Gaudí’s Utopia

Jorge had to rest on Sunday so he directed us up to Park Güell, which was at the top of my list. This post goes out to the lovely Nick who made us promise to visit the park for him while we were in Barcelona.

Park Güell was the idea of Count Eusebi Güell and designed by Gaudí as a planned, self-sustaining community on the Muntanya Pelada  above Barcelona. Ultimately, it was a failure since it was a tough sell at the time to convince wealthy Barcelonians to move away from the action of the bustling city in the early 20th century. The idea would sell like hotcakes now, but Guadí was always a little ahead of the curve.

He designed the space in 3 segments: the colorful, fanciful first stage for the youngest residents, the more reserved second level for the middle ages, and the most austere top level (with the best view) for the senior citizens. It seems that the bottom level gets all of the attention, since it is in Gaudí’s bright Trencadís tiling, but it would have been really interesting to see what this park would have been like had it realized Güell and Gaudí’s vision. Nowadays, it’s a bit crowded with tourists (I would recommend visiting on a weekday). However, it’s free to visit and affords some of the best views of Barcelona.

After our visit, we went over to Jorge’s friend Valerie’s apartment and she and Jorge cooked us a delightful meal of Moroccan chicken, quinoa, carrots, salad and orange cake for dessert. It was such a nice treat to have a home cooked meal (that I didn’t have to prepare) and some great conversation with friends.

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