Tarragona

The trains and I are not quite friends yet. The whole concept that Via 2 is the label for track 1 and track 2 is Via 4 just does not quite make sense to me. After accidentally buying 2 tickets because of my lack of spanish communication, I rushed to catch the train and missed it by a second. It was hot and my back pack was heavy but I was trying to think positively 🙂 I had to switch over at the St Vincenc de Calders station and once again had no clue which train I was suppose catch- the lady that gave me my ticket said nothing of it but luckily I had read about this. I choked through some more spanish and luckily figured out which track would take me to Tarragona.

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Tarragona was a very random and last minute decision (night before booking) that led me to one of my favorite times thus far. I had found a brand new hostel that was 15 euros a night and went for it. However, arriving to the train station I really had no idea which way to go from there since the directions only suggested taking a bus. Honestly, even with all my stuff, I would way rather try to find my way by walking than figuring out the busses. Without really knowing the direction of the hostel, I started walking and waited for my little dot on google maps to start moving. I came up to this HUGE set of stairs (with escalators along the side- luckily!) and though I knew this was a city up on a hill, it became more clear 🙂

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My whole trip, thus far, I had been trying to take stairs often and walk as much as possible but at this moment with my heavy back pack, tired self, and the warm day, I took the escalator. And in this moment, I was not making fun of the fact that outdoor escalators were a common thing in tourist areas 🙂 Following google maps I found the hostel fairly easily. I later found out that I could of walked an easier way from the station 😛

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Though I had found the hostel, the adventure was not quite over. I stood outside of this large door with a sign posted above it that said “On the Road.” An intercom on the left listed the name again. Pressing the buttons a couple times and getting no response had me a bit skeptical. Luckily, a lady who seemed to be familiar with this issue came up and helped. Once the door opened and then closed behind me it was quite dark! The sun had not gone down quite yet but there was no sun seeping into this hallway and the light switch was not working. I felt my way cautiously and found some stairs that I started walking up. I had many random thoughts racing through my mind but they were quickly put to rest when I finally reached the hostel and was greeted by Edurne, the wonderful owner of this hostel!

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Though the travel to Tarragona started a bit rough it definitely turned out to be an amazing experience. Tarragona is set on the coast up on a large hill. It is full of old Roman ruins including a seaside amphitheater.

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Every street in old town is so cute. It is nice walking around the area. It seems you are always walking uphill though 🙂

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Most of my time was spent in old town but there are many cafes in the government square and along the large street that goes through Tarragona.

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There was a spot really close to the hostel that had nice outdoor seating where we had drinks and pintxos a couple times. The pintxos were really good!

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While in Tarragona I mostly cooked dinner with other guests in the hostel so I did not eat out too much.

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The Catedral de Tarragona sits nicely atop the town. It is a very beautiful cathedral. Walking around it you can get many different nice views. I did not go into it but I am sure it is also lovely inside 🙂

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Tarragona is part of Catalonia so the human towers that I mentioned in my post about Barcelona are very much a part of this city as well. Though I do not know how it all works, the competitions are between the cities and Tarragona has their own team. These statues were in the newer part of Tarragona and were really cool to find.

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Chartreuse is a French liquor that apparently is the booze of Tarragona. There is a green and yellow version and all I can say is watch out! 😀 The green Chartreuse is 110 proof and is made from 130 herbs and plants. The yellow Chartreuse is a little less at 80 proof. You must try it while visiting but a fair warning is it could be a night that leads to a few more drinks 🙂

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We took a day trip to Castillo de Tamarit which was only a 20 minute bus ride and completely worth it! This castle is set on the beach and is absolutely beautiful.

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There is a beach on both sides of the castle with one (to the left) being easier to access. The view of the castle is amazing from the water but not so exciting on the beach. Also the coastline is not that beautiful in this direction. Walking about 15 minutes more to the beach on the other side provides amazing views. The beach is smaller but I felt completely at peace and happy. The views of the castle and the coast were spectacular!

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Worth Mentioning:

I highly recommend On the Road Tarragona Rooms. It is a small hostel but this allows you to mingle with everyone easily and the staff were so friendly. They give you tours of the old town and take you out in the evenings. I felt truly at home in this hostel 🙂

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Music For Your Ears:

~The Sun II by Snakadaktle

More To Love:

Barcelona

Barcelona

Sitges

Sitges

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12 responses to “Tarragona

  1. so you are hiking with three men, then? 😀 Tell me more about the appetizers with the picks? Looks amazing. And Chartreuse!!!! Have wanted both green and yellow for our bar, but only been able to find one (forgetting which) and it was spendy. Am sure the other kind is even more so. But have seen it as an ingredient in so many lovely drinks. Love that you’re having so much fun.

    • LOL, well those were guys I met at the hostel and we traveled back to Barcelona together but I am hiking/traveling with many different people! 😀 The appetizers with the picks are pintxos- this style comes from the basque country of Spain. They are similar to tapas but served on top of bread. The fried looking thing is a croquette which had mashed potato and cheese. The one with the amazing looking melty cheese is raclette, I believe. Pintxos and tapas come in so many varieties! I choose with my eyes 🙂

      That is so cool you know of Chartreuse! I guess you will just have to go to Spain to get it 🙂

    • Yes, the Renfe website is pretty awful- even the people that live in Spain and have to work with it on a daily basis can’t figure it out! lol I have not had any problems in Italy but from what I read they are slower and not as nice, at least down in the south of Italy. My only issue is where I am at the trains do not run from 10-2 and already do not run but once an hour or less…super annoying! But I am in Sicily so its OK 🙂 I just looked at your e-mail again about Rome because I will be there in a week- planning on checking out your gelato place! Any favorite flavors?

      • So excited you’re checking it out! My favorite combo was always lampone (raspberry) and cioccolato scuro (dark chocolate). I’ve also heard people rave about the Mozart (your guess is as good as mine to the flavor of that one).
        I can’t remember if I mentioned this in my e-mail or not, but the place allows you to get whipped cream or a chocolate shell with your gelato- I was a sucker for the shell, although I know it’s not for everyone.

        There are some surprisingly great Irish bars nearby too, The Abbaye is right across the street and brings in some Italians, while Scholars is a short walk away and filled with more Irish people. Just so you know!

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