When I step off the plane it is tempting to yell “Barceloooooona” Queen style. But unusually for me I exercise decorum and restraint and just grin instead. I am sooo pleased to be here. A new city to explore, plus I'm back in the land of Chocolata and churros. Which pleases my gluttonous heart no end.

The airport has lots of handy tourist info and my eye is caught by a leaflet for a hostel in the centre of Barcelona. The price is only a few euros more than a camp pitch and includes breakfast, free internet and laundry facilities. I haven't stayed in a hostel yet and although I am keen to pitch the little tent that has become my snail like home I decide to give it a go.

The nearest campsite is a minimum 30 minutes from the town centre and the cost of the train fare will make up for the difference in the price of the hostel, oh and did I mention that the hostel has beds, real off the ground affairs with mattresses and everything.

The guy on the reception desk is frighteningly fit looking with peroxide blonde hair. He is also English and very sweet. He asks what size dorm I want to be in as the price is cheaper the more people you share with. I naively ask if the dorms are single gender, they are not, and middle aged Mummy that I am I cannot help but blink in suprise. Now, I only sleep in the same room as The Beard because he lets me spend all his money in Monsoon and have everything my way. I fear that if I bunk in a room full of guys on their gap year I may start yelling “mind your language!” in my sleep and sidling up to them to whisper “Isn't it about time you had a shower”. Never the less I say I will go for the 12 bedder and try to regain my “backpacker of the world “ credibility by making a joke about that being enough room for me and a touring football team. Mr Muscle must have felt a certain fear on behalf of his fellow man, because when I open the door to my dorm with my electronic pass key I discover I am the only occupant.

Now any country that has bars whose counters are laden with platefuls of delicious looking bites to eat is a friend of mine and Barcelona and I quickly become bosom buddies. If food is a God then her name is Tapas. It has to be the ultimate fast food and I list the case for the defence below 1.You can see what you are going to get before you order it, particular handy for the Espagnol impaired 2 You don't have to wait, it's right there just help yourself, no tedious tummy rumbling torture involved.

3.It is good food, no monosodium glutamate or factory made reheatables, but mini sized, fresh, colourful, tasty bites of cheesey, olivey, spicey Catalan cuisine.

You can try a variety and don't have to stick to just one dish from the menu. This particularly appeals to my “have it all” tendencies.

It means single travellers don't have to eat alone but can sit at the bar, eat, drink and chat.[ is there any better way to pass the time?] I met an Italian albino woman in a Tapas bar who had married a Spaniard, she said Italian men are Mummy's boys who spend too long in the bathroom.

At an early breakfast in the hostel the next day I get chatting to a guy recovering from a 35 hour plane ride from New Zealand. He says he has just been working and working for the last three years to be able to make this 3 month trip around Europe.

So not everyone just resigns and goes off on a whim then.

It is Sunday and by 9 am I am in the Placa de Catalunya, the main square in BCN [ as we call it] The fountains have not yet been switched on and the street cleaners are still sweeping up. The sun is already quite hot. There is nothing like a clear blue sky to make you feel optimistic. It looks like it's going to be a great day.

I start at the top of La Rambla, the heart of BCN, and make my way leisurely down it. Of all the places I have been this is the one with the most warnings about pickpocketing. I have my many zippered little trusty bag that I bought in a camping shop in Cork , and I keep my hand on it .

It seems that Barcelona revellers rise late on Sunday morning and it is fairly empty, the “petrificado”, or statue, buskers are still putting their make up on and I can peruse the postcards and swivel the stands at will.

At the end of La Rambla where moody architecture meets the Mediterranean my footsteps are magnetically drawn towards the quayside. Like a mirage to my poor “Beardless” eyes there is the unexpected, but not unwelcome sight of crowds of nearly naked men. I rifle feverishly through the Fort Knox defences of my bag for my camera and start snapping pictures shamelessly and I have to admit a little breathlessly. I haven't seen so much manliness for a long time and I have to tell you it looked pretty good. I spot Javier Bardem [ without the psycho haircut] shyly wrapped in a towel, on seeing my camera the performer in him takes over and he drops the towel and strikes a pose. It looks like there's a swimming race on in aid of charity. After a few minutes I realise I feel and look like some kind of pervert [ a pervy one] so I put my camera away and try to douse my hormones with a cold ice cream cone [ or was I still just being pervy] I am tempted to stay there, cheer them on and perhaps congratulate the winner, but instead I turn in the direction of Barcelonetta. The old fishing village of Barcelona. The locals have woken up and joined me to stroll along the harbour of their city. It is laid back and relaxed with Dads on bikes followed by youngsters trying out their stabilisers, lovers walking hip to hip and a totally chilled out me... , feeling like the only tourist in town. The walkway is punctuated with sculptures on the swathe of green that separates it from the ornate buildings that look out to sea. In the harbour there is a women's rowing team being shouted at by their coach as they power up and down beside luxury yachts.

Round a sweeping bend is the chunky red bricked old harbour office. It has been refurbed and now houses The Museum of Catalonia on the first floor with fancy fresh fish restaurants below. More market stalls selling earrings and clothing line this area too. The cable car, built for the Olympics, bobs overhead ferrying people from the beach up over the bay to the heights of Mt Juic. I wonder if they will build one in Weymouth, from the Nothe Fort going up to Portland for the Olympics in 2012 ? But I don't wonder for long !

On the beach I alternate between sitting and splashing, write postcards and top up my sunburn. Suddenly overhead roar several jets in perfect arrowhead formation. I guess they are the Spanish air force equivalent of the red arrows. I can't make out if it is a special occasion or if they just come here to practice but for about an hour they loop the loop and dive perilously seaward pulling up just in time.

This is just a day at the beach in Barcelona Today is sadly my last day in BCN and I haven't yet made it up to Mount Tibidabo, which forms a sculpture like backdrop to BCN. I have to leave for the airport at 17.00 so I have to get a move on. I have discovered the perfect way to sightsee for map dyslexic little me, I hire a yellow two seater open top talking car. It is linked to a GPS system and guides you around telling you which way to turn and pointing out places of interest along the way.

It is fab and hilarious. I cannot stop giggling as I throttle my way up to the Sagrada Familia, the church initially designed by Antonio Gaudi. As I drive across the front of it holy type choral singing plays out from the car as she begins to describe the building. This coincides perfectly with a rubbish truck pulling alongside completely blocking my view. I park my chatty friend in a motorcycle space and lock the helmet in the handy boot.

The Sagrada Familia is like Westminster Abbey meets Dr Seuss. Although it is still a building site with years of work ahead before it is finished, it is none the less monumentally spectacular and the inside is breathtakingly beautiful. Symmetry and the rules of traditional architecture have been abandoned and left for dead without a backward glance. Inside the new stone is perfectly pristine, and I am struck how, without years of grime on it, what a beautiful building material it is. The current absence of dead bodies and other depressing religious icons gives it a refreshing lack of spookiness that usually accompanies churches and you can simply relax and enjoy the creative expression in this vast space.

You have to crane your neck back to see the ceilings and just when you think they can't go any higher, they do. Like trees in a forest with wild orchids blooming out of them the organic like columns go higher and higher again. It feels like lying on your back and looking up at the starry night sky which seems to get higher and deeper the longer you look. It is awesome and magical.

Everywhere you go in BCN there are huge and funky pieces of installation art, and where there isn't art there are gorgeous buildings and where there aren't gorgeous buildings there are breathtaking views up to the mountains or out to sea.

If the Olympics does for Weymouth what it did for Barcelona then I will never leave Dorset again.