October 28, 2015
La Pedrera, Barcelona Spain.
Barcelona is still, in my opinion, the most accessible of all European cities. I have been told that it was made so for the 1992 Paralympics, and it has never lost that easy-rolling characteristic.
For me, as a T-12 para, it’s a breeze.
One of the big attractions in Barcelona is the influence, and several examples of, the architecture of Antoni Gaudi; whose buildings, constructed according to his Catalan Modernism still look amazing today. Gaudi’s architecture looks and feels both modern and timeless, as if we have yet to catch up with his style.
One of his more famous buildings is “La Pedrera” (or “Stone Quarry” in English), and in 2009, Helen and i had a chance to check it out. I wasn’t too sure about how well it would work, as some of these places constructed before 1970 (at least) can be a challenge to access. I was pleasantly surprised.
I found La Pederera to be a very enjoyable visit, barring these factors…
The access into the building is initially quite “angled”; down an alarmingly steep ramp. There were, however, several staff to help me had I lost control of my chair.
I was urged to go to the roof (“Puede usted va a la terraza!” ). It sounded great! Every one of the staff looked so very pleased to inform me that i could access the roof that i couldn’t resist. Hey, why not? They had a lift.
No. The accessible area on the roof was about 6 foot by six foot, and i had a bit of claustrophobia up there. The roof of La Pedrera is famous for Gaudi’s chimney pots that look like Moorish soldiers, but for a guy in a chair, there wasn’t much of a thrill.
Other than that, the plusses…
The staff was incredibly helpful.
I think i got a massively reduced rate, and my wife got in free as my “Carer”.
Other than the roof, every floor was accessible enough for me to participate in every exhibit that able-bodied people enjoyed,
The best bit was the apartment, maintained in the same style as the flats were decorated at the time (the 1910’s to 30’s) that the building was opened for occupation by the public. The owners of the flat were of the middle class,, so the apartment as was is a beautiful example of what home was like for ordinary people in pre-Franco Spain.
Again, Barcelona has for me, been a breeze in a chair, and La Pedrera is one of many things that make this city worth a trip
(pssssst! If you take the metro “autobus”from the airport, you can get to Plaza Catalunya for 3.00 Euros, rather than 30.00Euros in a cab)