15
Mar
14

Europe Trip – Spain – Catalonia

CATALONIA PICASA PHOTO ALBUM (78 PHOTOS)

The first part of March, we spent exploring the north easternmost province of Spain. We stayed clear of the Pyrenees Mountains however, as the weather and temperatures were still too cold to make it enjoyable. Instead, we mainly followed the coast.

We started with the windy Ebro Delta, where the flat reedy lagoons and rice fields are northern Spain’s most important water-bird habitat.

The Reial Monestir de Santa Maria Poblet, an imposing fortified monastery, was founded in 1151 and actually is still inhabited. Although less impressive than the monasteries of Portugal, it was nice to see the grand cloister and the elevated alabaster coffins in the main church.

Tarragona, Catalonia’s most important Roman site, contains some beautifully preserved Roman ruins, like the amphitheater, the circus and others spread out around town. The town itself is pleasant to stroll around and contains some really nice beaches like Platja Larga.

However, during our visit to Tarragona and right after Shadae was recovering from sickness, Kyl e suddenly felt bad and threw up three times in one hour. Forced to go to a campsite in Torredembarra, Kyra got the same 12 hours later and Dimitri ended up having it as well.  We don’t need to describe you that three people throwing up in the confined spaces of a camper is not a nice experience J

After fully recovering, we realized we had lost some time and sped past Barcelona to the Costa Brava. This stretch is one of Spain’s great holiday coasts (together with the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol). Tossa de Mar was our first stop and was essentially a wide bay guarded by a headland crowned with defensive medieval walls.

A snaking coastal road, full of largely hidden beaches and enticing inlets with emerald green waters, led us to Sant Feliu de Guixols, where we enjoyed the waterfront promenade and small beach.

Going inland, we discovered the gem of the north, Girona, with a nicely preserved medieval center, a lazy river with great terraced pastel colored houses, and a beautiful cathedral. We spent all afternoon strolling around town, going up and down the steep steps leading up to monuments and churches.

We ended our Spanish adventure with Cadaques, the quintessential whitewashed Costa Brava village which can be reached only by going over a tall winding pass. Salvador Dalí spent lots of time here as well as in neighboring Port Lligat, a little fishing settlement around a tiny cove, where he lived for more then 40 years .

We are leaving  Spain behind after more than two months traveling here, following the coast from the Portuguese border to the French.

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