Mesmerized with Parc Guell | Barcelona, Spain
There are places I come across on my newsfeed, ones visited by friends who’ve gone on exchange student programs in Europe, back when we were all in college. They were the places my friends would fawn over, while I’d be scrolling on my laptop, wondering if I made the right decision to choose a semester in Singapore instead of veering away from Asia. (No regrets, of course.) They’d gasp at the selections in La Boqueria, and check off places to visit in their Gaudi bucket list.
One of them was Parc Guell.
On my newsfeed, I’d read about how my friends were in awe of Gaudi’s creations and how he had works of art scattered all over Barcelona. He was the brainchild behind Sagrada La Familia – an edifice still being worked on today, because they didn’t have the technology to finish it during his time on earth. But to be honest, I wasn’t that excited about Sagrada La Familia…
Parc Guell, on the other hand, is another story.
Parc Guell was the first item on our itinerary for the day. Not one to favor lines, I booked the tickets online and got the very first slot – an absolute must for anyone who doesn’t want loads of tourists in the background.
The day of our visit, we hailed a cab so that we’d make it to our slot on time. Our cab driver was an Indian living in Europe for the past 20+ years. He told us that prior to Spain, he was once based in France, but fell in love with Barcelona and decided to stay. After spending a few days in Barcelona, I totally understand why he chose to move.
Anyway, going back to Parc Guell…
Parc Guell was beyond breathtaking. It was such an expansive space. It wasn’t just wide, but it had different heights as well. A series of steps would lead to another well-groomed garden, a turn on the left would expose a path with a curved retaining wall – you get the picture.
My favorite part of the park had to be Gaudi’s use of mosaic tiles, particularly the disc design up on the ceiling. I stared at it for so long, my neck started to hurt as I craned to look up. It was so calming and at the same time, reminiscent of new beginnings and life from its bright colors.
We spent a total of 3 hours in Parc Guell, just basking in its beauty and taking photos and videos to our my heart’s content. Being early paid off because the first hour seriously felt like we had the park all to ourselves. We even arrived earlier than the guards – had we not bought tickets, we would’ve gotten in for free. Also, since we already had all the shots we wanted, we simply sat down on one of the benches and stared at the crowds clamoring with each other for a good photo op.
After we decided it was time to visit another Gaudi classic – the Sagrada La Familia – I reluctantly said goodbye to the beautiful park. It was a slow and relatively uphill walk to the other end with the bus stop.
On the way out, we found another stairway leading to one of the highest points of Parc Guell. It was hidden at the side, like a secret only visible to those keen enough to really look around. Once we were at the top, we were rewarded with this view.
Oh Barcelona, you have set the standard high.