Clearly we’ve been on a mission for the past week and a half because in less than two weeks we conquered every major tourist attraction in Barcelona. On Friday, we visited Gaudí’s Parc Guell.
One thing that continues to amaze me about the city is that every time we decide to walk to one specific location, we never fail to stumble across another lesser-known but equally as beautiful landmark. As we walked up a hill to the park, we heard choral music being broadcast over a high wall to our left. So, naturally, we walked into an enormous courtyard for the “Real Santuario de San José de la Montaña.” The courtyard also provided a stunning overlook of the city.
Then, we reached Parc Guell. I’m going to be honest and say that I didn’t do very much research on Barcelona prior to my trip because I wanted to experience the sights and sounds firsthand, but I had heard of Gaudí’s mosaic wonderland. What was initially meant to be a residential estate has been turned into a public park with houses that look like they’re straight out of fairy tales. I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve ever seen, but I continue to be impressed by the incredible architecture Gaudí was able to dream up.
On Sunday, a few of us tried to find our new university and, after enjoying some of the best sandwiches we’d ever had, we decided to wander the Parc de la Ciutadella. There we found an enormous fountain with golden figures. We had no idea what it was, but we kept walking and saw the Catalan parliamentary buildings and the Arc de Triomf, which served as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. Then we found a small pastry shop, got some gelato and headed home.
Today we officially started classes and I’m excited to learn more about the rich history of the Catalan region.