Wednesday Wander – El Peix, Barcelona

I’ve been to Barcelona twice, and both times I visited the beach. Yet, before I visited, I’d never thought of Barcelona as a ‘beach’ city. To me it was a place of dance and food and architecture, home to Gaudi, one of my favourite architects. I knew it was on the coast, but Barceloneta beach was an unexpected delight.

On my second visit we spent half a day or so there, hubby and the gorgeous girl in and out of the water as we looked for shells and soaked up the sunshine, eating fresh paella at one of the many seafront cafes before returning to our hotel sandy and happy. We also took a walk along the wooden boardwalk, heading towards an unusual structure we could see gleaming golden  in the distance.

It turned out to be El Peix, a golden fish sculpture created by renowned Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry for the 1992 Olympics. Built as a canopy to link a hotel, casino and restaurants, it’s now one of Barcelona’s most well-known landmarks.

It’s not the only Gehry we’ve seen – in Seattle we spent a wonderful day at the EMP, marvelling at the colours and curves of the extraordinary building. It seemed fitting to see another piece of his work in Barcelona – Gehry, like Gaudi a century earlier, twists shape and form to challenge what can be done architecturally, creating structures like no other. We’re heading to Bilbao this summer and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the Guggenheim there, another of his famous works.

But for now I’ll leave you with Barcelona beach palms against a brilliant blue sky, a memory of a golden day. Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


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Thursday Doors – Casa Mila, Barcelona

A quick Thursday Doors post today – this week my door comes from Barcelona, and Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Mila apartment building. The rope and signs get in the way a little bit, but I think you can see what an impressive feature this door is. And it’s only a side door!

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Casa Mila is built of undulating white stone, and features some of Gaudi’s famous chimney pots poking out over the roofline, as well as extraordinary balcony rails made of sinuous metal twists. My construction engineer husband shook his head as we stood outside, thinking about how it would have been to have to manage such a complex build.

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And yet it was managed and stands as a testament to Gaudi’s genius – he is one of my favourite architects and it was a thrill to experience his work in real life. I can only dream of actually living in one of the apartments…

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