At first, Barcelona overwhelms.
So many people packed together in an absolute hum of noise and energy. To negotiate La Rambla, the boulevard the runs in a straight line from the beautiful harbour to the Placa Catalunya, in the centre of the city, is to be inundated with sound, sights and smells.
The most amazing buskers imaginable, acrobats, tapas and paella infused cafes that serve the strongest coffee and fresh baguettes for breakfast under large colourful umbrellas, scam merchants and knock-em-down and set-em-up illegal pea and shell 'games', beggars, tourists with a thousand different languages, and locals sitting in small cafes and drinking expressos and taking large shopping bags home full of fresh produce from the incredible markets, beautiful young things, tans, tans, tans, flower sellers, young men with sunglasses and fans on quick getaway cloths to make it easier to out run the ever vigilante police, and other young men shooting rubber band powered neon flying toys into the night sky hoping to make a few euros, and old Barcelonians sitting in deck chairs under the huge planes trees that line the entire length of the road and wondering where it all went wrong.
I love this place. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced and I just love it!