parc guell

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Now that the travel dust has settled, I can finally sort through all of the photos from the adventures with my mom. Today is Parc Guell, one of Spanish architect Gaudi's many works in Barcelona. It was originally designed and built to be a private garden with homes for the city's wealthy families - away from the central city, with fresh air and panoramic views. Lucky for us, the intended use never came to fruition and today the park is free and open to the public.

I was unfamiliar with Parc Guell until I googled "things to see and do in Barcelona" the night before we arrived but now I will never forget it. What a unique and creative place. From the intricately sculpted rock passages to the tile mosaics covering nearly every curve of the park's grand entrance, it's a pretty magical and peaceful place. Well, peaceful until the throngs of school children arrive or the illegal souvenir merchants abruptly pack up their goods and flea at the sight of an undercover police officer!

If you plan on visiting, here's a travel tip: find your way to the 116 bus (we caught it by taking the Barceloneta metro to Joanic) it will drop you off right in front of the park unlike the other guides that lead you to a tube station (Lesseps) wwaaayyyy at the bottom of a hill.  We walked down that hill at the end of the day and it took ten minutes, now just imagine walking up it - you'd be too tired to walk and explore around the park by the time you got there! Catch the 116 bus instead, trust me.

weekend, we

cerveca y paellabarcelona boat dockparc guell el born balconiesbarcelona shopping center facadefrom inside sagrada familia barcelona beach

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend, and while we're at it, a good Monday too.  My mom and I have been non-stop since she arrived last Friday and I'm in total awe of her never ending energy. I, on the other hand, am totally beat - it's tough work being a tour guide! I'm cherishing every minute of it though since I'll only be in Europe with my mamma once (well, hopefully not but you know what I mean). We walked circles around Barcelona exploring different neighborhoods and visiting Gaudi's famous Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia cathedral. Both were INCREDIBLE and each deserves its own post so I'll save the details for later. We stayed in the old barrio of El Born which was perfectly central to everything but I wish I could say that the hotel was perfect too. I'm talking about the most miserable reception dude ever at this place (Gggrrrr....).

Unfriendly staff and breakfast charge accusations aside, Barcelona was awesome. The beach was the cherry on top that allowed for a brief R&R session before flying to Madrid. It was my third time in the capital and I love that city now. There are so many locals who enjoy the city along with us tourists that it makes for a truly authentic experience. I really noticed this after being in Barcelona where it felt like I hardly heard or saw any locals. Could be that it's just the area we were in and the things we did but there was definitely a noticeable difference between the two. I'd love to go back to Barcelona to get a better feel for it outside of the architectural attractions. Of course, that is after I do Paris today and tomorrow with my mom. Paris, here we come *putting tour guide hat on noooww....*