Travelled : 65 miles from Barcelona to Tarragona, Catalanya.
Visited : Sitges, Aqueducte de les Ferreres and Tarragona
Stayed : Sitges, car park near Carrefour, Tarragona, adjacent Miracle Beach
Expenses : 45 days @ €82 per day
Escaping Barcelona in the early evening, we head south west looking for an overnight parking spot. Avoiding the tollway we take the C31as it follows the coast, however the road follows the cliff top something we cannot tell from the map. The road is slow and winding and it’s getting dark. It’s great scenery but we need somewhere to stop. It’s dark as we drive into Sitges, we turn at a sign for a Carrefour supermarket and 50 metres short there is a carpark with ten or so camper cars clustered together, so we have somewhere to shop and stay for free.
Up early we decide to drive down to the beach for breakfast and a walk. We had heard Sitges was a place to avoid but contrary, we found the beach and esplanade particularly inviting. It’s all metres parking, but off season the machines all had covers bolted on. We decide on a ride rather than a walk as the beach goes for a few kilometres. Anyway we enjoy a ride, swim and a hot breakfast before continuing on our way.
Tarragona is our goal for today and we have some co-ordinates recommended by a Dutch couple we met. They prove to be on a little beach but it a good 3-4 kilometres from Tarragona and the road into town has no cycle way, so we continue on. We pass a magnificent roman arch on the road into town. Tarragona, originated as a Roman town and once the home of Caesar Augustus, sits on a hill high above beaches below. Today however Tarragona is the home of the parking metre and underground carpark. We decide to head out of town and lunch at the roman aqueduct about 5 kilometres out of town. The aqueduct is 215 metres long and some 27 metres high, double arched it’s just an amazing piece of Roman engineering.
Built around 65 AD its had some restoration but is essentially complete. That the good part, we walk back to the camper to find someone has broken in through a window ! Obviously I survey the damage and Pam checked the contents. Although the window lock has been broken, some clothes are scattered, but remarkable nothing is missing. Either our return or someone else driving into the car park has scared off the thief. We have been lucky and will be more careful about parking in isolated spots in future. A bit of repair and the window locks again. We spend a hour at the Police Station and get an incident number and try and put the incident behind us.
It’s hot and the sun is beating down, we find an undercover parking area on Miracle Beach. So we have a beer and glass of Mateus, try to be positive and head down to the beach for an hour or so. It’s a lovely piece of salmon for dinner and we get a good nights sleep. In the morning we debate moving on, but decide to give Tarragona a proper explore. We are so glad we did, the town has a rich history and some of the best Roman ruins we’ve seen and more.
Anyway our mission starts on the petit train and we do a lap of the medieval city and the port to get our bearings. As the seat of Roman power for some 30 years, Tarragona has well preserved roman amphitheatre set into the hill above Miracle Beach. One end of the circus where chariot races and gladiators fought and a number of other structures including a forum and necropolis. We also spend an hour visiting the Cathedral. Built in the 12th century it’s just glorious. It has a lovely cloister centred within the walls as well as 12 chapels surrounding the main cross within the cathedral itself. We thought the French did Catholic well but the Spanish take it to another level.
We have a late lunch of tapas in a little restuarant adjacent the cathedral. Frankly the tapas just gets better and better. The smoke sardine fillets mmm… Back in the camper car by 3pm it’s time to point the Hymer south west to continue our Spanish adventures.