The weather has been very inclement over the past 4/5 days so we have been keeping on the move heading north. Whilst in Benicarlo we had planned to cycle from there to Peniscola but it was so wet and windy that we drove between the two towns and despite the weather, we really liked the look of Peniscola so will go back another time and explore the area further, hopefully by foot and bike.
We drove to Barcelona and stopped along the way for lunch just south of Tarragona at Cambrills and watched the windsurfers enjoying themselves in the raging Mediterranean Sea. Cambrills is another town we would like to go back to and explore, it had a lovely promenade along the marina with plenty of restaurants that looked very inviting, despite the wind and rain.
We spent a couple of nights at camping 3 Estrellas at Gava on the C-31, a great location, on the beach with a windsurfing school and for catching the bus into Barcelona. The negative being it was a very tired looking site and depending on which way the wind is blowing you have aeroplanes taking off to the left and right of you. However, the wind was so strong that the roar of the sea drowned out all aeroplane noise whilst we were there.
We caught the bus into Barcelona, which took you straight to Plaza de Catalunya and firstly did a bit of shopping along Passeig de Gracia before walking to La Sagrada Familia, passing Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, two prominent Gaudi masterpieces.
The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for more than 100 years, is still unfinished and is the most visited monument in Spain. We have been before and were pleased to see this time that the interior no longer looked like a building site. It really does have the wow factor when you walk in, the light is amazing, even on a dull day, and the walls are adorned with fabulous brightly coloured stained-glass windows. The roof is held up by a forest of angled pillars and as the pillars soar towards the ceiling, they sprout a web of supporting branches, creating the effect of a forest canopy.
If you only have time to visit one monument in Barcelona, Sagrada Familia is the one you should choose.
We walked back to Plaza de Catalunya and strolled a short way down Las Ramblas which was heaving with people and as we were cold, called it a day and caught the bus back to the campsite. We will go back to Barcelona again as there is so much to see and it really is a great city to explore.
We left Barcelona on Sunday and took the scenic drive along the coast from Tossa de Mar to Saint Feliu de Guixols, 23km of hairpin bends (allegedly, a curve for each day of the year) winding around the mountainside with the Mediterranean on the other side.
We had a lunch stopover at Platja d’Aro, a lovely beach and marina, very tidy and somewhere else to consider for another time and have now settled at Camping Les Medes in L’Estartit. We caught up with Peter and Nia and met another two English couples, Chris and Jenny (who thrashed Tony and I at tennis) and Mark and Penny. We all spent a very cosy evening together in Peter and Nia’s Concorde and yesterday I was certainly feeling worse for wear. They shouldn’t have got the Limoncello out!
We plan to stay here until Thursday before heading back through France to catch our ferry back to the UK on Sunday.