After a full Saturday, I just had a few things planned for Sunday. The first thing on the list was a visit to Gaudi’s Park Güell which is nestled in the hills above the part of the city I was staying in. There was not a metro stop that was very close to the park’s entrance but Google Maps showed a bus route that ran from about a block from my hotel right to the entrance. I know I should take more city buses when I travel, they can be a good way to see more of a place, but they also get stuck in traffic while subways glide underneath that very traffic. It being a Sunday morning, traffic wasn’t an issue and I enjoyed the ride though the streets of Barcelona.
The bus stop was up at the top of the park and you get to walk through the areas of the park that do not require an admission. Those parts are nice, but there is a reason they charge you for the monuments area, that’s what you really came to see.
Park Güell was intended to be an exclusive neighborhood and the guard houses and what was to be a place for parties and exhibitions were all that were built besides a few houses. It is these spaces that most people want to see so that’s what you have to pay to have access to. They were currently renovating part of the roof of the exhibition space so half of the famous bench on the roof was off-limits, but the view was still amazing.
I spent perhaps an hour and a half here, it was a Sunday morning during December so I imagine it might take longer in the high season with larger crowds. I also skipped the tour of the Gaudi house and much of the park area outside of the monument core. If I go back, I may spend some more time seeing those.
I exited by the guardhouse and walked downhill to find a bus stop instead of walking back uphill to the one arrived at. No shame in taking the easy route when you have more stuff to see that day that will require more walking. My next goal for the day was to ride to a beach on the Mediterranean Sea that I could walk back to my hotel from. I had flown over the sea on my flight in, but wanted to get a little closer look. After one transfer and about 45 mins I was there.
I had planned on trying to see the sea, but did not pack a pair of sandals. Since I had to walk back to the hotel and didn’t want to spend a whole day of travel soon in sandy shoes, I kept to the promenade and didn’t venture into the sand. I kind of wished I had, so I’ll have to plan for that the next trip to Barcelona.
I walked back to the hotel via Rambla del Poblenou. A rambla is a kind of promenade that runs down the middle of a main street that has one way streets for cars on either side. Being a main thoroughfare it is lined by shops, restaurants, and apartments. My cab driver from the airport when I arrived told me that on Sundays after church, it was the place to stroll and be seen. He was right. This Sunday afternoon it was full of families strolling along or having lunch at places along the way that set up outdoor seating.
With the Catalan elections a few weeks away, political parties had booths set up to campaign.
After checking out the scene on the way back, I hit the local shop to grab that night’s dinner and then went back to the hotel to work on postcards. The last day in Barcelona would be for Sagrada Familia and I was planning on it taking all day.