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I went to Barcelona, because I have worked out that if I have a long weekend somewhere with longer days in February it us a good thing all round, and it was brill. Looked at the Med, and went on a tiny boat trip that got all of about a quarter mile outside the harbour; also looked at cathedrals, alleys, ironwork, gardens, hills, markets, Roman walls, etc. Ate lots of tapas and seafood (yum, cuttlefish) and cream catalana (creme brûlée with cinnamon and/or lemon zest in). Was pleased by the many places selling small paper cones of Iberico ham to eat as you stroll.
It tipped it down one day but otherwise there was lots of lovely DAYLIGHT.
And I found out about Eusabi Guell, who was a 19th C multibillionaire (in today's money) who was a bit of a religious nut and also quite into Catalan nationalism. So what he did was fund literary magazines and be a patron for lots of musicians and artists and sculptors and this weird architect who wanted to meld Art Nouveau with traditional Catalonian materials and craftsmanship, and what I'm saying is that if CERTAIN PEOPLE spent a shitload of money on the arts then maybe CERTAIN COUNTRIES would be a lot better off than other forms of nationalism will leave them, because over a hundred years later Catalonia is still doing very nicely thank you from Gaudi tourism. So well done el Sr. Guell.
(Guell's townhouse was Gaudi's first commission, and it is a mixture of rich-people-odd, like the ground floor being designed to drive your carriage right in (the stables are in the basement) or there being five salon rooms of various degrees of intimacy but only three rooms for the ten children and their nurses, arts-patron-odd like the whole house being designed round a 50-foot-high room with perfect acoustics and a gallery for choir and orchestra, and Gaudi-odd like the random wiggly closets in the corners of the master suite. It is very lavish and strange. The family only lived there for a few years as apparently Guell's wife never liked it.)

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