The Mediterranean – Barcelona 2011

Sept.27 -We arrived in the city for our cruise and we are soon settled into our hotel. It is in the heart of the city and quite close to the old city.

As I mentioned in my new novel, Sailing Away, the city looks out over the harbor. There is a wide avenue that runs from the city center down to the port. It is lined with shops and restaurants for your eating and buying pleasure.

When you come to the city you will undoubtedly see some strange looking buildings. They were built by Gaudi if they lack straight lines. They undulate and swirl around you as you walk by them. He designed the grate cathedral which is still under construction today, long after he was killed by an automobile just in front of his masterpiece.

La Pedrera is one of them. It is an apartment building built from 1906 to 1910. As a plasterer and tile setter I can understand the skill needed to create such master pieces. There are few straight lines in his buildings. Think of plastering or tiling a beach ball and multiply that into a building. The time lavished on his works is amazing. They move like the sea.

Gaudi, like Frank Lloyd Wright, created the door hinges, the pull knobs for the cabinets and the light fixtures, and even furniture for his buildings. But while Wright’s buildings were angular, Gaudi’s were undulating. Both styles are beautiful no doubt, but in completely different forms.

There are many buildings by Gaudi in the city and you cannot miss them.  There is a park up on the hill that he filled with beautiful buildings and seating areas as well. Go up there and look around if you have a chance.

Read “Sailing Away,” my novel about a sailing adventure from London through the Mediterranean to the Cape of Africa and back, via a few stops on the west coast of Africa i the 18th century.