Travel Notes | Salou & Barcelona

Travel Notes | Salou & Barcelona

I’ve never been on holiday in September before. Usually I’ll be working my toosh off in school and getting settled back into the routine but because this year ‘school’ didn’t start until September 19th, four of my friends and I headed off to Spain.

I’ve also never been to mainland Spain before (I went to Mallorca in 2014) and I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I knew I would enjoy the company, the sunshine and the break from real life but I just really enjoyed the Spanish lifestyle.

Salou is obviously not the most ‘Spanish’ of Spanish towns due to its gearing towards tourists but we still made the best of it and it perfectly suited five poor students in desperate need of some sunshine. Supermarkets in Salou didn’t open until around nine which was a big change from the UK and mornings were just super chilled and slow which was lovely.

GETTING THERE & GETTING ABOUT

We flew from Glasgow Prestwick to Reuss airport which took around two hours. I honestly can’t comment much on the transport scenario as one of the people I was travelling with took charge of that and we hopped on an airport transfer bus to Salou.

We explored Salou on foot as it is not that big and we were mainly hanging around the seafront area. Ali and I got the bus to Barcelona one day but it was a pretty stressful ordeal. A lot of tour buses go from the Salou to Barcelona but we were more interested in just a general public bus but the woman at the ticket office was not very helpful. I would just suggest doing a lot of research and asking at your hotel (if you stay in one) for advice.

WHERE WE STAYED

Our apartment was something I was very pleasantly surprised by. It was in a good location, not too far away from the main attractions but far enough away that it was quiet on a night. It slept six comfortably, with a double bedroom and then a sofa bed and bunk beds in the lounge.

The lounge also included a compact little kitchen and you could access the bathroom from both the lounge and bedroom. We also had a pretty large balcony which was my favourite part. You could access it from both the bedroom and the living room and it had a large table and chairs for us all to sit around. It was a great place for drinking and playing cards in the evening, reading in the morning and storing unnecessary items such as our inflatable pineapple and turtle.

WHERE WE WENT

Most days we chilled at the beach where we sunbathed, played in the sea and went for walks along the seafront. I read two super books whilst in Spain, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome and The Shakespeare Secret by J. L. Carrell. Both were smashing reads and I’ll be talking about them later in the month so look out for them!

 

The sea was lovely and warm and it appears I have gotten over my fear of the ocean from the Bahamas. We also rented out pedal boats twice during the week, the first time for Ali and Lewis’ birthday and the second time as a treat on our last day. They were really fun but it was annoying how they kept floating back to shore as we wold almost take out about ten swimmers if someone wasn’t watching it.

Getting pedal boats is such a cheap and fun thing to do on holiday to spice up your day at the beach and for someone that isn’t that fussed about ‘activities’ I really enjoy it.

We also went to the Port Aventura Waterpark on the Wednesday which was lots of fun – and I hate waterparks so that is saying something. I’ve never been to a waterpark outside of the UK before so it was nice to come out of the water and not die of frostbite. The lazy river was super chilled with lots of floats in it so you could totally just relax instead of throwing shade at the chaotic children who might steal ‘your’ float.

My favourite ride however was the one where you all went down in one giant doughnut so we could all do it together. We also tried to get a picture of this about five times and still we didn’t succeed. Next time I visit this part of Spain I’d like to go to the theme park instead as it is about 3x the size and it looked pretty cool. The whole day here cost 30 euros and we were there from before 10 (which is before it even opened as we are keen beans) till 5ish so we really got our monies worth!

The highlight of my trip was a day in Barcelona. Ali and I left at about 11.30am We gathered our bearings in McDonald’s upon arrival and headed off in search of La Sagrada Familia. We didn’t go in as the queue was huge but if I was spending a few days in the city it would definitely be on my list.

We then searched for La Ramblas but got a bit lost. We ended up on a huge detour but it didn’t matter as we got to see the Arc de Triomf and tootled along lots of adorable little side streets. Eventually we found La Ramblas which is tourist tat heaven and pretty intense. We stumbled acorss Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria by complete accident which was heaven on earth.

I love indoor food markets, that is something I’ve discovered about myself this summer. We strolled around taking in all the food and the atmosphere and I could have spent a fortune there sampling all the food. Whilst in Barcelona also had a nosy in the shops, especially Zara, Pull & Bear and Sephora. This was the swankiest Sephora I have ever been in and it makes my heart ache we don’t have Sephora in the UK.

WHAT WE ATE

As we had an apartment we took advantage of the kitchen facilities and breakfasted there. We bought pastries and cereal from the supermarkets and bought sandwich materials to make picnics for our days at the beach.

Even though we were in Spain, I didn’t even eat paella and I am quite ashamed of myself for that. I had tapas in Barcelona but we the best food we had was curry on our second night. On our final night we also went to a Chinese restaurant where it was basically all you can eat and drink for 19 euros which we took full advantage of. I drank a lot of sangria that night.

I can’t remember the exact name of this restaurant but it was off one of the side streets off the main street so FIND IT if you go to Salou. The staff were lovely and the food was delicious.

It was a beautiful week in the sunshine and really chilled out. I feel very relaxed and ready for university to start again. Spain was lovely and it is definitely on my to-visit list again! I know I haven’t given Barcelona the gushing it deserves but do not fear, I’m going to be rambling a whole lot more about this beautiful city later in the week!

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