Park Guell – The Place That Started It All

As I mentioned previously, it was seeing the colourfulness of Park Guell that solidified Barcelona as my birthday vacation destination.  I guess it’s time to show you why I loved it so much!

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The famed stairway at the Main Entrance of the Park. Hard to get a picture without a million tourists in it.

As a side note and a word to the wise, if you are planning on visiting Park Guell, you now have to buy tickets for a specific time to see the cool stuff in the park.  They call it the “Monumental Zone” and only let 400 people in every 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know this ahead of time.

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Trencadis (mosaics made from broken ceramic pieces) with views of Barcelona all the way to the sea

I thought I was all prepared for my trip and that my travel guru Rick Steves had told me everything I needed to know in his Barcelona book, and at the time of its printing the entire park was free, no reservations needed.  I learned a valuable lesson: when using a guidebook, always check their website for updates BEFORE you go.  Had I done that, I would have found out I could have reserved a time slot and bought my ticket online, saving me time and confusion.

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Despite my unintentional lack of planning ahead, I did manage to get a ticket for the Monumental Zone… I just had to wait two hours to get in, which gave me ample time to roam around the rest of the park, see a couple of giant rats, and contemplate how anyone could stand Barcelona’s heat in July or August as the security guard informed me that yes, it did get hotter in those months than it was on that particular sweltering day in September, and the temperature was actually getting to a level he could tolerate.  Yikes!

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The park is the work of famed architect Antoni Gaudi.  It was originally intended to be an upscale residential area for the wealthy but it didn’t really take off and was later turned into a park.

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Besides the wonderful colours, stunning views of Barcelona all the way to the ocean, beautiful trencadis, and feeling like I was in a Dr Seus book, Park Guell has an amazing abundance of greenery!  It feels especially tropical and junglelike with all the palm trees everywhere.  It was probably the most vibrant place we visited.  The colours just seemed to pop!

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Park Guell, and its famed dragon, lived up to my expectations and was definitely worth the unexpected wait (and horrendously long walk from the Sagrada Familia because someone refused to get a cab or bus).  It’s the most unique park I’ve ever been to and one of my favourites!

 

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