Parc Guell was okay. A bit of a letdown after Sagrada Familia. It was to have been a planned community with homes and a marketplace. Parts of it were built and Gaudi lived in a house there during construction but it never became an intentional community as it was intended. Instead it was turned into a giant park. It has really nice views of Barcelona. It would be a good place for a picnic and a lazy afternoon. We went by bus thinking that would be the best way to get to the front entrance but it took a long time, we didn’t get off at the front entrance and we were late for the entry time on the tickets we’d prepurchased. Rick Steves bus – metro instructions would have been a better option, had I read them before we went. The colorful mosaics are really pretty and in some places a layered technique was used. Mosaics are seen on souvenirs around the town as are souvenir replicas of Gaudi's large mosaic lizard. The whole place is colorful and playful much like the city of Barcelona. Gaudi did an amazing job of combining architecture and nature in a way I have never seen before. His rock "wave" was an interesting tension of using a heavy material to show motion.
Lastly we went aboard Santa Eulalia Schooner to look around. Can’t imagine being on the seas in a small boat. I’m not sure I’d like that. On our way back to the metro we looked in the windows of the Maritime Museum at the lovely boats and people working in the workshop. The building is undergoing renovation so parts of it are closed. May have to return though if there is time to see some of the boats up close (update Jan 2015: unfortunately we didn't have time to return, will have to visit on another trip).
Wednesday we went to the Picasso Museum (contains a number of his early works, including his earliest work as a teenager, no photos allowed, this was the only place we encountered rude staff), Pan & company restaurant (fast food. We’ve eaten there a few times and the kids wanted to take Paul and Maretta there) as well as returning to the Chocolate Museum and the 4 chocolate shops along the way.
We made our way to the “Church of the Sea” as it is supposed to be lovely but it was 5 euro each for entry so decided to skip it. We also did a little souvenir shopping. Returned to the apartment and rested for a while then met Pablo, Paul’s friend from work) his wife Elena and their friend for tapas. Yummy!
Barcelona experience wrapped up in a third post- keep reading!