Two Weeks in Spain | Barcelona and Tarragona

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

I recently came back from my holiday to Spain, and let me tell was very much needed. I didn't actually realise just how stressed I was until going away on this trip. I very well know that I am naturally a very stressy person. Even if I have submitted all my deadlines, checked my bank account, returned my library books, finished my prep for my upcoming seminars etc. I will find something to stress out about. It is literally in my blood to be an extremely stressful person. Therefore, I feel like a holiday was something that should have happened a very long time ago.

However, being the university student that I am (and considering how bad I am with money), it was financially impossible to go on holiday. Well...that was until my boyfriend's dad offered to pay for me to tag along on their family holiday (which I am extremely grateful for). During our trip we stayed in Salou, which was basically a much nicer and cleaner version of Newquay! The biggest benefit of staying in Salou was that we were about a 10-15 minute walk away from Port Aventura. I really enjoyed the theme park, however I got heatstroke after two days and wasn't exactly glamorous and I ended up being bed bound in our hotel room for about a full day and a half.

After the first week, we had pretty much all recovered, which meant we could try and enjoy ourselves as much as possible in our last week. Therefore, we went on two day trips: one to Barcelona and one to Tarragona. Since landing in Spain, I was itching to go to Barcelona as I have always been interested in visiting the city. And let me tell you…it did not disappoint!

Firstly, we went into a shopping centre to do a little shopping (I can’t help myself ok?!). There was a Pull & Bear store there so I had my fingers crossed that the clothes would be cheaper as it is a Spanish store. However, to my extreme disappointment, the clothes were the exact same price as in the UK (sigh). After this, we took a taxi up to the Sagrada Família. Sadly, I don’t have any nice photos of the church as it is still being built (therefore, all of my photos have cranes in the background). It was a beautiful building and the details were incredible. If you’re in Barcelona, I highly recommend going to see it (but it’s pretty inevitable that you will without my own recommendation). What’s interesting about the building is that you can see the development as different materials were used throughout the construction.

After visiting the church, we made our way down to the Gothic Quarter. This was hands down, my favourite part of the entire holiday. I absolutely love anything Gothic. During my second year of university, I took a module on Gothic Literature and it opened my eyes to how interesting the Gothic is. This includes Gothic literature, art, architecture etc. Therefore, when I was researching what to do in Barcelona and saw there was a Gothic Quarter…I nearly wet my pants. We had intended to spend about two hours in the area and then go to the Picasso museum, however I ended up being so immersed in the Gothic Quarter that we didn’t go to the museum (whoops). I absolutely loved Barcelona, however, we only had about five hours to spend in the city so we weren’t able to do as much as we had hoped. Although I am grateful for those few hours we had, it has just made me irritated because I already want to go back!

Two days later we visited Tarragona, which is a port city not far from Salou as it is also on the Costa Daurada. We visited the city so we could go and visit the Roman ruins, which highly appealed to me and my boyfriend as we attend university in Bath (which is well known for the Roman Baths). On our way to see the Roman ruins, we passed the Balcó del Mediterrani. It was absolutely beautiful as it allowed 180 degree views of the sea, homes and the community. Right down the corner from there we found the Roman ruins. The Circ Romà is an amazing old Amphitheatre that has gradually turned into Roman ruins. 
Overall, I really enjoyed our holiday to Spain. I have had an interest in Spain for a few years now as I studied Surrealist Cinema during A-Level Film Studies. After studying the work of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, I felt like I had to go one day. Therefore, when I next visit Spain, I am determined to make sure I visit more galleries and museums (including the Dali Museum). This 'little' holiday made me realise just how badly I want to travel, and I can't wait to have the money to explore. Watch out Europe, Holly's coming!

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