Where in the world are Wayne and Donna this time? travel blog

Barcelona, not as much fancy architecture as other cities we've seen Her's...

Colourful but extremely busy market on Las Ramblas

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Easy Riders

Beach crowded enough for you ?

Artist at work makes picturesque photo op

Which way did they go ???

Unique sculpture at central plaza fountain in Tarragona

Castellers are participants who form 7 level human towers in Tarragona annually

To repersent strength and unity- This sculpture honors this unique tradition- very...

Colorful buildings in Tarragona's central plaza- very neat place

Ramblas Nova in Tarragona

Tarragona beach

Last photo of Calafell

Our week in Calafell has flown by and today we are posting our last blog for this adventure.

It turned out to be a great move that we chose this spot rather than the busier Sitges for our wind-down week after our big hike. During the week we took a couple of days to catch up on laundry, heal our aching feet, re-live our amazing hike and generally sit back and enjoy Calafell.

Not a big place, Calafell is about 55km south of Barcelona so far enough away to be a destination in its own right. Because the beach is safe for swimming, with no undertow, and the town is compact and tourist friendly it is recommended as a great family getaway location. Fortunately we are here just as the tourist season is winding down so the streets aren’t crowded (except if you are driving on the promenade in mid-day!) and there is a feeling of relaxation after a busy summer season. In typical Spain fashion the stores are open for a couple of hours in the morning then shut down for several hours around 2pm. At night, however, the place does come alive with locals strolling along the promenade (about 10 blocks long) – families with children in tow, children in strollers, children playing on the beach, children running and laughing with each other and having a wonderful time. There are grandmas and grandpas wandering along arm in arm, tourists stopping to taking photos, a few vendors suggesting their particular trinket is JUST what you need, shop keepers hanging about in doorways, restaurants & cafes buzzing with business. It is a lovely little pocket of life in small town Spain and we are very happy that we happened upon it during our travels.

As we had to take the car back to Barcelona we made a day of it in the city – or that was the plan. Things were going well as we took the subway in after dropping the car and headed toward the Gaudi cathedral to see what all the fuss is about. It is a church that was been under construction since 1882 and is still being built, with promises to be finished by 2026 – 144 years in the making. The detail, extremely ornate, is really quite amazing although “cost overrun” was the phrase going all our minds!!! And the crowds!!!!!!!!! People were lined up from across the back of this block long building, along the side and half way across the front just to get inside! And those were the ones in line! – there were 5 times as many people milling about gawking at it from all angles, stopping mid-stride to point here or there, stopping mid-sidewalk to take a photo (or ten!), stopping mid-sentence to admire this spire or that figure! WOW – soooooo many people. We figured half of Spain must be there just when we were!

Heading down to Las Ramblas, THE place to be in Barcelona as it is Spain’s most famous street, we soon discovered the other half of Spain was on this promenade! At one point in time we managed to extricate ourselves from the crowd and head into the marketplace – even MORE people!!! We only got about 3 stalls into the place, made a u-turn and got out as fast as we could. It is like Granville Island but about 20x’s as busy, on Granville Island’s busiest day! You could hardly move, turn around or see much, for all the people. Before long we decided we wanted to be back in our little, quiet community so after checking out their waterfront we caught the first train out of town!!!

One day we made a trip to Tarragona, a city about 45 minutes south of Calafell by train. It, too, has a promenade similar to the one in Barcelona but with about 100x’s less people. The Old Town is delightful and we enjoyed wandering the back roads and the plazas, stopping for lunch in a great courtyard café.

The four of us rented bikes one day and rode until our butts were so sore we could hardly sit for dinner that night! We headed south along the beach promenades that connect one community to another. A few times we had to “portage” as promenades gave way to beaches or staircases or gravel trails. It was a great day although just after making the turn for home John’s back tire went flat! We stopped for air a couple of times but as it wasn’t holding a more serious approach was called for. Finding a can of spray foam in a gas station John & Wayne removed the tire and sprayed as much as that poor old tire would hold (which wasn’t much!). We rode the highway for a bit before John declared his patient had a miraculous recovery and would be good for another 100 miles or more. Getting off the highway, back to the coastal route, made for a slower, but much more enjoyable, trip home. So much so that we stopped for a drink in a beachside café in order to toast another good day! Then back home to our beach for the daily ritual of an ocean swim followed by a short tanning session then off to our deck for happy hour / supper prep.

This has been quite the adventure for the Turner’s and we hope you enjoyed sharing it with us. See you soon.

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