Meraki [may – rah – kee] – (N.) The soul, creativity, or love put into something: the essence of yourself that you put into your work.
If you say the word a few times and just let it roll off your tongue you can almost feel its meaning. I put a lot of thought into this month’s theme, thinking how I could represent my creativity needs or how is it that I put my soul into my work but basically this post would have been about unfinished knitting projects and food plonked unphotogenically onto a plate so I had to find representation elsewhere.
I feel very fortunate to live in Barcelona where when your mojo is on low, just at a short walk away I can go and get lost in the creativity of others and if there is someone I know that put a soul and a half into his creativity and work, that would be Antoni Gaudí. I seem to spend a lot of time planning trips to far far places in search of soul satisfying images to shoot when I can literally walk up the road and get lost in Parc Güell. When I say walk up, I really mean up up. The actual park used to be free for all up until a few years ago when it got ridiculously popular among tourists and we all know that not all tourists are respectful. It got to the point where the park was in a sorry state, so now to access the “Trencadis” area, tourists pay and there is a limited number of people and plenty of security. Most of the park is still free and is beautiful to just wander around.
What many visitors don’t realise is that the park is where the local people go about their day, it’s part of your route, a short cut, a beautiful walk to get from A to B. There is a school right in the middle of the park and their playground is Parc Güell and also there are many other schools within minutes that use the park. I myself have fond memories of walking there after school and sitting on my favourite bench doing exam revision back in the day. The library was a dreary place for me and I much preferred sitting in the sunshine. The bench where I memorised latin and greek declinations is still there with its impressive view over Barcelona.
The park is at the very top of the city and even though the square where we live is high, we still have a hefty uphill climb to make it to the entrance that is nearest to us. Park Güell has quite a few entry points and I like to think that ours is the most picturesque and authentic.
This is C/ Llogregós, 1400 metres of uphill streetness. We live at the half way up point thankfully and the reason why we don’t cycle much.
Behind the house, through the woods is the entrance that we use. Basically we walk all the way up a man made cement hill until we get to where nature takes over and nature combined with Gaudí’s work of art is well worth the trek.
On a sunny winter morning it’s bliss.
Last time we went it was still free and it wasn’t the best experience as you had to wade between the hoards of tourists so I was curious to see how the limited number of people would work.
The actual park is free for all and it was pretty crowded but as it’s so big it’s still very enjoyable and there are plenty of benches to stop and take in the view. I’m not surprised people flock to this place because the view is so amazing and in the morning walking through the woods the smell is so refreshing and earthy. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies for the little ones to explore and I remember some pretty fine adventures with my little Sweet Baby Love.
Once you get to the Trencadis area you need a ticket. Park Güell is part of our district so we have unlimited access and a special pass which is just as well because the queue was monumental. I believe that with a ticket you get to spend one hour in the area. Most people concentrate at the main view so it’s difficult to get the postcard shot but there are enough benches all around to get a bit to yourself.
Look at the school’s balcony!
My favourite part of the park is the columns in the early morning winter light. You will always find families here chasing little ones and playing hide and seek and peekaboo.
The light is a dream and this part has benefitted from the limited access as you can actually get your shot if you wait a bit.
Iphone pic by Papasito:
When you get the the bottom of the park there is a museum that we didn’t visit. It was a battle I chose not to fight.
One thing that I do miss compared to the old park rules is the there are hardly any musicians. Before you would have musicians all over the park and how the only ones that we saw were these getting into their flamenco.
And it ends here because then we tuck into the obligatory “Aperitivo de Domingo”
This post is part of the Ineffable Wanderlust blog circle. Please follow the circle all the way through to see what Meraki looks like around the world. Next in the circle comes Anna Francken in the Netherlands.