Friday, December 13, 2013

It's All About Gaudi

Our last day in Barcelona was all about the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. We visited Park Guell in the morning, Sagrada Familia in the afternoon, and took an evening stroll along Passeig de Gracia. I'm not sure which part I liked the most; they were so unique and interesting. I never thought I was a Gaudi fan, but Dan and I agreed that there is something special about seeing the buildings in situ.

The last time I was in Barcelona (twelve years ago), entrance to Park Guell was free. Now you have to buy a ticket that gives you a 30-minute window in which you can enter the monumental zone. Once inside, there's no time limit. My friend Nick recommended buying tickets in advance, and I'll recommend the same to you. It's cheaper, and you avoid waiting in line.

Just getting into the park was a fun adventure. We had to take seven or eight very steep escalators to get to the top of the hill. Here's a view from the midway point.

The park was really nice, and thankfully not too crowded. We had a stroller and a carrier, and the stroller was kind of a pain. We knew we'd be walking around all day though so we wanted to have somewhere to put her when we got tired of carrying her.

I was very impressed with the Sagrada Familia. Known for its lengthy construction (131 years and counting!), it is truly a work of art. The outside is unique and interesting in its own right, but the inside is glorious. When asked about the timeline for the project and why it was taking so long, Gaudi reportedly said, "My client is not in a hurry." Ha! I love that!

Again, we bought tickets in advance, but we didn't realize that you have to buy a separate ticket to gain entrance to the towers. In fact, each tower has its own ticket. You aren't allowed to bring babies (or anyone under 14 years) up there, so Dan and I took turns--one of us watched Zahara while the other went up one of the towers. We each went up a different one so we were able to get pictures of both. It was definitely worth the extra cost to go to the top. The views of the city are amazing, and you get to see some of the sculptures up-close. You take an elevator to the top of the tower and wind your way down a narrow spiral staircase to get back down. I can see why babies aren't allowed. It was scary at times, but very cool!

After touring the church, we walked toward Passeig de Gracia, which is known as Barcelona's 5th Avenue (like in New York). Not only does pretty much every high-end store you can think of have a location on this street, but many of the buildings were designed by Gaudi. You have to pay to get into some of them, but window shopping is always free.

We capped off our trip to Barcelona with another fun dinner of pinchos at Blai Tonight (see our first experience here). This place was a little off the beaten path and was a bit grubbier than the last place we tried, but I loved it. All of the pinchos were only one Euro and it was standing-room only. It felt fairly authentic even though the food was labeled in English. The whole street (Passeig dels Castanyers) was lined with pinchos bars though, so if I had to do it again I would probably some of the other places.

See other days of this trip:
Barcelona Day 1
Barcelona Day 2

1 comment:

  1. you see this Calli? check you're front door...john and connie