Saturday, 15 September 2012

Roman around.

Day 145 - 14.09.12 Tarragona

Roman amphitheatre in Tarragona, Spain

Having looked again at the feasibility of getting to Zaragoza we’ve decided to give it a miss.  It looks like a great place but it would’ve cost a lot to travel the 200-odd kilometres inland, only to come straight back again the same way.  Instead we’re going to check out Tarragona, Sitges and then most likely arrive in Barcelona a little early for my Birthday celebrations.

Having opted to take the toll roads this time (the free roads would’ve cost more in diesel) the journey is smooth and the views are gorgeous.  It’s so much nicer to be travelling in the north as it’s so much greener!  We park up beside a Lidl which is annoyingly closed for refurbishment.  Following the original plan we walk up to the shopping centre closer to town to see if we can park there.  All the parking is underground and paid for (bugger!).  We spot a residential car park over the road though and opt to bring the van up there after lunch.

After lunch and van moving we set off to town.  The long walk to the coast is along Tarragona’s version of Barcelona’s Las Ramblas.  It lacks the vibrancy of Barca’s most famous street but the wide promenade boasts some swanky shops, fashionable cafes and is very well maintained.  It is punctuated along the way with some nice statues and pretty fountains.

When you reach the sea you can’t help but be amazed by the huge expanse in front of you.  The sea is much darker blue here and goes on as far as the eye can see.  There’s a narrow but neat little beach which is surprisingly quiet given that’s it’s another toasty, sunny day here.  Soon we reach the remains of the Roman amphitheatre.  You can see the structure very well from the hill above so we opt not to pay to go inside.  It has been looked after very well indeed and so much of the original structure stands strong.  Thankfully no over-zealous restores have been along to butcher this gem.  The view of this amazing ruin alongside the beautiful blue sea is just stunning.

We walk around the old town enjoying more of Tarragona’s Roman past and the thin traditionally Spanish looking streets.  The cathedral is a big highlight of town although again this impressive building has had to undergo a large amount of restoration.  Nonetheless the fabulously grand fa├žade and some of the intricate stonework detailing around the windows make for a great place to visit.

Walking back through town we find some attractive churches and lots of luscious green parks.  It’s getting late already so we head back home for dinner, some writing time and then a movie.


  1. Hey Ali,

    It's Nick! Why does nobody use the comment sections on your blog? Allow me to rectify this. People have finally stopped getting married so I've had the chance to sit down and have a proper look at ur scribblings. Wow, you certainly are acquiring an excellent knowledge of the town squares and free public areas of Spanish backwater towns :)

    Question: Are you wearing a turtleneck sweater in the header photo. If so, wtf?

    Suggestion: Can you please take pictures of locals with comedy outfits and/or faces? I find very small elderly Spanish ladies to be particularly amusing.

    Thx in advance.


  2. Hi Nick,
    I don't know why people don't use this section, it makes me a little sad. Thanks for the rectifying. I hope all is well in your world.

    Answer: No, I am not wearing a turtleneck. My chin just casts a large shadow.

    Response: I shall do what I can. In the meantime may I refer you to the 'lost in translation' album on our facebook here: I believe you may find a giggle or two there.

    Ali :-)