Gaudi, Gaudier, Gaudiest

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Our early expedition this morning began with a small interaction with the Guàrdia Urbana. We were riding the wrong way along a narrow one-way street with the sun directly in our eyes and hopping on to the footpath as necessary when a car approached. One car that approached was the Guàrdia Urbana, at which point I was on the footpath and Ian was on the road. He got spoken to in Spanish while the offsider got on the radio to call in reinforcements to wrestle Ian to the ground and pummel him. Luckily it didn’t actually get to that stage and we are still at liberty.

Today we have explored the works of Gaudi, starting with notable buildings and then progressing up the hill to Parc Guell. Tip: go early to this location, especially if you want to go to the Monumental Zone for which you must pay and may be required to wait for admittance. Another tip: do not throw away any broken tiles and crockery as they can be used to enhance your home and garden with mosaic decorations and installations.

Parc Guell is at about 200m elevation and gives a great view of the city. It is a tourist hotspot and was already well populated with visitors soon after 9am. After viewing everything we went on to Barcelona tourist hotspot #1 – the Sagrada Familia. There appears to have been significant building progress in recent years with some obviously new sections now complete. Three cranes remain in place though and the work continues.

I have resolved my curiosity about the requirement to wear a cycling helmet in Spain. The Spanish helmet law came into effect from 23 January 2004. It applies to bicycle riders of all ages. However it does not apply: to cyclists riding in towns and cities; during periods of extreme heat; when riding up steep hills; or to professional cyclists. Sounds suitably flexible!

Illegal street vendors in Barcelona are numerous, selling selfie sticks, handbags, sunglasses and football shirts. These goods are displayed on the ground on a sheet with strings attached to all corners for the vendor to make a quick get-away if the police approach.

We saw a lone protestor against mass tourism, decrying the impact of so many people on the city. Along with tour groups and touristic buses, there are hen and buck parties and drinking groups, making Barcelona a party town where a Big Night Out doesn’t end until halfway through the next day.

One Response to “Gaudi, Gaudier, Gaudiest”

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