Decided to go to Park Guell (Gaudi Park) today. Had a look at the maps app on my iPhone, which has never let me down throughout this adventure of mine, and it looked like a pretty straight forward, if rather long, walk. The directions it gave me were via the Arc de Triomf and the Sagrada Familia. The app said that it would take me 45 minutes. After getting misdirected a few times (my fault entirely), I finally started the hike from Sagrada Familia to Park Guell. What the app didn’t tell me was that the whole journey was uphill. And, by uphill I mean, UP HILL!!!

Park Guell is at the top of one of the highest peaks in Barcelona, Carmel Hill. The city is quite hilly and, the surrounding regions are home to quite a few high altitude areas. Probably the most well known of which is home to Monserrat Monastery. Within the city itself is Parque de Montjuic, which one can get to by cable car from the marina at Barceloneta. Another is Tibidabo. This is in the north-west outskirts of the city and has, at its summit, Sagrat Cor Church and, Tibidabo Amusement Park. The origins of the name is quite interesting. The phrase “tibi dabo” means “I will give to you” and was said to Jesus Christ by the Devil when he tried to tempt Him as they looked down from a high mountain during the period that Christians celebrate as Lent (see Matthew 4:9 and Luke 4:6).

Anyway, point is, all of this should have maybe given me a clue or two.

I’d been walking for what felt like hours and was completely exhausted. I felt like giving up and turning back. I took another look at the app and found that I was only ten minutes away. So, I persevered.

Park Guell was well worth the effort. I could see why Gaudi and Guell had decided to build their monument (that’s the only word that I can think of that does it justice) at one of the highest points in Barcelona. Entrance into the park itself is free, however, one has to pay to go into the monument. There’s a square which resembles a large (very large) roof-top terrace and, from here, you can see Barcelona and the Mediterranean beyond stretching out before you. The sculptures and the buildings are truly amazing, both in form and in colour. Here you can see the original of the famous Gaudi Gecko, replicas of which are peddled in pretty much every tourist shop in the city.

Coming back, I took the bus. Got off at Passeig de Gracia and walked the rest of the way to Gran Via. Passeig de Gracia has become as regular a haunt for me as La Rambla and the Gothic District.

A very tiring day but well worth it.

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