I didn’t have a proper map and it ended up taking hours—in addition to asking random Spaniards—how to get there. It also required walking up hills that were easily as steep as those in San Francisco. But I finally found Park Güell—a public masterpiece by Gaudí—and instantly believed that the navigational travails were well worth it. Here was a beautiful, free park with breathtaking, panoramic views of Barcelona and the sea.
There were several street performers too. I read several chapters on a public bench next to a pink Gaudí-designed house while listening to a musician strum his guitar while singing the Spanish renditions of many classic pop tunes I knew very well. Despite the throng of tourists elsewhere in the park, I had managed to find a very peaceful area in this gorgeous greenspace above the city.