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trish & pat’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 04 Jul 2007

Location: Begur & Barcelona, Spain

MapWell we left some unseasonally bad weather behind in France and watched the temperature gauge rise very quickly as we approached Spain. We arrived to a very warm and sunny 30C.

Begur is the undiscovered jewell in the crown of the Costa Brava coast and has just started to take off. It is about 2 hours north of Barcelona and only 70 kilometres from the French border. Close by are several beautiful beaches, so each day we visited a different one. Our favourite, 5 minutes from Begur was Sa Riera which had crystal clear water and few tourists. The town was gorgeous, quiet, and with lots of shops, restaurants and bars, and where we discovered Tapas. Our favourites were anchovies in lemon and olive oil and small spicy sausages in tomato sauce – to die for! For mains we dined on paella which was sensational and very cheap. To finish off we had crèma Catalana – the Spanish version of crème brulee. We also tried the sangria but didn’t take to it and prefer to stick with local wines instead.

The next 3 nights, Barcelona. What a fascinating and vibrant city, and one which places a lot of emphasis on it buildings and architecture. Gaudi (see photo) is the main focus with his alternative and creative architecture style which is dotted all around Barcelona including an unfinished cathedral which is on target to be completed by 2050. We played real tourists here and spent two days hopping on and off the tourist bus, taking in all that Barcelona has to offer, including the Olympic stadium (1992), the famous Barcelona football club (soccer), and the revamped harbour.

We stayed approximately 50 metres off the famous promenade, the Ramblas – this place never stops with street performers, artists, outdoor cafes and bars and tourists stands. The city was busy, pumping and full of tourists and 3 million residents. We discovered a great restaurant that specialised in Catalan cuisine which we visited a couple of times – 5 star ambiance but at a 2 star price.

We farewelled Sally and John at the airport at 5am who are headed home via Thailand – we had a great 2 weeks together.