We ended up in a few places we didn’t expect to go, Cartagena was a real gem, including the Roman theatre and brilliant associated museum. Castello was grubby industrial on the outside, but again when we got to the beating heart it was a comforting place to be. Inland we found monasteries perched atop hills high in the mountains and unheard of villages with a thousand years of history, still alive, the inhabitants scratching out a living from rough grazing or meagre crops on ancient terraces. It seemed like we’d stepped back in time. At least that was until we hit lively Barcelona. We hadn’t planned to go to Barcelona but our ferry connection from Valencia to Salerno in Italy was cancelled so we had to head up to Barcelona for a ferry across the Mediterranean. There is no shortage of tourists in Barcelona and at times it can get a bit oppressive, but there is much to see. The legacy of Antonio Gaudi lives on in more ways than one, the cathedral that he began in 1883 is growing by the week, and in another 40 years his fantastic vision of this might be complete, a proper cathedral, built over generations. His other works are perhaps more accessible in some ways, particularly Parc Guell, a mixture of whimsy, wonder and nature that seems to enchant all who enter, and it’s free to enjoy. The views from the top of the park over Barcelona are great, especially when you see your cross Mediterranean ferry sitting in the harbour 10km away and realise that you have to catch it tonight, not tomorrow!