Parc Guell + La Sadrada Familia

Yesterday we got up early and had breakfast at home. See that learning. I had three bowls of cereal and a piece of honey toast. Then we packed our baby up and went to the metro. We mastered that beast, including scaling the stairs with a baby inside a pram. At first it was a two person job, but by the second station change, it was a one person task - admittedly, 80% of the time it was Karl, and the other 20% it was me. 

 Metro.... Station, not Karl.

Metro.... Station, not Karl.

 Matisse loves the adrenalin of the flying pram.

Matisse loves the adrenalin of the flying pram.

We were heading for Parc Guell - Gaudi's foray into landscape architecture. It was pretty impressive, not just the views, but the strength of Karl's flexing biceps to get us there. The photo below (in which Karl looks like a pram model) was taken about a third the way up the hill. This is where the outside elevators started, to take people up the rest of "the mountain."

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I was marvelling at the genius of an elevator that could withstand the elements, when... What do you know, they are broken. So the pram lifting adventures begin. People were stopping to take photos of Karl looking like he-man. I didn't want to steal his thunder so I let him carry the pram almost all the way to the top. The portrait of a devoted wife, thank you very much.

At the very top of the stairs we were greeted by this, a theme that continued through the park.

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We stopped at the bakery to buy a picnic bag for the park. The baker man was cool, making us sandwiches to salivate over....

"Where are you from?" he asked

"Australia" 

"My chiropractic is from Australia" 

"She must be awesome" 

"I don't care if she is from Mars or Australia, as long as she can fix my back..."

Ha ha. That's the first time I have so blatantly been put in the same category as an extra terrestrial.

 Inside the park 

Inside the park 

The park was FULL of tourists. We hoped that Matisse would get us magically put to the front of queue, but no such luck prevailed. We had to line up for near on 40 minutes. By "we" I mean Karl, I put myself to work feeding Matisse and putting her to sleep, IN THE PRAM. For those of you who know Matisse, this small miracle has been happening at least twice a day.... See how I just distracted you from the fact Karl was queuing up for 40 minutes, for those of you who know Karl, that is another gigantic miracle. If it wasn't for the muscles required to get us here, Karl would have certainly walked from that kind of queue. Today, he wasn't going anywhere. 

 Spanish mafia

Spanish mafia

So. We get our tickets and go for coffee. All of a sudden, I am massively dehydrated, and pull out my water bottle. This mafia looking dude comes up and starts telling me off in Spanish. In the excitement and confusion I realise I am not permitted to drink anything other than purchased goods. Still, I'm rating this as my first encounter with the Spamish mafia. Matisse was asleep, so unfortunately she didn't get the chance to make his acquaintance. Suffice to say we didn't dare pull out our picnic bag.

Note: In the picture above, the background people are taking photos of normal pigeons on a rock, in a park full of world heritage listed structures. 

 This structural feat. Nee eh, it's got nothing on a pigeon on a rock. 

This structural feat. Nee eh, it's got nothing on a pigeon on a rock. 

We headed off to find a spot, to sit. We got one. Then this began... It was the most enchanting lunch spot ever...  

We went exploring the garden, and taking in the sights, it was pretty glorious. I got this pic for Jo and Mico of their treasured 'viva la soap' soap travelling the world. Yes people were staring, but not as much as me staring at them for taking duck faced selfies. 

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On a side note, something else was hanging out the side of this girls shorts. I was so relieved to see Matisse looking in disgust at her and not awe. Let's hope she feels the same in 15 years...

    Note, for those of you wondering what a "duck faced selfie" is, please refer to exhibit bottom centre. 

 

Note, for those of you wondering what a "duck faced selfie" is, please refer to exhibit bottom centre. 

We left the park through a different exit, one that involved a hill and not 4000 stairs. This steep downhill route was so easy to navigate with a pram that we saw a runaway pram escape from the hands of the parents and come to a crashing stop against a shops A-frame sign. Truthfully, there was no baby inside, but who wants to let that've tin the way of some anticipation.

We passed this busker in the street. I loved him, especially the missing teeth he exposed when I threw a 2 euro coin in his hat. Actually, it bounced out and I tried to crawl under the seat to get it but he shooed me away. The buskers are everywhere, in carriages on trams, in every underground laneway, on corners. They really breath life and atmosphere into the city, Matisse loves them in this order: blues, violin, guitar, accordion, reggae, techno keyboard. 

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We hadn't got enough of Gaudi, so we went to La Sagrada Familia. Unfortunately, my camera had, had enough. So I only have these poxy photos from my iPad. I suggest you google this building because the facade is an intricate amalgamation of stories, stylistic architecture and construction feat. The fact it is still under construction 150 years after it began gives an indication to the grandeur and complexity. And the stained glass inside is indescribable, the picture below does no justice. 

 Here I am, (far right) nourishing Matisse in arguably one of the most beautiful churches in the world. 

Here I am, (far right) nourishing Matisse in arguably one of the most beautiful churches in the world. 

Despite this tourist attraction bringing in millions of visitors every year, they still have mass in the bottom tier, oblivious to the tourists staring through the one way glass,or rudely, taking photos.

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When we were there, it got cold, like 12 degrees, and overcast. The wind was bone chilling. I was shivering to Karl but he was acting macho saying it wasn't cold. Yeah right, he is normally shivering under a dooms when the aircon is on 26 degrees. A few hours later we are back near the apartment and he asks

"Are you still cold?"

"Not as much"

"Really? So you were just cold inside the church. That's strange. Don't you think?"

"Ahhhh no. No I don't. It was 12 degrees..."

"But it's still 12 degrees and you are fine now..." 

Now thats an insinuation if I ever heard one....

"What, are you saying God hates me?"

As a women, I will defend my right to jump to conclusions. Next time, I will fake being warm too, save any judgement on my character. What? Who's judging....

 

 For those of you too lazy to google, here is a picture I stole from Google.

For those of you too lazy to google, here is a picture I stole from Google.