Our Travels • Tarragona Spain
As our son made his way back to school, we began the second phase of our European adventure. We picked up our rental car and hit the road, our next stop-Tarragona!
I chose Tarragona as our first stop due to it’s close proximity to Barcelona and it’s status as a World Heritage/UNESCO site. The combination of ancient Roman history and beautiful beach made it irresistible to the history buff and beach junkie in me!
The roads in Spain were in great shape and easy to navigate.
The drive to Tarragona took about an hour, with lovely views of the Mediterranean Sea and Spanish countryside.
The mapquest directions to our hotel, the AC Tarragona, were very easy to follow. The AC Hotels offer all the amenities you’d expect from the Marriott brand; here’s a quick tour.
Our room was nicely appointed with a comfy queen size bed, hardwood floors, flat screen tv and a huge tub. Internet service was free in the public areas. The parking garage was located underneath the hotel.
We had a lovely view of Parc Puig i Valls, located behind the hotel, from our room.
On the far left, you can see part of the bus station located at the end of the block, making this a great location as a base camp for exploring the region. The town is also accessible through the Renfre train system if you’re exploring Spain by train.
The breakfast area.
Oh yes, even a turkish bath.
Roof top terrace overlooking the park.
The next morning we scouted some breakfast at cafe Montserrat, a block away from the hotel. The people and the service were great!
After breakfast, we strolled through Parc Puig i Valls, also known as Quinta de San Rafael. The park was created in the 1980s and has been improved in several phases. The modernist building Quinta de San Rafael, dates from 1912 and was designed by architects Julius and Maria Martinez Fossas. Courtesy of the Ajuntamente de Tarragona
After our park tour, we headed out to see a few of Tarragona’s highlights. The town was pretty easy to navigate.
Our friend the tourist train, which contrary to the brochure we received at the hotel, did run on Mondays!
Our first adventure was to figure out how to NOT get a parking ticket in Tarragona. After a few false starts, success and we were on our way!
The streets were lined with trees full of beautiful oranges. It was so tempting to try one, but these oranges are for ornamental purposes only. They have been sprayed with chemicals. So if you want to enjoy the oranges, you’ll find them at every market in the city. Spain is the leading producer and exporter of oranges in western Europe, averaging 3 million tons per year. Ironically, it took our trip to Spain for me to realize that Florida was such a huge producer of oranges, in part because oranges were introduced to the new world by the Spanish and the climate was great match.
The steps leading down to the Roman Amphitheatre.
If steps are not your thing, there is an elevator!
Some history of the Amphitheatre from Wikipedia.
Tarragona Amphitheatre is a Roman amphitheatre in the city of Tarragona, in the Catalonia region of north-east Spain. It was built in the 2nd century AD, sited close to the forum of this provincial capital.
The amphitheatre could house up to 15,000 spectators, and measured 130 x 102 m.
It was built at the end of 1st century BC and the start of 2nd century BC, down from the walls and facing the sea. There are remains of a large inscription dating to the reign of Elagabalus (3rd century AD) and located in the podium.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
The amphitheatre was closed the day of our visit, so we didn’t venture inside. Still, even exploring from the outside, it was very interesting, and what a view!
One day I’ll learn how to tell time with a sundial!
A fountain at the entrance to Rambla Nova.
Statue of Roger de Lauria in Tarragona Rambla Nova
One of the more popular activities in the evenings includes gambling at the Casino Tarragona.
So many places to see!
La Muralleta I La Torre was started in 1368. This area of the original Roman circus was transformed into a tower. Courtesy of Tarrocowiki
All of this walking has worked up our appetites, time for lunch!
This delightful little park is immediately across the street from the Roman Amphitheatre which can become quite warm during midday-definitely an oasis after our walking tour. You can see the Museu Nacional Arqueologic de Tarragona in the background.
Throughout our journey in Europe we often saw evidence of alternative energy usage; wind farms, like this one, were very prevalent.
Our parting views of Murallas de Tarragona, next stop Toledo!
Author: Desiree Carter
Photos: ©Cedric Carter