The last time I was in Barcelona, I toured the Gaudi sites: Parc Guell, Casa Mila and Segrada Familia. Parc Guell is an interesting place, if you have a guide with you to point out the interesting areas and the history of the place. The mosaics which are everywhere are interesting in the color combinations used. Casa Mila also known as La Pedrara (sp?) is an interesting building in both the forms of the balconies and the lack of corners. Segrada Familia was under construction as it has been for about 100 years or so, so we couldn't see much inside. The exterior looked somewhat like a child's sand castle except for the statuary on the facade. It is uniquely Spanish and quite striking. The tour ended at the foot of Las Ramblas and we walked up the street. There were a variety of different mimes there, some stationary, some moving. We stopped in a tapas place called Egypte. It was very good.
This time I toured the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona (5 miles of walking) with the iPod and learned a lot of Barcelona history and saw some really interesting places. Lunch at a Tapas bar. Great. Took a cab to Segrada Familia and it is a fantastic place - not to be missed. The last time I was there the interior was still under construction, but now you can see the beauty of the interior. It will truly take its place as one of the world's great cathedrals when it is finished in about 2050.
Next time I want to see La Boqueria and some of the other parts of Barcelona.
Madeira was beautiful. We took the tour that took us around to the opposite side of the island and stopped at every point of interest along the way. Very few involved vendors. The meal was delicious, but the wine wasn't madeira. LOL It is a veritable Paradise with green terraced hillsides, tall mountains, the second highest cliff in the world and friendly people. Our guide, it was a ship's tour, pointed out all of the points of interest and spoke of the historical importance of each. She spoke English very well and was easily understood. We were able to explore on our own in several towns and experienced a great feeling of peace and contentment. The fact that it was Sunday may have contributed to that. All I can say is if you have never been there make sure it is on your bucket list.