The beach at Barceloneta
“I first visited Barcelona just under four years ago. It was an unplanned visit but one that would set me up to fall helplessly in love with the place. I was on a four-month sabbatical from my job in London to focus on my ‘other’ life as an artist. I had started off in a small village in France but it was there I realised it wasn’t the peace and quiet or nature that was inspiring me but the vibrancy and energy of a city. So I headed to Barcelona. I arrived in to BCN at Arc de Triomfand had a while to wait for a friend so I grabbed an ice cream and sat by the exit to the metro watching the city fall in to its afternoon routine. Coming from London, where everything runs at an acutely fast pace, I felt an extension of time in the way the people of BCN went about things.
The streets of Barceloneta
After I met my friend we grabbed a drink in the back streets of Barceloneta, an area which would soon become a real favourite of mine, and decided the only thing to do as a new visitor to the city was to head to the beach and jump in the sea. We quickly stripped down and threw ourselves into the water diving in and out of the waves. At one point I turned back to look at the city around us and felt a further sense of adoration for the place. Something about being in the water surrounded by the throngs of a city, but more than that, a sense of energy from the place that I couldn’t quite place yet. I felt it had welcomed me with open arms instantly. No judgement. Read the rest of this article…
A fab article from illustrator, Kat Cameron, on the delights of sketching in Barcelona (including some of her even fabber illustrations).
Barcelona Landscape – © Kat Cameron
A mosaic of green, blue, and red emerges in my mind when I visualise Barcelona. A city of flat terracotta roofs, encircled with the olive-green forests of the Collserola rolling down to the aqua Mediterranean. From first touching down in the glass airport to a wander through the textured gothic alleyways or a glance at the modernista architecture, you know you have landed in a city of art. Miro, Gaudí, Dalí and Picasso all spent time here, and as you meet the locals you discover that Barcelona is filled with architects, designers, graphic artists and illustrators, so really it is the perfect city to go for a stroll with your sketch pad and pencils, find a spot and record your surroundings. Read the rest of this article…
Or, ‘How Julie hopscotches the brief altogether and rambles off on a total tangent’
A panoramic view of Barcelona from Tibidabo
“First off, I have to make a confession. Rob invited me to write my version of a perfect Barcelona day many moons ago, and it’s taken me an oddly long time to get my finger out and actually produce it. Yet I love writing, and I love writing about Barcelona, so why the dilatory tactics?
Well, apart from the plangent bawl of “it’s such a perfect day…” (god I hate that song) resounding in my thalamus, I think it’s that I’m struggling with the whole concept of perfection. It’s a concept kindred with fluency. Mention its name out loud and you’ve broken something sacrosanct.
Or maybe I’m over-thinking this. Hmmm. Bear with me here.
I tend to see the best of Barcelona, I’ve noticed, when I’m with other people. When I look back over the last year, highlights always involve some kind of shared experience. It could be workmates down the pub on a Friday night, a party on the beach till 5am or just those fleeting instants that end up shifting all sorts of dubious paradigms. Then, I imagine myself standing up on Tibidabo looking down over the city, viewing the cityscape through a kaleidoscope. Read the rest of this article…
Posts were a bit thin on the ground last week. In fact they were non-existent. I had my family here. Six of them. Three adults and three children. All in my flat. And I invited them. I know!
So writing a blog post was pretty low down on the list whilst organising showering times was pretty high up. But all joking aside, it was great to have them here.
But what to do with them?
With ages ranging from 8 to 80 it can prove tricky finding something that they all can enjoy. My mum likes a church – Santa Maria del Mar, the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, the Sagrada Família and Santa Anna (a tucked away church I will tell you more about another time). We trod them all. And the kids? Well they would spend a whole morning in Happy Pills if they had their way.
But for anyone with a similar dilemma I highly recommend you go to the CosmoCaixa Barcelona near Tibidabo. Read the rest of this article…
“Well! To think of a perfect day in Barcelona isn’t difficult at all. It would all start with one of its many sunny days in which from 7 in the morning, the sun, without asking permission, gets into your bed and invites you to start your day.
I live in the ‘high’ part of Barcelona, and it’s so called because it’s where the peak of the mountain starts. If you continue going up you reach El Tibidabo from where you get the best views of Barcelona and you can also enjoy an aperitif at Mirablau or Mirabe. Read the rest of this article…