Our first day in Barcelona was beautiful and the weather perfect. After departing the airport in our rental vans we made a couple of wrong turns, however while lost, we identified many Mediterranean plant species. Cytisus bloomed profusely along the roadsides, as well as Schinus molle, Nerium oleander, Strelitzia and Acacia. We checked into our hotel, The Wilson Boutique (www.wilsonbcn.com) around noon to find that this establishment was a spectacular pick! After settling in, we headed out to tour the city of Barcelona on foot. We first explored a market in Barcelona (Marcat St Josep La Boqueria) and were quite fascinated by the various food options. There was an abundance of fresh exotic fruits, vegetables, as well as meats. After meandering through the market, we spent the next few hours walking the streets of Barcelona and observing the plant- laden balconies that climbed the heights of historic apartment buildings. As we walked, we observed a heavy influence from Gaudi, a famed designer and artist, as many of the buildings have been re-designed by him. This included one Cathedral in the center of the City (La Catedral). Our first official stop on our itinerary was the Parc de la Ciutadella, a public park nestled between museums and Spanish municipal buildings. At the park, we saw several hybrid Spanish Platanus which outlined the Parliament building for the Catalunya region. The trees were unique in that they were pollarded. Our last visit for the day was to Montjuic Castle and gardens. We walked to the top of the castle which is surrounded by gardens and fountains. Because it was so late in the day, we will plan to return to Montjuic tomorrow to tour the various gardens of the estensive property.