Wednesday, 30 September 2015

"The Quarry"

We could finally go on holiday again! After an entire summer of not travelling, it felt so good to finally pack our suitcases, tuck Second Wife under one arm and hop on a plane! The three of us went to Barcelona, and this picture just about sums up my feelings about the trip:

Top: Banana Republic, Skirt: Madewell, Shoes: Cath Kidston. 

One of the first tourist destinations we hit was Casa Mila, an apartment building designed by the famous architect Gaudi. Since it's got those tall, imposing pillars on the roof (Nazgul asparagus is what they look like), it's pretty easy to spot. The whole think looks like it's been hewed out of sandstone, so locals call the building "La Peredrera", or "The Quarry". 

Behind me there, what do you see? It's the spires of the Sagrada Familia cathedral, with its accompanying cranes, far off in the distance. Building works have been going on for something like a hundred years now (for once, I'm not actually exaggerating!), mostly because it's one expensive structure to build... We didn't get to go there this time around, but I've been inside it before, and it's absolutely stunning.

 Gaudi's buildings just have a way of looking like they grew out of plants and seeds, rather than that they were constructed. He found inspiration in nature, in everything from corn husks and asparagus (see?!) to a goat's skull. 

This roof terrace is easily the best part of Casa Mila. It was absolutely full of people, all milling around and taking pictures. I should add at this point that it was so filthy, awesomely hot up there - and during our stay in general! It was so lovely to experience a bit of summer again, even if we weren't quite prepared for it! 

Here in Britain, autumn is in full swing, so I sensibly packed things like a woolly cardigan, a fully lined dress, and no sandals. So watch me sweating it up in my black felt skirt with the leather patches! That T-shirt was an afterthought, but man was I glad I brought it.  

I seem to remember Anthropologie shot some pictures for one of its catalogues up here a few years ago? So of course, Victor and I had to get into the spirit of the thing, and get our pose on. Note that he is rocking the super dorky museum headphones as a rad accessory!

There was a lot to see inside the building as well; there was one floor dedicated to how this building was designed, and Gaudi's design process in general - fascinating stuff! That man was one of those once-in-a-century geniuses, like Mozart or Shakespeare. There was also a whole apartment that had been conserved in the original style, complete with ancient toys in the nursery (including one huge, truly terrifying doll) and steampunk toilets, so we spent a few hours in there, exploring and taking pictures.  

Part of me wishes it was still an apartment building, and that people got to live in it. Because this house just feels like it's alive - in a comforting way! Not at all in a creepy way! The shapes of the rooms and the way the afternoon light warmed them... it's just such a shame that nobody can nap on the sofa or play with their dog in there! Imagine growing up in one of those apartments, or renting one of those to write your novel in...!   

 It was an awesome trip, but we got back home at two in the morning. So if there was one thing I did need the next day, it was coffee, straight up. (Only with pumpkin spice syrup and a dash of  whipped cream in it, of course.)


  1. Looks like an amazing trip! I just got back from barcelona and madrid, but missed out on casa mila. Will definitely have to go there next time. Ps. Where do you get pumpkin spice syrup in London?

    1. Sorry for the late reply, this week has been BANANAS! Shame you missed out on this gem, but I bet you got to see some of the other Gaudi buildings, right? :)

      Oh and you can probably buy the pumpkin syrup in Starbucks - or maybe a catering wholesaler shop like Nisbets? Sorry, I'm not too sure myself!

  2. You look so spunky and cute! These are the perfect tourist photos with you hamming it up in front of spectacular architecture. I did a school project on Gaudi in Spanish class back in high school, and I've always wanted to travel to Barcelona to see his remarkable works. They have such whimsy, don't they?! Thanks for sharing these snaps so I can live vicariously through your travels as usual. lol I'm so envious of the incredible destinations you have so close to you in the UK! Weekend getaways to Ohio just don't seem as exciting as a weekend in Spain!

    <3 Liz

    1. Aw thanks for the sweet comment, hon! And how can you not ham it up when the chimneys look like Nazgul? ;)
      Seriously, I can recommend Barcelona sooo much! *When* you guys come to Europe, you should totally put that on your itinerary. I know what you mean, his buildings just kinda give the finger to all the modern strait-edge buildings around them - and I love that!

      Ah, but never underestimate the mysterious glamour of Ohio when seen from across the ocean! ;)

  3. Ohhhhh... Amazing!!! So jealous!!!

    1. Tee hee. Like I said to Liz, if you and Freddy ever come to London, you should do this as a side trip - you can get really cheap tickets via companies like Easyjet or even British Airways! :)