Everything about Barcelona, absolutely everything, screams forward thinking. It is such a vibrant colourful modern city which really owns it’s distinct identity. It is a city full of energy and you just can’t help but be swept along with it, I challenge even the most begrudging traveller to visit this place and not be converted. This is the place to celebrate and experience differences. The art, the architecture, the football team! Everything seems way way way ahead of it’s time. Even while being so progressive it still manages to retain the deep Catalonian traditions and is the proud capital of the region. No wonder Barcelona is one of the biggest draws for travellers in Europe.
Nothing show cases the city’s forward thinking better than Park Güell. I knew little about this place till we put our travel plans into motion to visit Spain, but once I started reading about it and seeing the pictures I understood why it attracts around 4 million visitors per year! Originally the land was bought by Count Eusebi Güell, who asked the architect Antoni Gaudí to design and create a housing estate for the wealthy on the hillside up above and away from the rapidly developing city centre, away from the smokey air of the industrialising city. This was during a period of real rapid development for the city. The housing idea turned out to be a flop and only two houses were built there and instead it was opened up as a municipal park.
BUT….here is the part that i really could not get my head around. This all happened back in 1900! It is really hard for me to comprehend where the inspiration came from and how a human mind firstly imagined this…and then had it physically created between 1900 and 1914?? Even in modern times if this was created it would be difficult to comprehend, but back then? Wow! Surely if the plans had of been drawn up at this time almost anywhere else in the world Gaudí would have been laughed out of town? Not in Barcelona, and now it is one of the most distinctive instantly recognisable iconic destinations ever created, amazing.
The psychedelic colours, shapes and images here in the park are incredible, The Beatles would have felt at home here in the 60’s and 70’s! As you wander through the park you quickly realise that there is no real pattern, no repetition, and round every corner, stair case or walkway there is another completely unexpected scene. It is a magical place.
If you are looking for some solitude though, and time to sit and let everything sink in avoiding peak months is a must. You will find pockets of the park as you venture through which are less visited where you can enjoy some peace away from the crowds, but in the main areas expect crowds and selfies galore! Not that this takes away from the experience in any huge way, everybody is sat stood or wandering around in an equal state of shock that this assault on the senses places you in!
Also expect lots of people, I believe, illegally selling their gifts and souvenirs lining the paths and walk ways between the major areas. It is another intriguing experience seeing these guys quickly wrap up their wares and run away every moment they catch wind of police or security being near by! I had an interesting experience with someone near the entrance asking me to put my finger on a piece of string for some kind of magic trick, he wasn’t happy when I made it clear this was not going to happen!
When reading about the park before our trip, one of the things overlooked slightly for me was that the views from the park over Barcelona are amongst the best there is!
Not only are you inside the psychedelic brain child of Gaudi, you also have the WOW moment views over one of the most amazing cities in the world! That is pretty special and enough to stop you in your tracks, this is definitely a place to be certain you have your very best camera with you, and probably worth investing in a new one before you leave! I’ve just ordered a Canon EOS 1200 DSLR camera from Amazon where it is £277 with an RRP of£399. I’m no camera expert but it seemed a pretty good deal and is the number 1 best seller at the moment.
One of the two houses which were actually built on the site is the Casa-Meseu Gaudí where Gaudí lived 1906-26. It is ow a museum where a couple of the rooms have remained largely unchanged and contains items of furniture by him. This was originally built as a show home for the expected housing estate to be built on the site and is a nice detour during a visit to the park.
Park Güell is one of the hundred if not thousand reasons to visit Barcelona, but I would say it truly is a (cliché alert) must visit and has to be seen to be believed. Definitely make time in your schedule to visit the most unique amazing park in the world!
A quick search on Opodo revealed a recommended stay for 4th October to 7th October at a hotel in Barcelona with a 4/5 rating on tripadvisor for £93.45 per person! At those prices the why not question has to be asked!!
Expedia also have some great discounts on trips to Barcelona at the moment, they area also still in the middle of their summer sale so definitely worth checking out!
We stayed in a private en-suite room in the Generator Hostel which was in a great location, is really modern and only recently built in the last few years. it had everything we needed as a base to explore the city! Though we are rarely in the accommodation whenever travelling!!
As always, thank you for taking the time to check out my post! I hope you’ve enjoyed and have caught a serious case of wanderlust!