It was a bit sad at breakfast this morning. Not the food or the drink you understand. Oh no, they were as perfect as ever they were. No, what was sad was mum having to say goodbye to her new Spanish granddaughter whose name we don’t know. Every morning we had breakfast at Alsur Cafe, this young waitress couldn’t wait to serve us and would give mum a big hug every time. I don’t why but she adopted mum, totally. She was just as sad to see us go as we were to leave.
Sad it may have been but we had to leave so leave we did. We headed to the nearest Metro stop in order to head off to Gaudi’s brilliant Park Guell (incidentally, it’s called ‘Park’ rather than parc because Eusebi Guell was inspired by British Garden Cities of the early 20th century).
Now, I’m going to have a moan about the Barcelona public transport system, I’m afraid. I’ve never had to use an underground rail network with someone slightly disabled before and it’s very difficult, I can tell you! The endless search for lifts is the worst and then the move between lines, hoping there’s a lift or at the very least an escalator going in the right direction. Proper signage would help. A LOT!
To say I was raging around in circles at the Metro station Passeig de Gracia trying to find the easiest way from one line to another would be sugaring the pill somewhat. I’m glad there were a lot of trains to muffle my screams of frustration and irritation as I fruitlessly searched one end of a platform to the other for the elusive lift.
Anyway, let’s forget that for now. We ended up at Park Guell (we wound up in a cab for the final bit, me wishing we’d just hopped in a cab at the outset), paid our entrance and headed for the cafe. Of course.
The Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is suffering from footfall so the people who look after the place have put a limit on the number of visitors per hour. For this reason you get a timed ticket. This wasn’t a problem for us as there wasn’t a lot of people around but I guess, at the height of the tourist season, there’d be a lot of disappointed travellers clomping back down the the very steep hill, having seen only the barest of glimpses.
Anyway, not a problem for us and, after a refreshing drink we headed up the ramp towards the Casa Larrard then under the Portico…
…to the Washerwoman…
…and, finally, up onto the Nature Square.
It really is the most amazing place. The use of broken bits of tile and pottery, the swirl of irregular shapes, the gravity defying angles…it’s all incredible. Gaudi not only had the most extraordinary imagination and artistic flair, he was also lucky enough (lucky for us too) to be able to practice his art.
Images are all fine but you really have to visit these places to fully appreciate the wonder and magic of it all.
And, of course, we HAD to get a photo of mum and the very famous dragon.
It was the dragon which made mum want to see Park Guell in the first place so it was only right and proper.
Anyway, having wandered all over and then bought out the gift shop, we headed back to the hotel for a much deserved rest before heading out for an early dinner.
It’s been a tad difficult finding food for mum this past week so I thought the Hard Rock Cafe would work given they only make American food. What I’d forgotten was the noise in those types of places. Even so, the food was good and mum enjoyed her cheese burger and my grilled salmon was lovely…especially the mountain of broccoli and super creamy mashed potatoes.
Before we left, we decided to use their facilities. Imagine our surprise to discover that they have a lift to the loos! While that is a very pleasant surprise, the fact that it is so red it appears to glow is a bit disconcerting. Still, much better than the stairs…I assume. (I think the Barcelona Metro network should take a look at this simple but wonderful system – a big sign saying ‘RESTROOMS’ and a bright red lift.)
We then had a final wander around the old quarter before heading back to the hotel for the final time.
Tomorrow we fly home.