Roman Tarragona

We’re back at yesterday’s free camping spot, but have struck lucky and we’ve a beach front spot! Less luckily we’re next to some loos, which are emitting a niff.

The weather is: scorchio. Looking out of the beach and Med, I can’t see a cloud. Just a few container ships anchored offshore to the Tarragona port a few miles to the south.

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“Tarraco became capital of Rome’s eastern Iberian province – the most elegant and cultured city of Roman Spain” says our Rough Guide.

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“despite a history of seemingly constant sacking and looting since Roman times, it’s this distinguished past which still asserts itself throughout modern Tarragona” it continues. Sounding too good to miss, we headed off in Dave the few miles down the coast to the city.

About half an hour later we were ready to leave, having not set foot in the place. Car parks were either underground, reserved for the police, took nothing over 5m or expressly banned motorhomes. The streetside parking was packed. The one spot we could find left Dave sticking out a metre into the road. After accidentally skipping a red light and nearly running someone down, nerves started to fray when we found a great parking spot, free and about 5 mins from the centre. We need more practice at cities!

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Tarragona on foot was far more pleasant than behind the wheel. We wandered about, coming across the amphitheatre (€3:15 to get in, or free to look at from above; everyone was looking from above). We couldn’t work out why there is a building right in the area we’d expect the scrapping to happen.

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Ju then tracked down a tourismo (tourist office). The friendly fella furnished us with a map and told us ‘bad news, the sites all close at 3 on Sundays and are closed Mondays’. No worries for us, having a dog, being on a tight budget and our lack of cultural interest all mean we enter fairly few museums, galleries and the like.

Even without the official sites, the old town was a first class Sunday stroll destination, a fact not lost on the hoards of locals parading in their Sunday best.

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Sat outside a tiny cafe next to the oldest Roman walls outside Italy, we spoiled ourselves on jamon and queso tapas. Earlier on, Ju was disappointed to find the Sunday ‘old tat’ market was closing by the time we arrived. I breathed a sigh of relief :).

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On exiting the city we headed back to the free camping spot, completely packed with vans (not a single Brit van except us). Just as we squeeze into a spot at the back, someone leaves a prime spot and we’re into it in a flash. British reserve be gone!

We’re now chilling out. The Rough Guide is open on the Barcelona page. The maps are waiting to be poured over, a brick of red is breathing (:-) and it’s my turn to cook. All Sundays should be like this.

Cheers, Jay

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6 Comments

  1. Barcelona soon eh? One of my fav cities. Loved the sea front and the little street off La Rambla in the Gothic quarter . Thought the open top bus tour (and I wasn’t keen initially) a great way to see everything and get around. Watch out for the bloody theives though, crime like in London is rife.

    • Thanks Murray, we’ll be on high alert. The open top bus sounds like a winner, as we seem to keep visiting places and missing half the sights. We hear you’re getting some sun, hope you’re getting in your fair share of hammock time! Jay x

  2. Hi Guys
    Might be of some use. There is a nice Acsi camping ground at Mataro just north of Barcelona.
    They have a free bus to Barcelona from there. The old town of Mataro is worth a visit and it is a good walk along the railway line and beach. Enjoying the blog. We are having great weather in blighty and had our first bbq last night.
    Have fun Kim and Dave.

    • Hi Dave. You’re a star, thanks very much for the info. We’re wondering if they’ll let us take Charlie on the bus, that would be perfect. Either way, enjoy the sun, and a cold beer with the bbq. Jay x

  3. you keep talking about = bricks of wine = now i’m the firt to shout = Mines a large one thanks = but whats a BRICK of wine ?

    • Hi Bob

      Being classy we buy supercheap wine from the supermarket. A brick is a one litre carton of wine. You can also get boxes (3 or 5 litres), all of which are in cardboard, so less weight and rattling – both plus points in a van.

      Fortunately we were never big wine drinkers, so haven’t developed a palette to know good stuff from bad. The bricks we get are around 0.60€ (from Lidl or Carrefour discount range) and taste ok to us. We’ve sunk a fair few of them on this trip and haven’t found a corked one yet!

      Ju x

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