Ah. Barcelona. What an amazing city. One day has not been enough to scratch the surface – I will be back to explore more.

Barcelona has been on my bucket list for years: courtesy of Dali, Picasso, and Gaudi. Then, the was the ’92 anthem for the Olympics.

So. Flying into smoke-hazed Barca was very exciting. There were several exchanges of “guess what? We’re in Barcelona!” And even now, having walked the Rambla (shopping!), gone up Montjuïc (cable car and gondola trips, yay!), stood outside the Sagrada Família (still in the “it’s impressive, but hideous, camp), and supped twice in Barceloneta (pizza, then paella), it hadn’t sunk in.

Montjuïc from Barceloneta at night

Spain has given us sublime weather, and our brief interlude has seen a top of 35, and an average morning/late evening temperature of 25. I have missed getting up in the morning, throwing on shorts and a singlet, and going. I am thoroughly enjoying just having a scarf in my bag in case it gets chilly. And Spain in late summer has not been chilly.

Barceloneta and Port Vell from Montjuïc

Barcelona has been an experience. It’s clean, well planned, and with the fantastic public areas that make European cities what they are, but it’s much older than that, and not European. I will be back, and I will explore. But tomorrow sees the end of our time in Spain, and back into France: Avignon and the Camargue for this stint, before hopping across to Aix-en-Provence, and then down and around the coast to Nice. It’s going to be great.

Sagrada Família up close and personal

I do really wish James had taken the time to learn Spanish, because this leg could have been so much better. I’ve heard stories about hire the French are rude if you don’t speak the language. That certainly wasn’t the case in Paris. Maybe it will be in the Riviera, I don’t know – but those who said it about the French had never been to Spain. It was fun in the Iberian peninsula  but I can’t wait to be back in a culture and language I at least am more familiar with: bring on Provence!

A quiet little plaça hidden in the Rambla. You get lost in there.