Gaudí Tuesday - Parc Güell

After we left Casa Battló....

...we headed just down the block to Gaudí's other famous house - La Pedrera. Unfortunately the place was CRAWLING with tourists (like we aren't, right? ha!) and the line was longer than we could afford to wait...especially with our full itinerary. We had both already visited the house when we each lived here in college, so we decided to press on to the Sagrada Familia.

We arrived at the "Sagrada Familia" metro stop, climbed the stairs, and immediately saw the massive structure towering above. But unfortunately in all our haste to look up, up, up, we didn't see right in front of us. The line was literally wrapped around the massive block. What in the heck was going on this week? So we opted to come back another day. Tina snapped a few quick photos from beyond the gates and we descended the stairs to the subway once again and continued on our tour of Gaudí...

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

We got off the subway at the Lesseps stop, walked down Travessera de Dalt and began the climb up the steep hill to Parc Guell. Between gasps, we peeked onto a side street and saw this beautiful church...

...in the same plaza as the church.

After walking uphill for what seemed like an eternity, we finally reached the lovely, fabulous, life-saving escalators. Jackets in hand, we gladly road up, up, up.

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

View of the city from the escalators. The orange brick building in the foreground is the church we saw along the way. The statue with the round top is an image of Christ overlooking the city. Regardless of beliefs or religion, it was an awe-inspiring sight.

Alas! Parc Guell! And the few hundred other people with the same idea.

Even though it was my second time visiting the park this trip, it still doesn't lose its charm or magic. I imagine we'll visit again when Dana comes in late March but I'm going to challenge myself to go at least once more on my own. I don't think you could ask for a better people-watching locale.

Oh, I wish Kristina was here to help me with this story.... These little green parakeets...parrots?...came to Spain accidentally... Help me Tina... on a boat? Anyways, they now inhabit Parc Guell in droves and are often seen canoodling with pigeons. 

I seriously almost knock-down, drag-out, fought a woman getting this picture of Tina. There are so many people in the park that you have to wait PATIENTLY for your turn to grab the good vista, snap your photo, and let the next person in to take their photo. Well, one incredibly dense woman was oblivious to the etiquette of picture-taking at crowded venues and dive-bombed into my frame. I told her (as nicely as I could) in both English and Spanish to please move for 5 freaking seconds while I took my photo. And when she completely ignored me, I tapped her on the shoulder, strong-armed her out of my shot, and snapped a few photos of Tina. Poor Tina could hardly relax and smile because she was so stressed by the whole situation. After two months in Barcelona, I'm starting to feel less like a tourist and more like a local, so don't freaking cross me people! This is MY city and that lady got lucky as far as I'm concerned. Ha!

Ahhhh, tranquila. The people on this side of the benches knew photo etiquette. Tina and I snapped photos of each other while a woman sat nearby and enjoyed the view, and when we were done she gracefully slid in our spot. Well-done anonymous woman. I like you.

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

I love this pic...me getting me getting Kristina getting the view.  :)

I feel like I could visit Parc Guell a thousand times and still find new charm, new details....

After braving the crowds at Casa Battlo and Parc Guell, we were beat. So we ate a menu del dia at a little restaurant in one of our fave plazas in the Born and then shared a bottle of wine at our favorite wine bar, La Vinya del Senyor. It was fabulous, soothing, much-needed girl time...lots of laughter through tears and abundant love swirling about.

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Brian finally got out of class around 6pm and came to meet us at the wine bar. We were so excited to see him and tell him about our BUSY day! See him walking towards us under the blue arrow sign??

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

What's better after an afternoon at the wine bar than more wine? We stopped in this quaint little shop and splurged on a few nice bottles. In the meantime, Brian and I FINALLY found some nice Riedel wine glasses for the piso at an affordable price. You should have seen the horror of glasses we were drinking out of for the 7 weeks prior. Madre mia.

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Finally back at the piso after a long day 'por la calle'. Our building was designed by the same architect as the Palau de la Musica Catalana just down the street. Cool door, huh?

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Tina's phrase for the week has to be "my calves are on FIRE!" She was seriously ready to cut them off, as she said. (ouch) But we didn't let her, and instead I encouraged her to stretch (see above) and join me at yoga....which she begrudgingly did on Wednesday...

I cannot tell you how much laughter was shared in those six days. It was overwhelmingly, incredibly, undoubtedly needed. Thank you Tina!

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)

Brian's Marge Simpson, bride of Frankenstein, beehive hairdo. :) 

(Photo credit: Kristina Bagge)