Gawdy Park, Gawdy Church!
Waking to cloudy skies, we make a note to bring an umbrella… our first stop today is Parc Güell. We hail a taxi and drive through the most beautiful neighborhoods. I decide that Barcelona is a very livable city. The balconies are filled with clay pots of green plants and palms, the awnings of all colors hang over cafe tables of life. It is a shame to me that Balconies in NYC are normally dead with life. In europe the enclaves designed on balconies are normally small pieces of heaven in the sky and I have always admired that. There is a mix of old and new buildings that make up the neighborhoods and as the taxi starts climbing a hill I notice that the streets are SPOTLESS and wonder when in an education system does a human realize their impact on the world around them and how a simple decision of throwing something in a garbage can effect the world around them – then I realize – the Europeans still don’t have a throw away society YET. People take their coffee at the coffee bar – not to go! If you look in a trash bin in NYC it is usually TO go Coffee cups (from starbucks) bottles from soda or water and togo containers. It is kind of depressing! It is Good Friday, a holy day for Catholics and National Holiday. Businesses and Banks are closed but Tourism is huge here and apparently Easter weekend is a popular time for tourists so most everything is open as far as attractions: ie – restaurants, museums and shops so we are in good shape. As the taxi climbs we arrive to the entrance of the park. “What is this? The North Pole? You immediately feel that elves are going to pop out and start dancing! Welcome to Parc Güell. This park was commissioned Eusebi Güell who was interested in building a park for the aristocracy of the area. When commissioning the designer of the park who else but Gaudi was asked to do the job. Gaudi even lived in the park for years in one of the structures that he built here. This park holds specialties like the longest bench in the world and has a series gingerbread structures that transports you to a fairy land! When entering the park we actually look for a ticket booth but the policeman assures us there is no fee. This is a public park for all to enjoy! How lovely!
Today with these dramatic skies and the city just in front of us, the scene is a site to remember. I found the parc to be very inspirational. The kind of place you can’t be in a bad mood in. I would guess that Gaudi’s idea when building this park was to make sure all visitors were uplifted and imaginations drifted! Here are some images of a park that is a must see when visiting Barcelona.
Traveling through the park you can’t even imagine how big is it! In addition, it is set on a hill a pretty steep one! For whatever reason, you never lose your breath or get tired – it is amazing! This park gives you a sense that anything is possible and at the top – the view is incredible. When we reached the top – to our right was Muntanya de Montjuït to our left the downtown and down the center? Oh My God! what the heck is that?????????? “It’s HUMONGOUS!”
My oh My! What People Build for God.
For whatever reason, I forgot about the 1 building that defines Barcelona and it is the Temple de La Sagrada Familia! We decided to walk to it from the Parc.
Barcelona is the best city to walk in actually… Somehow you don’t get tired? Isn’t that crazy? Of course I was wearing good walking shoes, I packed my bag as light as possible and did not buy anything along the way – that always helps but seriously, walking from the Parc Güell to Downtown was easy! It also helped that we were walking down hill. From the Parc – you can take pretty much 1 or 2 streets and you hit the Temple. The walk down was beautiful. It was quiet and there were a few places open. We stopped for a coffee and a water at a local cafe and even enjoyed walking down the middle of the streets sometimes due to so little traffic. Rounding the corner the sun comes out and it suddenly warms.
We reach the park adjacent to the Church and took a minute to soak it all in. At first, I was shocked. It’s HUGE. AND it’s under construction? That’s strange?
First, yes you guessed it, Gaudi had his hand in the design and signed onto the project a year after its first year under construction. Gaudi worked on the project from 1882 – 1926 the year of his death. At this point, the church was less than 1/4 complete. With the combo of gothic architecture with curvilinear forms this structure is truly one of a kind. You will find nothing like it in the world and if you live to see it in its completion there will still be nothing like it. Gaudi created a structure that is personally? Kind of Creepy!!!! I was shocked to know it was not even done and although you will see a ton of pics of the church with the cranes superimposed out of it, the church is UNDER CONSTRUCTION and today, it being good friday, I think 1/2 the christian world was in line to go and see it. I was shocked at the buses the people the structure! The whole scene!
In 2010 it was announced that the church was 50% complete. 50% Complete??? What more can they do? Well apparently lots more. It is already on the world heritage list as one of the worlds greatest structures on earth and it is set for completion in 2026 – the centennial of Gaudi’s Death.
Here are so pics for your to enjoy or get creeped out by. I did not go inside. The line to get in was hours long – With just 48 hours in Barcelona total, we opted out and decided to come back another time to see the inside.
Just as we were leaving the Area I turned to take a look at it one more time. I stopped and took it all in. Incredible what people build for God isn’t it? i think about all the resources that we we put in one structure. I bet all the money, the time and the people it took, could solve hunger in 1 or 2 countries around the world. I shake my head and move on down the road towards the next beautiful part of the city the Parc de la Cuitadella!