Travel & Adventure

Secret City: Gray Malin on Barcelona

American fine art photographer and seaside fanatic Gray Malin shares his favourite places to spend time in Barcelona

Gray Malin captures the beauty of Barcelona for his fine art series 'Follow Me', commissioned by Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts
Gray Malin captures the beauty of Barcelona for his fine art series ‘Follow Me’, commissioned by Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts

My first visit to Barcelona was in 2014. It was at the very beginning of my partnership with Le Méridien Hotels, so it is fair to say it was for work, but when you’re in a city like Barcelona, you make time for a bit of holiday fun.

I took a bike tour, which was a very fun and detailed introduction to the city. I learned so much about the Catalan culture and saw sites like the Arc de Triomf, as well as the Parc Ciutadella, which is essentially the ‘Central Park’ of Barcelona. Beautifully kept shrubs and trees line this expansive green space, alongside a stunning fountain which can dated far as back as the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition.

Another must-see is the Sagrada Família, the famous Antoni Gaudí church that has been under construction for over 130 years. It is absolutely breathtaking and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

The amount of artistry that is woven throughout Barcelona is incredibly impactful to me. It’s mind boggling that a society in the early 19th century permitted an artist to create something like Park Güell, for example. If only more places in the world had supported the vision of such artists like Gaudí, we would all have incredible areas like this to visit anytime we wanted in our cities.

I will always remember my first visit to Costa Dorada, a beachy area 30 minutes out of Barcelona that runs along the Mediterranean Sea. Approximately 10 years ago, a local family found and restored a beautiful property on the beach front. Magically, this has evolved to become the beautiful Le Méridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa. This is where I shot my series Poolside, Mediterranean, which is part of the the fine art series made possible through my partnership with the hotel.

To learn more about the ‘Follow Me’ series, click here. The exhibition runs at Le Méridien Piccadilly from 6 – 31 October 2016. Malin’s multiple collections are also available at GrayMalin.com.

Interview Cécile Fischer