Thursday 30 May 2013
We spent the following day exploring one of Gaudí’s other achievements: Park Güell. Susan researched the best way to approach it, and indeed our arrival was unhampered by crowds. We entered the park from the top of the hill and gradually wended our way down over the next few hours. Not long after entering the perimeter, we were enchanted by music played on a large percussive bell the likes of which we had never seen before. We stopped and sat on a park bench in the sun and listened at length to pentatonic melodies tapped out by hands on black steel. The music created such an apt atmosphere for the enchanting surroundings that we bought a CD as a recuerdo. The cover of the CD sports a photo of the cheerful, middle-aged Spanish woman who made our morning in the park so memorable.
We visited the museum housed in Gaudí’s former house, which revealed the reverence with which he is regarded in this part of the world. As we neared the lower areas of the park, the crowds swelled. A rich mixture of tourists and locals had turned out in force to enjoy the sunshine and the fanciful forms that Gaudi had originally designed for only five dozen middle-class families. How fortuitous that the park had been a total flop as a private housing estate! Susan went mad among the tile mosaics, asking people to move so that she could photograph highlights of the seemingly inexhaustible variety of patterns made from carefully matched, broken tiles. It will be interesting to see what kind of aesthetic results are stimulated by her up-close study when we get back home to Sydney.