Today I got my uphill climb test. I took the Metro part of the way and then climbed uphill the rest of the way to the top of a high hill overlooking Barcelona. Park Guell is another design of Gaudi's, this time applying his genius to outdoor spaces. It used to be free, and still is for residents, but we senior tourists paid 5.6 euro to enter the part where Gaudi did his magic. I wasn't quite as impressed with this work as I was with Casa Batllo nor as awed as I was with Sagrada Familia, but it was great to be above the city to enjoy these views.
It was originally intended to be an upscale housing area, but there were actually only two houses built here. It was the idea of Count Eusebi Guell, a client of Gaudi's, and Gaudi lived in one of the two houses for a few years (now a museum). The area was converted to a muncipal garden, and its focal point is this terrace which is surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. This gives you some idea of the size.
The entrance is pretty impressive, too. There was no way to get many pictures without those pesky tourists in them!
This lizard is one of Gaudi's signature pieces. You can buy a reproduction of it in almost every gift shop.
Gaudi built bird's nests in the terrace walls and designed them in tree forms.
This colonnaded footpath is a retaining wall for the road above.
This is the garden house.
After touring the park, I took the subway back to the Gothic quarter to try to find a restaurant recommended to me by my Ligurian friend, Marina--Les Quinze Nits. After getting only slightly lost, I stumbled upon it and enjoyed a delicious lunch of Patates Bravas and a mixed, lightly fried seafood basket with squid, sardines, octopus, cod fritters, and prawns.
This version of Patates Braves was chunks of skin-on potatoes cooked, lightly deep fried, then drizzled with a spicy chirizo tomato sauce and a very generous dollop of lightly whipped cream on top. Potato heaven!
After this very satisfying lunch, I wandered around the narrow streets of theGothic and Old Town quarters, away from the heavy tourist traffic of the Los Ramblas area.
It's easy to find streets in this area that are absent people, but I was careful to make sure there were at least a handful visible. I love the street decorations in the Gothic area.
The last time I saw a group of people on these motorized scooters was in a piazza in Florence.
It was another day of walking Barcelona, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my visit here. My feet and back were protesting, but my eyes were happy. What a great city!