Thursday, May 17, 2012

Parc Guell, Barcelona

The last place that we visited in Barcelona was Parc Guell.  It was also one of Antoni Gaudi's legacy, proclaimed as a world heritage site.  However, unlike Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera and Casa Battlo, this park was free-of-charge :).

From Passeig de Gracia, we took metro Line 3 to Vallcarca.  From there we happily followed the road signs to the place until we saw something that made us stopped dead in our tracks.  The final sign pointed up a steep terrace...   Unbeknownst to us, we had actually accessed the side entrance to Parc Guell...

Ayoyo!  Masa ni, rasa malas je nak teruskan perjalanan!  With a heavy heart, we decided to push on.  Luckily there were escalators going up the hill.  However, we still had to walk uphill on some stretches and hubby grumbed loudly.  Lutut nak tercabutlah, bla,bla, bla :).  So, for those of you who wishes to go to Parc Guell, it is better to access the park via its main entrance in Carrer d'Olot.  It's less challenging and there are buses plying its hilly route.

Anyway, the spectacular view of Barcelona from this particular entrance of Parc Guell, do make up for  sore limbs :)

Torre Agbar, Sagrada Familia and the sea... from the top of Parc Guell

Parc Guell was named after Eusebi Guell, a Catalan industrialist who had commisioned Antoni Gaudi to design a residential complex. The park, spanning 15 hectares, was located on the slope of the rugged Pelada mountainside.

As we walked downhill, the uniqueness of Parc Guell unfolded...

The 'Washerwoman' portico with palm tree-shaped sculptures

... posing at the helicoidal columns

Gaudi's signature catenary archs
Through the portico and viaduct we walked, until we reached the large square.  Here, visitors sat and posed on the famous undulating serpentine bench decorated with Trencadis.  Really beautiful!:)

The main terrace decorated with Trencadis - a type of mosaic made up of broken shards of ceramic and tiles.

At the rear of the square, large palm trees were carved from the mountain, forming a rustic stone wall.

After resting for a while, we proceeded down to the 'Marketplace'.  Inspired by the temples of ancient Greece, the hall was made up of 86 columns which supported the square above it.  The ceiling was decorated with colourful trencadis rosettes.  Nak tergeliat leherku ambik gambar! Hehehe! :P

The marketplace

Out of the Marketplace, we found ourselves facing the entrance of the park.  Wah ...  the scene was like a picture from  a story book, to be precise; Hansel and Gretel :).

The administration (R) and caretaker's (L) lodge

Down the stairs, the sons posed near the iconic dragon of Parc Guell.  Looked more like a monitor lizard to me :P

.... in front of the main fountain
More pictures were taken in the courtyard...

It was already sunset when we exited Parc Guell.  We didn't go to Montjuic as planned, as the cable car station would have already closed.  The next day we were already booked for London.  So, Parc Guell was our final destination in Barcelona.

All in all, we managed to visit most of the attractions in Barcelona.  Alhamdulillah :)

Final Verdict:
I LOVE Barcelona!  Unique buildings, cheap seafood, excellent public transport (better than London... ahem :)) and PERFECT weather.  I would definitely visit again kalau ada rezeki, InsyaAllah.  

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