This is one of Holly’s highlights from our recent trip to Barcelona: more from me below!
When we went to Spain we saw a statue of a big book on a pedestal. Underneath it, on special, carved, metal slabs, were signatures of local Spanish authors. The sight was absolutely incredible. The book was in between two roads at a zebra crossing. When we got near it, we could actually see metal pages and we could push them gently from side to side. I thought this would be a great update about one of the things we saw when me and my parents went to Spain. There is a picture of the book below. Review by Holly
Homenatge al Llibre (Homage to the Book), by Joan Brossa (1994): Image courtesy of sillyamerica.com
A couple of weeks ago, we went to Barcelona for a weekend to celebrate Carl’s birthday (dad to Holly and my husband!). We flew out on the Friday when Britain was hit by a massive snowstorm (snowfall measuring up to 8cm – yes, we’re pretty bad with snow here if that stops the country!). It was touch and go but the brilliant staff at Gatwick Airport kept most of their planes flying on time and we were only an hour delayed.
We spent the first day with friends in a small town down the coast in a lovely hotel – Hotel Playafels – right on the seafront. We were upgraded to a two-bedroom room with a massive balcony overlooking the sea and could quite happily have spent most of our time running around on the beach and going back to chill out on the comfy beds! We can highly recommend this place to people wanting to visit Barcelona – it’s only a half-hour bus trip into the centre and you get the added advantage of a much cheaper but still fantastic hotel room and the joy of being on the beach. As well as coinciding with the snow in the UK, we had torrential rain on the Saturday – apparently the most amount of rain they had had in ages. Great!
But on Sunday the sun shone and we enjoyed doing a whistle-stop tour of the city. We took Holly down the back streets of the Gothic Quarter to the Old Port, then back up the Ramblas, where there was a craft market going on. After feeding pigeons in Placa Catalunya (the hub and central meeting place of the city) we walked up the Passeig de Gracia to show Holly the Gaudi houses.
Her favourite was the Casa Battlo, with its soft curves and pastel colours:
Image courtesy of spanishholidaycottages.com
but she also liked La Pedrera
Image courtesy of spanish-town-guides.com
We didn’t have time to go up to the top, where there are amazing statues, but we had a drink in the cafe and got an idea of the interior architecture – again, very curvy and tactile in appearance.
What I love about Barcelona is that it loves the arts. The book statue was a new sight for me – I don’t know why I hadn’t seen it before as I lived in the city around the time it was commissioned. But I think it’s great the way they celebrate all the arts and dedicate a statue to books. For example, on La Diada de Sant Jordi (St George’s Day – he’s their patron saint as well as ours), it is customary for a man to buy his lady a rose, and for a lady to buy her man a book. (You can read all about it here.) I witnessed it once and was amazed to see hundreds of people milling around bookstalls and flower stalls around the centre. I am told that it’s OK for a man to buy a lady a book too, as long as he doesn’t forget the flower! It would be wonderful if we could celebrate in this way in the UK – what do you think? Romantic, educational, fun – why not?!
We didn’t see much as we were limited to three hours of sight-seeing but we hope to return one day soon!
Have you been to Barcelona? What did you see? What did you enjoy?
Apologies for lack of our own photos – I can’t get them transferred at the moment!