My impression of the city was not favoured by the sight of almost every square inch of shuttered shops being graffiti-raddled. I wouldn't normally care, but they just weren't awfully good. The more juvenile members of the population seemed quite passionate about self-mutilation - tattooing was less of an art form, more a rite of passage, it seemed.
The metro was clean and punctual and had I not caught someone attempting to pick my pocket, I might have quite enjoyed the short and efficient journey. An elbow in the ribs of the departing thief might discourage him from further attempts, but I somehow doubt it.
Barcelona is the city of the iconic architect Gaudí whose work one either thinks is absolutely masterful, or basically loathsome. I'm afraid I fall into the latter category. His buildings seem to be half-alive, stonework giving way to trees, flowers, bunches of grapes, whatever... Looking at them for any length of time made me feel quite queasy.
Were Harry Potter ever to turn his wizarding intentions towards the consolations of Rome, this, surely is where he would hang his broomstick. La Sagrada Familia was Gaudí's magnum opus containing vast, allegorical symbols on the mysteries of the faith - extraordinary facades representing the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.
The work was started in 1882. Interrupted in 1936 when the crypt and Gaudí's workshop were burned, Construction resumed in 1952 using the original plans and existing models and it's still unfinished eighty-five years after his death. Am I bovvered?