Touring high points
Today, three days into our time in Barcelona we finally made a full day of it by waking up before noon. We travelled from stem to stern by visiting topographic high points of Montjuic and Park Guell with a final stop at the cultural high point La Sagrada Familia.
Both Montjuic and Park Guell provide fantastic views of Barcelona from their peaks. Montjuic offers a awesome cable car view accessible as part of the metro system that takes you to a castle on it’s peak where you can take in the city and the Mediterranean sea from it’s embattlements. Park Guell has what appears to be an ancient pagan altar whose symbology has been supplanted with a Christian cross. The altar can be ascended as a tower providing a vantage an additional 3 meters above the park’s peak.
Either of these parks would be fantastic for views of the rising or setting sun.
If you’re not interested in the view and primarily want to see the more recognizable Gaudi works then I recommend getting off at the lower of the two Metro stops to avoid a bit of hiking through Southern California Santa Monica Mountain type terrain (though view is worth it)
At Park Guell, I was amused by the number of people having their picture taken by what I later realized famous polychromatic statue of a lizard (iguana?) spitting (dribbling) water out of its mouth as a fountain. I kept track of the number of photos taken per minute for nearly 10 minutes and counted as high as 8 for a particularly efficient series of photographers.
What clues me in to the lizard’s popularity replicated in 7 different forms including a horrendous street performer’s costume and a chocolate sculpture within 3 hours of being introduced to the beast. If that Luzard is Yaweh our old testament god will be quite displeased with so many renditions of his likeness.
We finished our grand tour by stopping to the exterior of La Sagrada from all sides without paying the cost of time in line or ticket fee to enter it. Our taxi driver pointed you can descend to Gaudi’s trip for free which we had briefly done the day before. I was only familiar with one face of the cathedral and that was the dripping candle wax-like facade. The opposite facade produced by a later sculptor is much more angular more arte nouveau less modernisme in style. The trippy, wax-like facade it was I’d come to see. It was fantastic to view from across the street and across the nearby pond. However to appreciate this building more deeply I’m going to purchase an architectural book detailing the cathedral.