Monday, 1 April 2013

Gaudi's Barcelona

or how to see lots of his work for free, or, if you must, pay a fortune to go into things.

First we tried to get into Sagrada Familia on Easter Sunday, but there was no way as we hadn't bought tickets in advance, so instead and for nothing, we enjoyed the exterior. It is truly awesome (real meaning of the word), and incredible to think that I may not live long enough to see it finished. Thing is, we should have just said we wanted to go to Mass and then we'd have been in for free without for much as a minute's queuing. Hindsight is wonderful.

Instead we headed for La Pedrera, the total design concept apartment building at Diagonal. Hugely expensive to get in (16.50 euros each!) and just about worth it for the rooftop alone.

Top tip is watch where you are walking as I nearly fell a couple of times as I was too busy taking pictures to note my footing. Some people might say this is typical. Good views of Barcelona of course.

The next free Gaudi is to be found a short walk down the street at Casa Batllo. Soak up the gorgeous exterior, which Dali apparently likened to the tranquil waters of a lake. On two visits to Barcelona I've never managed to go inside, perhaps later in the week.

And finally for today - totally free Gaudi on a grand scale at Parc Guell (except the museum house which is optional). Bring a picnic as the concession stands are exorbitant. Wander about, but don't for one minute expect to have the place to yourself and all your pictures of totemic lizard will be spoiled by 'other people', but that aside, there's loads to admire and you can find your own little quite corner to do that in. The spring garden is a joy - bearded irises and wisteria in full bloom today, parakeets squawking and stupendous views of the city and the Med.

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