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Barcelona for a Long Weekend? Or?

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So my wife has to do some travel for work in August. As part of a longer trip, she will leave Cairo on a Thursday and has to get to Cork by the following Monday. I will be in Switzerland for work while she is in Cairo, will meet her somewhere Thursday, and then will take the following week off and join her in Cork.

The question is what to do with the time between Cairo and Cork. Basically, we are trying to find some place to go that is relatively easy to get to from Cairo and from there on to Cork. Our first thought was Barcelona, as there are nonstops both ways and it is easy to have a good time there. We were eyeing the W and making it a city/beach break. Has anyone stayed at the W that can comment?

Any other ideas? We don't think we want to go back to London,Paris, or Amsterdam, which are the obvious choices logistically. We thought about Athens for a similar beach/city thin, but we've done that before and would prefer Barcelona. We also thought about Istanbul, but nixed it in favor of Barcelona.

The one other outside shot might be Malta. There are no nonstops, but the connections actually line up pretty well, putting us in just after noon on Thursday and allowing us to leave in mid-afternoon on Sunday. I've always had some vague interest in going, but would appreciate any input as to how it rates as a destination.

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