WHILE IT IS GENERALLY ACCEPTED to use the terms "labyrinth" and "maze" interchangeably, scholars argue over their distinction. A maze is said to be multicursal or having complex branching paths, while a labyrinth is unicursal, comprising a single unambiguous passage.
On this particular Sunday, we followed a unicursal path via the Barcelona Metro's green line. Skipping the popular stops, which lead out to La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, Plaça Catalunya and Plaça d'Espanya, amongst others, we headed for more secretive destinations; off at Liceu for the small wonder that is El Jardí, then back and off again at Mundet for the 22-acre spectacle that is Parc del Laberint d'Horta.
Housed in a courtyard in Raval, El Jardí, literally "the garden", is a lively terrace cafe serving small plates and cocktails from a kiosk-like kitchen and bar. A few bites, beers, wine and coffee and we were off to an actual garden uptown, of a highly contrasting atmosphere. Parc del Laberint d'Horta spans 9 hectares but for preservation purposes, limits its entry to 750 visitors at a time. Echoing of the lush life lived by its original creator and proprietor Joan Antoni Desvalls i d'Ardena, the manicured cluster of neoclassical and romantic gardens maintains a forest-like feeling, broken only by two ascending pavilions, a scattering of statues and a cypress hedge maze after which the park is named.
What I could not find there, or perhaps just couldn't see, was an inscription on the uppermost pavilion, supposedly reading Artis Naturaque Parit Concordia Pulchrum. "The harmony of art and nature generates beauty."
At the end of that day, I guess I didn't need to. Some things we read, some things we're lucky to see.
Terraza y Bar de tapas El Jardí, www.eljardibarcelona.es and Parc del Laberint d'Horta, Barcelona. Photos by Lady San Pedro and Jaime Sese.