Us humans usually create an expectation of what to expect when we go somewhere new for the first time - and this is based on some pre-conception set-up from either experience or movies/photos. The same happened to me. I had a pre-conception of what to expect when we got to Barcelona based on what we experienced when we last visited a part of Europe - Italy.
Sometimes doing this is good, but sometimes it can be a bit disappointing. Well, I am not disappointed; I did learn however that you should travel with an open mind.
Barcelona is a beautiful place in it's own rights. There are not as many historical sites as you might find in Rome - and only about a 1/4 of the amount of museums, churches and old buildings. However, where these sites do exist, they make up for the quantity which is available. While walking through the Gothic area, you can sense the history in the buildings and narrow passages, the stone clad walkways and even the locals that make a living in these areas; from the peep show shop to the guy sitting in the street outside his shop making clothes.
The people in Barcelona are way friendlier than those in Italy. They treat visitors with a lot more respect, and are happy to assist even with the apparent language barrier. It is quite interesting how sign language is a universal communication tool. And this is a big help when it comes to ordering food!
My only disappointing moment was when we found out that the harbour tour operators were closed for the holidays - I would think that this is the most profitable time to be open!
And the most memorable so far: the church bells! It's been a year since waking up and going to sleep with these. It almost adds to the 'medieval' feel! It almost makes you anticipate the sound of horses riding past with the klank-klank of the knight's armor as it moves about.