If you've ever talked to me about sports, you'll know that my only form of exercise comes from dance. Or walking. I don't run or play sports, I've never enjoyed playing ball games, or made any form of effort to visit the gym/go for a hike. The only time I climb the stairs when I'm on a holiday, is to get up to the highest level of a building to get a good view.
Basically, I'm just quite lazy. If there is an escalator, i'd take the escalator.
The last evening in Barcelona, we took a little walk to Parc Güell. If I'm not wrong, it's the biggest park in Barcelona. We were walking from the train station and some how came face to face with a steep inclined hill, accompanied buy what seemed like 80 steps. We climbed up mid way and I questioned if we were heading in the right direction.
We approached a local, and she said yes, we were, and that we just had to go on straight, turn right, continue on straight, turn left, continue on ahead and we'd arrive at Parc Güell.
Well, that was when we realised every turning involved climbing more steps.
After finally reaching what seemed to be the park entrance, to my dismay, we saw a stretch of escalators leading up to it. On the account that my throat was sore, and my nose was blocked/ I was feeling really lethargic - that was pretty much a hike up a hill. The plus side to climbing up is you do get to enjoy really good views along the way, and stop to take photos. You can't exactly stop on an escalator.
We decided to sit down at one of the wooden tables and benches before attempting to find the place with the Monuments. When we were about to sit down, we saw the same old lady we met on our short "hike" up to the park. She was just chillin' at one of the other benches, as if her climb up was effortless.
And here's me post climb, standing there staring towards the sun looking very tired, refusing to move my feet. As 2 supposedly fit and healthy young adults, Jerald and I felt really ashamed for taking so long to get up there and yet, feeling quite tired from the climb.
Parc Güell has more of an organic feel to it, unlike the usual pretty well groomed and clean parks i'm so used to visiting in big cities. It felt more like a forest/jungle - really tall trees covering the sunlight, slightly muddy, and narrow trails. Well, I have never been to a forest or a jungle, but you get what I mean.
As I wasn't feeling too well that day, we initially thought of heading back early and giving the park a miss. But, I insisted (and convinced my body - mind over body!!) that I was well enough to continue with the day's plan and I was glad we ended up going to Parc Güell!
The part of the park with the monuments was more touristy, plus you have to pay to get in. That being said, it was nice to take a look at different parts of the park. After climbing all the way up, we might as well pay to go in since it wasn't that expensive. It was an interesting place to explore and watch the sun set. Unlike the other areas of the park, this area around the monuments felt more resort like. I don't remember if there were student offers, but if you do decide to go into the paid area of the park, ask anyway.
The thing about Barcelona is, sometimes, they don't display the student prices or announce that they have discounts/offers for students even though they do have them. So just double check to be sure you're not over paying.
Thinking back, I'm quite glad Jerald and I took a longer route up to the park. The climb up was nice and quiet. There were houses on top and along each slope, and its so cool how the people living there are so used to the "work out". An elderly man just walked right past us and he was not panting one bit!
I think everyone should climb up to Parc Güell instead of taking the escalator. It isn't that much of a climb really - compared to 300+ steps up various towers in Europe. If I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed the climb so much more had I not been sniffling the whole time.