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Travel through Northern Spain.

 

Arriving in Spain we headed off down the coast from Barcelona to Sitges, a coastal medieval town 1hr south of Barcelona airport.

 

Sitges is well connected with Barcelona by rail and is only a 35k journey, it is a beautiful medaeval town with plenty of cobbled streets and walks down narrow medaeval lanes and being a coastal town, there are long walks along the seashore.

 

In the 1990s Sitges became Spains gay hotspot and certain beaches Bassa Rodona and l'Home Mort where clothing is optional.

 

Good to be in Spain again after many years & we managed with the little Spanish we knew & learnt more words along the way.

 

Sitges Main square

Sitges Lovely streets

One of the Sitges locals, that's a live chicken in the box on the back!

The Church in Sitges

 

Down from Sitges is a small town called Tarragona just a 2 hour train journey South, Tarragona is another coastal town with an amphitheatre almost on the beach...amazing to see.

 

In Tarragona there is an annual festival 'The day of the castells (human towers) and in the town boulevard is a statue depicting the event'

 

The event is a local festival with the aim of building the highest and most complex human tower.

 

This Catalan tradition is believed to have originated from human towers built at the end of the 18th century by dance groups and is part of the Catalan culture.

 

The old city area is full of great sites & we spent many hours wandering through there. Inside the old city you can find what must be one of the oldest sites for a coffee shop ion the world, amidst roman columns!

 

You can find the coffee shop just in front of the Catedral de Santa Marķa de Tarragona.

 

Next stop is Valencia a 4 hour scenic bus. Valencia is a wonderful combination of the old and the new.

 

Tarragona 'Tower of men'

Eric can't resist joining in with the Tarragona 'Tower of men

The Tarragona Amphitheatre was spectacular

Gladiator fights are still held in the Amphitheatre

Must be the oldest coffee shop in the world with ancient roman columns!

 

Valencia was a fabulous city with an amazing centre full of very spectacular buildings and our first venture there was to lose our way in the maze of cobbled streets in the city heart but it was great & as always we inevitably found our way.

 

The Largest toy soldier museum in the world

The detail is amazing, right down to the severed head!.

Inside the Valencia Market

Lots of goodies in the market!

 

A must see is the largest collection of toy soldiers in the world, housed in the The Museo de los Soldaditos de Plomo in Valencia

 

The museum holds a collection of more than 85,000 toy soldiers and miniature figures on display in intricate dioramas and displays and that's not all, talking to the museum director he told us that it only represents 10% of the entire collection which is held in storage.

 

The indoor food market is world renowned & it really has to be seen to be believed, if you are a foodie, don't miss this trip.

 

The Valencia street parade

The Valencia street parade

The Valencia street parade

The Valencia street parade

 

We had a great Valencian Paella lunch in the heart of the old city, Valencian paella has no seafood and is based on chicken with rice and is delicious.

 

If you are able, don't miss the Las Fallas de Valencia parade (15th - 19th March which winds way from the Cathedral throughout the city heart.

 

The Costumes that the traditional Valencian wear is spectacular, considered the richest traditional regional costume in Spain. So spectacular that it can cost many thousands of euros.

 

If you are here during Las Fallas you will see plenty of it on the street. At other times of year, you can still see it at every small occasion, such as a local fiesta or just an occasional parade or a wedding.

 

These costumes mean a lot to the Valencians and they use every opportunity to show them - here it is still in fashion. You will also pass many shops in the center where they are made and sold.

 

At the end of the parade you are showered with fresh rose petals from the rooftops, an amazing end to a fabulous day.

 

Bocairent is a lovely medieval town

Exploring Bocairent town streets

Goudi's Church in Barcelona!

Inside Goudi's Church in Barcelona!

 

Whilst in Valencia be sure to visit the hillside medieval town Bocairent for the day, it is a 2 ouhr bus ride South of Valencia, a hilltop town full of meandering winding streets with spectacular views.

 

Barcelona busker

Barcelona magic fountain

Barcelona Arc de Triomphe

Goudi designed house in Barcelona!

 

Next move was train ride North to Barcelona an enjoyable 3 hour trip.

 

Lots to see & all the many places Barcelona is famous for plus we explored many other sites around so lots & lots of walkabout everyday but lots of good cafe stops on route.

 

Dancing in the Streets Barcelona

Dancing in the Streets Barcelona

Inside Barcelona Church

Barcelona Old town

 

Traditional Catalonian folk dance at Barcelona Cathedral

 

A street player scares the tourists dressed as 'Predator'

 

Extended our stay there from 4 nights to 6 as there was so much to do and see here.This gave us time to visit Montserrat the famous monastery built into the side of a mountain, the train journey was amazing travelling up the mountain & the last part we were transferred to a funicular to reach the top.

 

We managed to arrive in time to hear the daily choir presentation in the monastery which was very special.

 

Then moved North to Girona, another small Spanish medieval town.

 

Once again great to explore & from there we took 30 min train trip to Figueres to see the famous Salvador Dali Museum which was certainly worth a visit.

 

Salvador Dali persuaded the Spanish government to house all of his works in a spectacular display inside the former Municipal Theatre which now sknown as the Dali Museum, Dali preferred to call it his display! a must visit for Dali fans.

 

Sadly one of his best known works Christ of Saint John of the Cross is not here but is housed in Kelvingrove museum in Glasgow, but you can see at the base of the painting, a representation of Port Lligat, just up from Figueres, Dalis beloved coastal retreat. and the site of his house.

 

Outside the Dali Museum, Figueres

Girona

Cadaques

Salvadore Dali's  House in Port Lligat

Montserrat

 

The next day we took a bus to coastal town Cadaques, an idyllic picture postcard town famous for the home of Salvador Dali. His house is in Port Ligat which is a 30min walk around the bay up a steep headland but well worth the effort.

 


 

 

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