Love Letter to Barcelona

This post is adapted from one of my writings on the course at Bournville College. The task was to write about the structure of an interesting building. I remembered my first visit to Casa Milà in Barcelona, in December 2003 ::

“Undulating” is the word most used to describe the roof of the Casa Milà, along with the staircase at Casa Batlló and the beautiful balcony at Parc Guëll. Use it too many times and it becomes boring, Gaudí wouldn’t like that. Standing on that roof, undulating it is not. The bones are on the outside, grey under the clouded sky, and Casa Milà towers over Passeig de Gràcia, not ready to give up his secret. Climbing the stairs, don’t stop to take in the mahogany doors and green-tiled floors on the headphones, it’s not important, it’s not a feeling, keep going, the roof is the prize.

Out in that crisp Barcelonín Winter, they look at first glance like luxurious swirls of ice cream, dancing in the sun, but the chimneys don’t welcome you, with menacing faces and soldier-like regiment softening with every step you take. Touch everything. Lose yourself in the maze of the patterns and the sunshine and the cold and the golden city. The yellow is misleading, it looks warm but the soldiers on the roof say otherwise, staring down at these invading tourists, like the guards of the Milà family tomb, tolerant until they are alone again.

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This was the first piece that I actually got positive comments on, before this I was told I write angrily – but my love-letter to a building showed a sense of belonging there rather than here. How can a building make you feel?

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A Search for Views

One of the things I always look for in city guidebooks is high places to see views. City, seaside, mountains, moorland, anything. From the church tower to a rooftop restaurant to that-hill-over-there. I live on the 4th floor too, and OK the view’s not spectacular, just looking out onto other flats in the suburbs of the city, but in Summer the sky comes alive with so many colours and textures of the clouds. I like having people round in the Summer to see the sunset. That’s also probably why I like the new library so much, you can see all over the city from the two beautiful gardens.

One of my favourite places to be in this world is actually on the roof of Casa Milà, or La Pedrera in Barcelona. The picture below is my third visit and I love it every time. I could just look at the city all day long…

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Boscastle UK, Teotihuacan Mexico, Barcelona Spain, Montepulciano Italy

Written for Written for Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme : Height