Thursday, 6 June 2013

Barcelona – Parc de Laberint (Park series III.)

I have always wanted to see the labyrinth of this park because (as far as I remember) I’ve never been to one before. I knew that it’s in a park and in the park there’s a maze but I wasn’t quite prepared for how artistically designed this little green gem is.

It’s Barcelona’s oldest garden and it was designed by an Italian engineer in 1792. It belonged to a rich marquis who took pride in his garden. In its 55 hectares you can find flower beds, many little hidden squares and fountains. It is only partially landscaped so there’s still a bit of forest left to give lots of shade. There’s lots to discover, you can find little streams, ponds, fountains and hidden corners with lovely stone benches often decorated with a little statue.

The main attraction of the park is the maze. To tell you the truth I didn’t expect anything exciting but we had a race with Paul to find the middle bit first and it wasn’t as easy as we thought! Even though the ‘walls’ of the maze are not that thick and you can see through them it’s great fun to run around in it for all ages.

We went there early Sunday morning to escape the city and in a secluded bit we found a little grassy bit to sit on. I threw down my sarong, Paul got his book out and I was just about to fall asleep…. when a group of people appeared and started to examine the ground for different plants RIGHT AT THE SPOT WHERE WE WERE! We waited patiently thinking they surely will leave at some point. They kept looking at the grass, the trees and the bushes and talked about which family they belong to. After about 15 minutes we agreed that they have just ruined our few minutes sun time and started to pack up, when they finally left.

They weren’t even all out of the grass when another group appeared! These had lots of kids with big nets for catching bugs and they started hunting for butterflies and other insects. We didn’t understand what’s happening but this time we didn’t want to wait for them to go but packed up and walked back to the entrance.

On our way we met another group! They were looking at birds! I really thought that Spanish people are totally crazy, they really don’t have anything else to do on a Sunday morning but looking at plants, bugs and birds!? When we got back to the entrance we realised that we again bumped into some sort of festival. It focused on ‘getting to know the nature around you’ or something like that and you could sign up to the groups that started in every hour. Well, it explained everything and we had a good laugh at the end. We will definitely remember this park for a long time.

When we left the park we saw that in the picnic area somebody had a birthday. They didn’t hire a place out or paid lots of money to take the kids somewhere. They set up the party right next to the playground, put the food on the wooden tables, hung the decoration on the trees and the kids had the time of their lives. Easy to do in a country where it’s always sunny.

Even though it’s a bit out of the way, Parc de Laberint is a lovely park to visit. You can find it on Passeig dels Castanyers, 1.

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