Back this week from a "long" weekend in Barcelona. What a bloody great city.
I was there by leisure albeit with my company department - a bonus trip earned through good results the past year. A really nice trip but much too short and much too socially anti-social.
By this I mean the general problem in moving in large tourist packs of foreigners. It will never be my thing. I saw my chances to get away on my own a few times but at the end of the trip I had only spoken 2-3 times to any native Barcelonian, not related to trade.
It was not much I got to train my beginner's Spanish - although I suspect I would not have anyway, since everyone was very keen to speak English :)
Best site was by far the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família which everyone must see before they die. I have seen many impressive buildings in my life but this takes the prize - not in grandeur, though it certainly is huge, but in sheer uncompromising creativity.
Gaudí was apparently a mathematical genius which I can certainly see the importance of, since those spacy ideas would have never been possible to build, had he not himself figured out the foundational engineering behind it. The scale of his projects are simply enormous, considering how many details they contain - looking at the amount of modern building project fuck-ups that seem to come in abundance, Gaudí's achievements are really blinding.