Wheeling Barcelona – the Gaudí Way II

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Barcelona
It was the first time that we met
Barcelona
How can I forget
The moment that you stepped into the room
You took my breath away

Freddie Mercury

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The Exhibition Centre is situated left of the cathedral

The Gaudí Exhibition Center
The Gaudí Exhibition Center is situated in the medieval Pia Almoina building, home to the Museu Diocesà de Barcelona. It is located next to the Cathedral in the heart of Barcelona’s old town. Around 12 million tourists and visitors transit the large square bounded by the Cathedral and museum every year.

And maybe it’s an advantage to visit the center before you see any of Gaudi’s buildings? I myself prefer it the other way around. Sometimes you just want to be surprised and mesmerized by a whole new universe, without knowing too many facts in advance.

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A replica of the lizzard from Parc Güell

The main entrance of the exhibition center is not accessible for wheelchairs, but we asked a local guide. And she told us that there is a wheelchair accessible entrance through the souvenir shop in the basement. So we bought our tickets there and entered the museum through the back entrance. Besides the main entrance, the whole museum is very accessible. They have a normal modern elevator, big enough to fit two small wheelchairs and there were also disabled friendly toilets.

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The current temporary exhibit was about a cartoon of a crime novel, featuring some of the Gaudi buildings. The permanent exhibit is more about Gaudi’s different inspirations and the methods of his work. And it had the coolest kaleidoscope…

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Don’t you just love kaleidoscopes…?

La Pedrera (Casa Milá)
This is one of Gaudí’s main residential buildings and one of the most imaginative houses in the history of architecture. This building is more sculpture than a building. The façade is a varied and harmonious mass of stone that, along with its forged iron balconies, explores the irregularities of the natural world.

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Also at La Pedrera the start of the sightseeing (meaning the ticket office) is a bit inaccessible. But we approached the guards and they helped us to buy tickets (bring cash!) and showed us to an accessible entrance. After that most of the building is accessible to some extent. Meaning that the space on the rooftop that can be accessed with wheelchairs is very small. This is because the rooftop consists of a lot of stairs and different levels. But you do get to see the view and the special Gaudi sculptures without any problems, so it’s definitely worth it.

From the rooftop we took the normal elevator down to the attic, where there is an exhibit about the working methods of Gaudi. It also has some of the furniture he made on display. The attic is completely accessible and there are ramps between the different levels. The room itself is worth the visit.

La Pedrera has two different elevators and the first is a modern elevator open to all the visitors. The second is an oldfashioned one, that is only used by staff and wheelchair users. Ask one of the staff to help you! If you are tired you can take a nap at the little bench there.

With the oldfashined elevator you can access the apartment. Which is a wonderful old mansion with furniture and details intact. The owner must have been very proud of it. And if she’s the one portrayed – she looked as if she was as well. Or maybe a little arrogant perhaps…?

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Parc Güell
I visited Parc Güell for the first (and only) time in 2015. Before that I had visited Barcelona only with disabled friends and no assistant. And in Parc Güell you really need someone to help you, because the hills are many and too steep to manage by yourself, even for the strongest wheelchair users. The park is situated North East in the city – and the easiest way to get there is to go by bus.

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Since parts of the park has a limitation on how many people can be let in at once – they have a time schedule. So calculate some time for the experience. It is a big park to walk through. But you’ll get to see many of Gaudi’s creations, his mansion (if you bother to stand in line) and wonderful views to the whole city centre including the skyscrapers at the beach and La Sagrada Familia. And a lot of tourists…

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And with these caleidoscope photos I say thank you for the attention! See you in another destination next time. And always remember that the devil is in the details!

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