While every city has a few settings that lend well to a traveler's daydreams, we'll put forth the rather uncontroversial suggestion that all travel daydreams that alight in Barcelona begin outside.
Is this true for you? Picture yourself in the capital of Catalonia now and imagine yourself anywhere. Now, are you standing under a picturesque plane tree, a tall specimen that is nevertheless dwarfed by the majestic, swirly-lined church across the street?
Or perhaps you visualise yourself right on the water, the Mediterranean, in the very spot where ancient trade went down for thousands of years. Of course, in your daydream, there are more sunbathers than merchants roaming the sandy banks of Spain's second largest city.
Are we in agreement on the ideal Barcelona daydream springboard? That it involves sunshine and strolling and the sea and probably a Gaudí-designed church or another whimsical building bedecked in perfectly azure tiles and swoop-edged details?
But of course you'll want to go inside, at some point, in your fantasy. Stop one will likely be La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona's most photographed landmark and the unfinished masterpiece of the aforementioned Antoni Gaudí, a name you'll hear in Barcelona perhaps as often as you hear the word "Barcelona."
The crypt of Sagrada Familia is certainly worth a devout-hearted walkthrough, as is the nave. The "trees" of Señor Gaudí's church – or the pillars, if you prefer – rise taller than the plane trees of the city, but they are echoes of nature, as are many of the hallmarks of the architect's works.
After Sagrada Familia, you'll want to go indoors again, perhaps the admire the art of Museu Nacional d'Art Catalunya or pick up gifts for those back home at the impressively sized Arenas de Barcelona, which you'll likely recognize as a former bullring.
But, really, will it only be moments before you're outdoors again, admiring another iconic building that appears to have soft edges and a pronounced lack of right angles? You know the daydream always begins under the plane trees, near La Sagrada Familia, not far from the Mediterranean, in soft sunshine.
A Little Barcelona Luxury
€363.00 per night
€410.33 per night
€395.00 per night
€301.00 per night
*rates above are daily double room rates based on dates: 03-07-2013 to 06-07-2013.