Four wheel drive adventure in the Sahara Desert, Mauritania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Chinguetti, Mauritania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to Morocco on January 31st.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Busy day in Tarragona, Spain

We did an early drive down to the coastal city of Tarragona and got ourselves parked up in a paid parking area near the university... from there, it's an easy walk to go in and explore the city. We were there just before 9am.

The woman at the parking booth said that it's guarded from 8am to 10pm, but that we could stay overnight at our own risk. There are lots of security cameras as well, and we had read of other motorhomes doing the same thing, so we felt pretty comfortable.

Ruth, and some beautiful bougainvilleas.

You might have noticed that we bypassed Barcelona. Two reasons for this. The first is that we had spent some time visiting Barcelona in January 2017. And, if we wanted to visit Andorra, the most logical route avoided the traffic involved in Barcelona. So while it's a great city to visit, we have other things we want to see this time around.

The route we took avoiding Barcelona.

We had a busy day and there is a lot to see in Tarragona. So there are lots of photos! 

Tarragona was originally an ancient Roman city called Tarraco. Many of the old ruins of that settlement have been dug up and some are being restored. Lots of history, especially in the old walled area.

Outside the wall.

Beautiful walkway outside the wall.

Inside the wall. This building was having some restoration work done.
Look at those huge blocks of stone!

We saw a sign advertising a free model of what the old Roman city of Tarraco would have looked like almost 2,000 years ago...

There was a school group in there at the same time.

Amazing model.

Look at the cactus growing from this balcony.

Decorative art.

Scenery along the way.

We made our way up to the Tarragona Cathedral.

When you build stuff using blocks this big, it lasts a long time!

Looking back at the street we had walked up.


Main entrance to the cathedral.

There was a side entrance for visitors, but they charge €5 per adult, and that's just too much for us. Too bad, because it's supposed to be really something. But we have seen lots of spectacular churches in the past for free, so no need to pay to see this one.


We were satisified just looking at the outside.

The original Roman walls are still standing from 2,000 years ago.

The San Antoni Gate.
The decorations above the gate date from 1737.

Looking out at the Balearic Sea. (Part of the Mediterranean Sea.)


More Roman ruins in with the more modern buildings.


Nice fountain in a park.

The Roman amphitheater is being restored.

We thought about going for a walk on the beach, but there was too much we wanted to see in town.

Nice walkway above the sea.

Interesting building.

Castell statue.

A castell is a human tower built traditionally at festivals in Catalonia, the Balearic islands and the Valencian Community. On 16 November 2010, castells were declared by UNESCO to be amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

It was around this time that we headed back to Max to have some lunch. We weren't done yet though! In fact, we would do two more trips out to explore!

An hour later we were back out walking again...

This fountain and park are actually in the middle of a huge traffic circle.

Another Roman ruins in a residential apartment area.

The Roman Theater was dug up in the 1970's , but there wasn't much remaining. 
It had not been protected, and a builder was trying to put an apartment building on top of it. 
It took 30 years to officially expropriate the site.

From there, we walked down to the marina. Not expecting to see anything special, it turns out that this marina is one of the few deep water marinas that hosts superyachts. We keep hoping to get invited on board for a drink, but it just hasn't happened yet! 

The Quatroelle on the left, and The Crescent on the right.

The Quatroelle is a $180M USD ship owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai. It costs around $15M USD a year to operate. It holds 229,000 liters (60,000 gallons) of fuel. Can I put that on my credit card?

The Crescent is even bigger. Apparently it cost $600M USD when it was built in 2018. The Crescent is said to be owned by Russian businessman Igor Sechin, the sanctioned chief executive of Russian oil giant Rosneft. The Crescent was seized by the Spanish government in March due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the European Union is now financing its maintenance. Among other things, it costs €40,000 a month to have it parked in the marina.

Who wants to take the first shot?

We walked over and had a closer look at the two of them.

Interesting stuff. I would definitely pay €5 to see the inside of that!

On the way back, we walked through a park and came across this beautiful building that is being left to fall apart.

Built in 1912, it suffered several fires and was taken over by the city in 2008 with intention of restoring it. But nothing is happening 14 years later.

Back at Max for dinner, but we don't often get a chance to go out in the evening and leave Max parked where he is safe. So we headed out to see if we could see any Christmas festivities happening.

Bones Festes is Catalan for Happy Holidays.


We walked through the Christmas market.

Lots of Christmas trinkets.

Look at the temperature... still 11C (52F).
It was a beautiful evening!

Look at this fantastic mural.

What a day we had! Must have walked 15kms, but I didn't keep track. 

Today, we are headed further along the coast. Need to fill another propane tank along the way, but hopefully we are mostly done with having to use the furnace. Calling for a pleasant high of 16C (61F) today.

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8 comments:

  1. Hey, It worked!! What a beautiful city and as always, I am so glad to leave my little corner of NC to see the world through your eyes.

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    1. So glad that it worked for you.! :-)

      It was a really nice city to visit, not too big but definitely an interesting one. We are happy that we can share the world with you through our eyes. Mind you, pictures are never as good as being there yourself.

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  2. That is an interesting city - I'm surprised I've never heard of it before. Good thing you gave Barcelona a miss - I've read that their tourist numbers are getting out of hand, especially with respect to Airbnbs.

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    1. It was an interesting city, lots of history here that's for sure. It is neat how they have the old and the not so old side by side. It would be neat to live/stay in one of those apartments that look right down on the old Roman ruins.

      We feel like we saw a lot of Barcelona on our visit back in 2017, that we didn't need to stop by again but we did say that we could easily spend a month there doing a housesit at some point in time.

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  3. I love that mural! And the cactus from the person's balcony. Wow! Looks like a very pretty place; hope your feet weren't too sore after all that walking.

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    1. Us too, it was pretty neat looking. I was wondering how old that cactus must be to be that big and if you move does the cactus just stay behind. Maybe it has been there for many, many years now with several new owners over the years.

      Our feet felt totally fine, I think it helped that we rested for a few hours between each outing.

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  4. I had to come back and comment again on this blog post, as I just watched a new episode of "House Hunters International" on HGTV last night where the couple was moving to Tarragona for the wife to attend graduate school. What an amazing city it is! It was good enough in your blog post, but to see all the video in that episode, including tours of the three apartments they considered, just wow. Anyway, thought that was an interesting coincidence that you had just been there recently.

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    Replies
    1. Cool, now we are going to have to see if we can download that show. We enjoy watching shows/movies of places that we have visited. :-)

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