It’s party time in Barcelona!
It's not every day that you get to fly into Barcelona to celebrate your 60th birthday … in fact, you only get one shot at it.
So as the plane touched down at El Prat airport I was determined to grab my bag and hit the ground running.
My big day had started somewhat disastrously in Paris where a combination of city-wide transport strike and highly flawed decision-making on my part resulted in a $200 Uber airport fare.
So for this day to be memorable for the right reasons, the pressure was on Barcelona to turn on the charm. The result was never in doubt.
Fast forward several hours to a spectacular rooftop bar and as I took in the glorious sunset-drenched views, the French faux pas was long forgotten.
During my first day on Spanish soil, a casual wander along the famous Las Ramblas mall and on to Passeig de Gracia had already offered an introduction to the artistic brilliance of Antoni Gaudi.
The multi-coloured Casa Batllo was originally designed as home for a wealthy aristocrat, but these days attracts millions of visitors as a museum.
Gaudi's special touch is evident everywhere you roam throughout Barcelona and among other highlights of my three-night stay were tours of the iconic La Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic temple started in 1882 and finally due for completion in 2026, and the Gaudi House Museum.
Throw in a relaxing day on the beach at Platja de la Barceloneta, a romantic evening dinner overlooking the marina, expansive views from the hilltop Castell de Montjuic…and a tasty paella or three…and Barcelona ticked all the boxes.