I arrived in Barcelona at a train station which due to a brilliant piece of urban planning did not have a connecting subway station. So I had to walk a bit to a nearby station to catch a train to my hostel, which was actually most of an apartment building. My room was on the 6th floor, well out of the range of the wifi. It was a pretty good place with a lounge and a kitchen that I actually made use of.
In the afternoon I walked to the Sagrada Familia. It's a pretty impressive structure. The passion facade did tend to remind me of volume 9 of The Sandman, The Kindly Ones. After leaving the church I had lunch and then headed towards one of the big hills of town that was the location for a few old buildings and art galleries, and the stadium and other buildings for the Barcelona Olympics. I visited the main stadium and the nearby sports museum. The museum was pretty good, and cheap at four or five euros (I can't remember exactly). I then made my way down the hill towards a subway station to return to the hostel.
My second day in Barcelona I started by visiting a park designed by Gaudi which was also the site of his old house, which is now a museum. The park was nice, but I don't think it would get anywhere near as many visitors if the name Gaudi weren't attached to it. Then I went downtown and walked along La Rambla, a pedestrian zone that goes down to the bay. I strolled down La Rambla, and finished by taking a lift up the column at the end of La Rambla. A nice view, but not for the claustrophobes. For dinner I cooked up another batch of just add water and heat packet mix spaghetti carbonara.
On Thursday I caught the train for my brief stay in Madrid. I arrived in Madrid around one and was checked in by two. I then walked around town for a while. I saw a statue of a bear, a cathedral, the Palace Real, some gardens with statues of kings, an Egyptian temple that was given to Spain, a beggar with a website, and other various miscellanea.
My second day in Madrid was nice, but a bit disappointing. I found out the reason I'd been unable to book a room for Friday night was because Friday was May day, a national holiday and the start of a long weekend. It also meant that all the museums and galleries were closed. I spent the morning walking through a large park that was moderately crowded. In the afternoon I had a bit of a nap on the edge of the park before going back to the hostel to pick up my bags and catching the overnight train to Lisbon.