Barcelona - what a fantastic city! It has something for everyone from culture, architecture, food and around 7 miles of beaches ( man-made for the 1992 Olympics, did you know?)
Probably one of its most famous and influential residents, certainly as regards the architecture, was Antoni Guadi. The influence of his Catalan Modernism style can be seen all over the city. There are numerous examples of his work, which you will see in the gallery, with the pinnacle undoubtedly the Sagrada Familia. The Basilica is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Construction started in the late 19th Century and, as you'll see, was ongoing at the time of our visit in 2016. There was a story at the time that it would never actually be finished since this would trigger significant back taxes to the city in lieu of planning permission although I have subsequently seen reports that an agreement was reached recently with a " token" payment from the Church to settle the claims. Despite the fact that construction is ongoing, the Basilica was consecrated in 2010 and so is a functioning church, as well as a tourist site. As you'll see from the shots, the external detailing particularly for such a large building, is both fabulous and intricate and gives the overall building a magical feel - almost like something out of a Disney production. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to get inside as we hadn't booked ahead and the "on spec" queues were lengthy but I understand from friends, it's as impressive inside as out ( another reason to go back again, of course).
Food is a big part of the city; both at consumer level and also in markets; the most famous of which is probably La Boqueria, just off the world famous "Las Ramblas", There was a vibrancy to this market like no other that I've ever experienced with stalls brimming with local produce. If it's restaurants & Cafes that you'r looking for, there's absolutely no shortage. Las Ramblas is lined with numerous, where you can sit & watch the world go by whilst sipping Sangria, Estrella, or whatever tipple is your fancy. There are countless squares with restaurants on every side and, given the city's location, it'll be no surprise that seafood features high on the menus of many, and rightly so as it's outstanding.
The city is also home to a major port for the usual commercial trade, as a regular stop for the Cruise liners of the Med, but also for a significant marina stocked with a wide range of luxury yachts. We hadn't appreciated when we booked the trip that we would be there the week before the Spanish Grand Prix, which perhaps explained the volume of luxury. One particularly took my eye, berthed along the quay, and painted in an unusual (for the luxury Yacht market) battleship grey. So taken by it, I did some research when we got back to our apartment & found that it had only recently been launched. Notwithstanding that, a sister ship had already been commissioned, destined to be even longer that the 107 metres of the Ulysses! The ultimate in luxury for its 36 passengers. At the time of our visit to Barcelona it was owned by A New Zealand Billionaire but fact checking for this piece, I see that it's now owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
To get the best of the port, a trip on the cable cars which run above it is essential; not only to give you a true sense of the size of the port but also for the aerial view of the city.
Last but by no means least in the facets of this city is the beach, or more accurately beaches since the roughly 7 miles of the city's beach is divided up into numerous smaller ones. Built for the 1992 Olympics, the beaches offer wide promenades, plenty of beach cafes for refreshments along the way, some stunning restaurants serving amazing Paellas and even a nudist section!
In summary, we felt it was a magical city with great transport routes. Easy Taxi or train routes from the airport and an extensive metro system ( although we didn't use it; preferring to walk everywhere). It's definitely a city on our return visit list since, even being there for almost a week, we still only felt as if we'd scratched its surface!