Saturday, October 13, 2012
Entering the Dream World of Antoni Gaudi. Barcelona Part 3
Then, to the apartment buildings, sandwiched between normal buildings, these colorful and crazy additions to Barcelona are startling. You have to go to the other side of the street to really appreciate them, then you can move closer and look at the details. We didn’t go inside any of these buildings due to the exorbitantly high entrance price, nearly $25 for Casa Battlo, but we still saw a lot from the outside.
On our final morning, we decided to go to Parc Guell, my favorite of Gaudi´s works. We walked down to the metro and waited. And waited. Then, we noticed on the screen above that there was a strike in the metro system and so all services were minimal. We didn´t know what to do. Should we leave and try to walk the very long way? Should we try to take a bus? We walked up to the top station, ready to look for a different means of transportation when a woman came out and told us, “2 minutes. It will be here in 2 minutes”. So, we rushed back down and caught the metro to get us close to Parc Guell. Finally, about an hour later we had completed what should have been a half hour journey at most. However, the payoff was huge. As my eyes fell on the amazing wall of Parc Guell, I knew the whole trip was worth it.
Like stepping into a dream, we wandered through the entrance gate and into the giant park. The buildings look like something out of a Hansel and Gretel movie set with bright colors and candy motifs. Then, as you push past the hundreds of people, you make your way by the Gaudi Lizard and then into the main area with the many mosaics on the ceiling. Past that, you can walk through a tunnel of rock that was built to look like a wave flowing over you. It was absolutely incredible. We kept climbing up and up past stairs and ramps, through carefully designed tunnels and archways. And then we were at the summit where we could look out over all of Barcelona. We could even see the Sagrada Familia and the giant cranes working on it way off in the distance. Wow! What a view!
After exploring all that we felt we had time for given the metro delays, we headed back to our room to check out. We only took one metro ride and chose to walk the rest of the way since waiting for the trains was the biggest delay. It ended up being a wise choice because at our stop, the metro began to smoke and the whole train was evacuated. Wow! We packed up our stuff and moved on to the bus station, wearing our most touristy outfits, Barcelona t-shirts. And finally, after the 8 hour bus ride, we were back in Alcala safe and sound, and tired.