Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Forget the Museums - Barcelona Parks Rock!

While we could have easily spent our entire week here touring the seemingly infinite and fascinating number of museums Barcelona has to offer, the cold hard reality is that our kids (particularly Christian and Casey) just don't dig museums, unless they show depictions of hell and/or mythical beasts and monsters. Perhaps we need to squeeze in the Prado at some point for that kind of stuff. They would much rather find a park and play hide 'n seek. Fortunately, we didn't have to settle on any old park - Barcelona has some fabulous offerings. Of particular note was the Park Guell, an "Alice in Wonderland meets Dr. Seuss" kind of place designed by Gaudi for the wealthy classses. I won't waste time trying to describe this place - only that it was whimsical, funky and surreal. I can't think of a better place for a kid to play hide 'n seek...that is until we discovered the Labrinto. The Labrinto, or Labrinth was a beautifully manicured garden, set on the outskirts of Barcelona and therefore, not heavily advertised nor visited. However, it was definitely worth the trip. While we have seen a few living mazes before, we have yet to visit one so large, tall and complicated. It warranted a discussion with the kids about staying calm and not panicking if they found themselves hopelessly lost. Unfortunately, their father should have heeded the same message, as it began to feel like I was back in the Barrio Gottico, wandering aimlessly through the winding streets, saying "I know our apartment is around here somewhere." And I felt the same tired-leg feeling that I seem to get so frequently when getting lost in a big city. After a while I just wanted to get out of the damned thing and considered cutting several large holes in the hedge and forcing my way out. too bad I didn't have any garden shears! Eventually we found our way out - not once, but several times, given that the kids didn't want to leave. By the time we finally left, Suzanne and I were ready for a spanish-style siesta!

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