Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weekly Photo: Park Guell

Perched upon El Carmel in Barcelona - overlooking the sweeping expanse of the Mediterranean - is the partially-realised, deranged vision of a self-contained community by Antoni Gaudi. Stepping into the cartoonish theme-park, one cannot help but feel as though you’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole, landing in a pool of drug-fuelled insanity. Tea sets decorate roof mosaics, suggesting that Lewis Carroll’s wacky ‘wonderland’ had in fact seeped into Gaudi’s vision, though the entire park is an arena for abstract art. Sculptured land formations, gypsy buskers, marching bands and bewildering designs litter the park; tickling the imagination and your inner-child’s fantasies.

Hidden among all of this craziness is the white house featured in the picture. Owner unknown, the house offers a temporary escape back to normality. It serves as a reminder of the Mediterranean setting, accompanied by the Vespa in the driveway, lemon trees and cacti, and the refreshing sea breeze sweeping up the hill. As an elderly busker played a strange instrument in an oblivious rapture twenty feet away, I looked up at this house in envy, salivating at the thought of living before such captivating views and serenity; unaffected by the cultural pulse of Catalonia that envelops it.

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