I never had a desire to go to Barcelona... or anywhere in Spain for that matter. I'm not quite sure of the reason, other than the fact that I've had my fair share of Latino experiences and had a tainted view of the culture because of it. (Sorry to those who say that Spaniards are not Latino, but many from Central/South America can trace their roots back to Spain, so I'm sticking to my opinion that Spaniards are Latino too).
A few months ago my friend Tim invited me to go to Barcelona with him and a few friends. I felt it would probably be the only time I'd go... because I wouldn't have taken the initiative on my own, which is why I told him to count me in. As the months went by, I got quite excited. Not for the fact that I'd be going to Barcelona, but for the fact that I'd have a week of vacation in the sun and warmth. I was waiting for any welcomed change that would take me away from the rainy, cloudy, sunless days of Amsterdam.
Even when one person after another told me how great Barcelona is, how beautiful is, and how much I'll love it, I still wasn't sold. It wasn't until I arrived two Saturdays ago, and ventured out around the city with two new friends, that my heart melted and I fell in love with one of the most beautiful cities I have seen so far.
Besides the fact that the weather was perfect, I could understand most of the words that people were saying (unless they were speaking in Catalan), and the food was delicious... not one of those things grabbed at me like the architecture did. Not only the Gaudi work, but every architect commissioned to build in Barcelona had to be absolutely brilliant in order to design such masterpieces for people to live and work in.
And I'm even sure I would have been carried away in the beauty of Barcelona if I had gone down with high expectations, instead of none at all. That's how great the city is.