The Beauty of the Spanish Seaside

So after our two nights in Barcelona, we headed southwest a short distance along the Spanish coast to attend the wedding of some friends from university (our first transatlantic destination wedding!). Navigating the renfe website prior to this was a total nightmare, plus you can’t book tickets ahead of time for every ride, so we opted just to go to Barcelona-Sants and buy our tickets in person. For less than 9€ each, we were on our way to Altafulla-Tamarit. 

It took us about an hour to get there, and about halfway in, it dawned on us that we were in for a beautiful time. The city gave way to the sea, and the train wove in and out of mountains and valleys. I wish I could have take pictures, but alas I was nursing Andy for the majority of the trip. After arriving at Altafulla-Tamarit station, we walked the few minutes to our hotel. And what a beautiful hotel it was. We had a view of the courtyard, and had it been a tad warmer (or had the pool been heated), we would have plunged in for a dip that afternoon. 

  

Instead, we decided to walk down to the beach, to Carrer Botigues de Mar, for a leisurely stroll towards Tamarit. 

 

The walk reminded us of our time in Newport Beach, except that it was off season so not many of the villas were rented. We headed to the end of the beach before turning around and strolling back. We visited Villa Romana dels Munts (well, we walked up a hill to a dead end street where we could see it all) and then enjoyed a wonderful beachside dinner with the other guest of the wedding. 
The next morning, we decided to visit Tarragona and see some of its sights. We took a ridiculously expensive taxi ride to Pont del Diable, a Roman aqueduct a short distance north of Tarragona. It was amazing to see the architectural feat they accomplished…

 …and even to be able to walk across it!
  
To save ourselves some money, we decided to take the bus back into town. It was actually really easy – we took the 85 (you could also take the 5) bus from right off the highway and it wound its way through Sant Salvador back into Tarragona. And it cost us less than 2€ each. We saw the Mediterranean Balcony, their version of Las Ramblas, and the beautiful Roman amphitheatre they’ve preserved. The city is absolutely stunning, and had we had more time, we definitely would have wanted to see more. 

    

And this brings us to the real reason we came to Europe – the wedding! The whole occasion took place at the beautiful Castell de Tamarit, and MAN were we blown away. 

 
I mean, look at that ceremony venue! Does it get any more perfect? (I will have you know that that pool is strictly for looks. We asked repeatedly whether swimming was permitted, and much to the dismay of some guests, it was not.) 

There were a number of little courtyards and spaces (and come to think of it, we never actually stepped into the castle itself) that we got to enjoy while eating more than a dozen hors d’oeuvres. Below the cliffs and walls, people lounged on the public beach, which beckoned to us. 

  
Looking up, the castle was just stunning.    

The dinner venue was no less magical. 

 At the end of the night, we were pooped, but also filled with the beauty of the people and environment that we were surrounded by. 

The next morning, reluctantly, we packed up our things and headed back on the train to Barcelona. Once more, we whizzed by the seaside, surrounded by many more people this time. Old ladies on their way into the city, students heading to another town for class, businessmen presumably going to work or catching a flight. 

Arriving back into Sants, we took another train to the airport, and after a two hour delay (thank you, French air controller strike), we were on or way to London. 

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