Friday, July 22, 2011

Entry 120 7.19.11

Entry 120, July 19th, 2011, 12:39am (GMT +2)

I continued my exploration of Barcelona today. I had a short day due to a rehearsal in the afternoon, so instead of the all day expedition to Montserrat (still in the planning stages) I wandered over to Park Guell, the last major Gaudi construct that I had not seen in the city.

It is a beautiful park, but is located quite a long ways straight uphill from the metro station. I met a nice girl from Amsterdam named Mirjam who had a map, and so we explored the park together. There's one shot that I like in particular from a high point in the park where the entire city of Barcelona is visible. I also caught sight of a castle far away from the city that I had not seen before and that looks quite interesting . . . I don't know what it is called or how to get to it, but maybe I'll find out.

The park itself is lovely. I can really see how Gaudi carried the influence of natural forms over into the design and construction of the Sagrada Familia. In the park, though, he isn't using massive towers of sandstone and basalt – instead, he's using the landscape itself as a building. Paths wind through the hills in the same way that they wind through the inside of his buildings. The curving ramps and walkways are supported by arches that look like twisting tree roots but are really made of stone. I don't know how he makes symmetry look so organic – that's one of the themes of Gaudi's work that has really amazed me.

There were musicians everywhere in the park. They looked too well dressed and organized to be freelance street musicians – I have to guess that they were organized by the city. Many of them had CDs for sale. There were classical duos, a guitarist playing bach, flamenco groups, a type of West African plucked instrument that I can't remember the name of, and several others. Of particular note was the one man band playing several percussion instruments and a pair of digereedoos all at the same time.

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