it's near impossible to keep from snapping pictures nonstop. Even more difficult is trying to narrow all the photos from each day down to the best of the best, so that my readers don't fall asleep midway through a blog post. (Yes, I do remember how boring it is to look at someone else's vacation photos) For this particular day in Barcelona, which happened to be New Year's Eve, it wasn't just difficult, it was impossible! Finally I realized it would have to be divided into two posts. Alas, even so, I'm crying over all the beautiful images I will have to omit.

On that morning, after another gray and mushy facsimile of a British breakfast at our hotel, we grabbed a taxi and headed off to Parc G├╝ell -- Antoni Gaudi's early iteration of a master-planned community.

Unfortunately, this one never really took off during his lifetime, and only two houses got built, neither designed by Gaudi. It seems the housewives of that era, what with transportation being what it was at the time, refused to move so far away from all the shops and businesses. It wasn't until the city became so crowded and fetid that it was killing people, that the wealthy made their mass exodus to the suburbs. Still, it made for a fabulous park!

The park is divided into two areas, the larger of which is a public park, open to all. The other, the Monument Park where the famous undulating mosaic bench is located, requires an entrance fee. We got there as soon as the park opened, and got in line to purchase timed-entry tickets for that section, only to discover that the next available entry time wasn't until 3:30 that afternoon. If this is their off-season, as the guide book claimed, I'd sure hate to be here during high season! We abandoned the ticket line to go exploring in the public areas, and ended up feeling not even the tiniest bit deprived. I hope you enjoy the tour!

Hmmm, do I hear flamenco guitar coming from up there?

The house Gaudi lived in for 20 years still contains some of his gorgeous free-form furniture.
The Serpentine Bench, Seen From Above
 Only thing we didn't like about the park? The fact that it was chock full of selfie-obsessed tourists!

Helpful Hint: If you ever do go here, and seeing the monument section of the park is important to you, purchase your tickets in advance online.

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