Monday, June 4, 2012

El Parque Güell

Dear friends, I will be out on assignment again for awhile. I will be trying to keep up with my blogging comments, etc as much as I can.  I have a kindle that allows me to read your comments from around the world while I'm stuck at an airport etc so I'll be able to post from this device often, but I may or may not have access while I'm out in the field.  Just depends on the connection speeds. However, I have scheduled many wonderful posts on birds, wildlife and gardening over the next couple weeks. Have you ever been to a garden that makes a strong statement?  Over the past couple of years, I've done some writing on my trip to Spain.  Today I wanted to take you all on a journey back in 2004 to a garden that completely blew me out of the water.  Parque Guell is located in Barcelona on top of a hill. 
The easiest way to get there?  Take a taxi from your hotel and head to the area.  The entrance can be congested so most people choose to walk up the BIG hill.  This can be a challenge for some so if you can't do this walk, you'll need to pay a bit more for you taxi ride.  All I can say is that this was one of the big highlights for me in Barcelona.  Magical! 
The pictures you see today are from my OLD camera, but I think they are okay to show.  This park utilizes excellent xeric practices.  It also has great art by the famous Gaudi mixed in with the natural coloring on the various plants. Bring excellent walking shoes.  This is a nice little trek:)
I also love the bathrooms here.  You pay to do whatever inside that cubical.  And so I would laugh and laugh everytime my friend had to use it.  How does it work?  Well you put your coins inside and then enter.  Do the deeds.  Wash your hands!!! And then get out!  The door shuts and then begins to wash the inside with a spray.  My fear was that I would be "showered" while using this bathroom because I've heard it happens:)
The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, the idea of Count Eusebi Güell, whom the park was named after. It was inspired by the English garden city movement; hence the original English name Park. The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain). It already included a large country house called Larrard House or Muntaner de Dalt House, and was next to a neighborhood of upper class houses called La Salut (The Health). The intention was to exploit the fresh air (well away from smoky factories) and beautiful views from the site, with sixty triangular lots being provided for luxury houses. Count Eusebi Güell added to the prestige of the development by moving in 1906 to live in Larrard House. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí. One was intended to be a show house, but on being completed in 1904 was put up for sale, and as no buyers came forward, Gaudí, at Güell's suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in with his family and his father in 1906.This house, where Gaudí lived from 1906 to 1926. It contains original works by Gaudí and several of his collaborators. It is now the Gaudi House Museum since 1963. In 1969 it was declared a historical artistic monument of national interest....a UNESCO World Heritage site.  So there's your history lesson for the day.  Amazing place and highly recommended if you're in Barcelona.  More tomorrow.....


  1. Your right about the peculiar nature of some European Toalettes. The one's in downtown Göteborg are horrible.

    The one you referenced in the above photo reminds me of that late 1970s "Logan's Run"(not the movie) series episode where a man from the past invented a time machine to visit the future and found out his machine and travel to that point is what caused eveything to happen. My advise - DON'T GO IN THERE Chris!!!

    On another note, it does look a bit Doctro Who-ish!

    I love mediterranean Gardens, and I really miss Agaves which obviously don't work where I live presently. Although I have that Prickly Pear Cactus pad I snatched from Tennerife which has been outside now for a month and finally putting on a new pad growth at the top. I'll have to photo it.



  2. Hi Kreesh, thanks for the tour, but what assignment will you be doing. Until now i don't know your real job, haha! But that first photo looks like the Spanish stairs in Rome, maybe Rome modelled it from that one. So take your time, we are excited to see your photos from wherever you are now! I am sure you are enjoying all the unpredictable whatever! take care!

    1. Male gigalo by day. Cat whisperer by night:) In real life, I'm not so interesting....Spanish instructor by day, Landscaper/Docent on weekends, and wildlife photographer/birder/travel nut whenever I can spare time:)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful garden to visit. The bathroom sounds weird. Thanks for sharing this unique garden and photos. Have a great trip.

  4. The Spanish garden looks beautiful Chris. Not sure I'm keen on the bathroom though - looks as though you might get a frightening experience :)Have a great break.

  5. Magical and so rich in history! I'd never heard of a bathroom that self cleans. Wish I had one at home. ;)

    Have a wonderful time in your travels. You will be missed. We'll be neighbors for awhile. ;)

  6. The WC sounds a little spooky. But I love the idea of this park with art added in.

  7. the bathroom facility is bizarre! i certainly wouldn't loiter in it! :)

    safe travels to you!

  8. another wonderful post
    have fun wherever you are...Wisconsin?
    gonna vote? hee hee
    We visited Manitowac yesterday....gorgeous lake

  9. I know this park, its great!
    Nice pictures!
    hope you enjoy your travels and dont get stuck on the airports to often..
    Have a nice week!
    Yvonne & Raphael

  10. What a beautiful garden.
    Have a great trip.

  11. Hello! Very interesting place!

  12. Travel safely and we'll enjoy your stories when you return.

  13. Hi Chris, You are so fortunate to get to travel like you have. What a terrific education you have received through your travels...

    Enjoyed your post today. Barcelona looks like a fabulous place...

    George and I both keep saying that we need to revisit some of our places now that we have good cameras... ha

  14. oh i LOVE that magical stone archway...beautiful!!! be safe and can't wait to see pictures of your travels!


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