Friday, 9 September 2011

The way to Barcelona: Delta de l'Ebre, Tarragona, Sitges, Monistrol de Montserrat

From Valencia we drove to the national park of Delta de l'Ebre. The delta of Ebro river is covered with rice field and small farms. Filled with birds and a lot of kitesurfers :)
After enjoying the nature, we continued to Tarragona where we stayed another night at the beach. A short walk through the city to see that even small towns own huge cathedrals in Spain. We then enjoyed our last hash from Lisbon, a bottle of whine and a starry sky to lull us into sleep. But... then again the much hated rainstorm made us fleeing from the beach and spent another night in the car :( grrr!
From Tarragona we visited Sitges (05.09.), which was supposed to be a beach-party-get-away from Barcelona...
the gay-friendly town turned out to be a gay-only place, male only... we met our hell on earth and all stereotypes about gay males were met in this town. Our hell seemed to be heaven to them :D At the end of the night we met three Belgium girls who seemed extremely happy to meet some straight guys :P
The next day (06.09.) we visited the monastery at Montserrat.  The monastery up the mountain offered some great views... but it was freezing up there :P
From Montserrat we finally went to Barcelona. We stayed with Ignacio and Alex from CS in Villa Victoria, where they just moved in a few days ago. They lived with Rie (Japan) and Sima (Poland). We enjoyed two great party nights with them in Barcelona and only visited Montjuic, as we are about to visit Barcelona again for NewYearsEve and Ben will study there the next months :)
A great finish of this journey!
- 29 days (8 nights couchsurfing, 5 nights regular camping, 1 night hostel, 4 nights wild camping, 11 nights sleeping bag at the beach - 2 ended in the car)
- 7100 km (2000 until northern spain, 1300 until Portugal, 1100 through Portugal to southern Spain, 2700 until Barcelona)
- 1 day without alcohol, but only 6 days too much :P
- 1 car accident, 1 time Ben was nearly hit by bus, 1 ticket for false parking
- Fiesta in San Sebastian, Castro Urdiales and Ronda


View from Montserrat

Museum d'Art de Catalunya

Sunset from Montjuic

Monday, 5 September 2011

Jaen, Granada, Almeria and Cabo de Gata until Valencia

After a night at Cordoba's camping area, we went to the town of olives - Jaen (31.08.). A road through olive plantations led us the way :D In Jaen we went into a Tapas bar and enjoyed an EXTRA large breakfast and amused the waitresses :P
Afterwards we strolled through Jaen's streets a bit and payed the cathedral a visit. After the short walk we made our way towards Granada. In Granada we struggled to get tickets for the Alhambra^^ then the day was already over again and we spent the night at a camping spot.
The next morning (01.09.) we went straight to visit the Alhambra. After all, everyone seems to make a big fuss about this palace. We've been a bit disappointed at the beginning... but to the end, the gardens made it an amazing place :) And a good view over the city from the towers!
The Alhambra was followed by a walk through the old city, where we visited the extremely huge cathedral of Granada. It was too big to have a comfy church feeling :( But looked pompous!
From Granada we went through Spain's desert Sierra Nevada with great views to Almeria where we wanted to sleep at the beach. It took us a while to find a suitable place... we met a Spanish Hippie who just came from the Hippie beach San Pedro near by. A beach we wanted to visit, but fall short on time to do so. Unluckily rain was chasing us in the night, while the Hippie stayed, we drove towards the next beach,  El Cabo de Gata, start of the same-named national park. But after a few hours the rain chased us again... what a rainstorm! :( So we drove right to the light house of Cabo de Gata national park. A nice good morning view (02.09.), once the rain stopped for a few minutes^^ Chased by the rainstorm we continued towards Allicante. On the way we stopped to have a sleep in the car at least. Then continued and enjoyed lunch in Allicante... 2 hours without rain, the car was faster than the rainstorm... but there it was again^^ Hence we went straight towards Valencia. Finally we left the rain behind us! Wild camping at a parking slot near the southern Pinedo beach :D
The next morning (03.09.) we enjoyed a nice swim and some sun before we went to see the "Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias" - the art quarter :) Some really impressive buildings but "our enemy" approached again: rainstorm... luckily just a small and short one. We continued to see the city center. Valencia really is a lovely city. Unluckily we were too exhausted to really enjoy it... seen too many cities the last days + Ben was sick. So we went back to our parking slot and camped there next to the beach again. A great BBQ before we went to sleep... and the next morning: big shock! someone stole our grill :S A used, dirty 5eur grill... and they even forgot the legs of the grill... stupid people :P
We then (04.09.) continued our way towards Barcelona, the final stop.

Jaen's cathedral

inside the Alhambra

View over Alhambra's garden

from Cabo de Gata's lighthouse

Rainstorm chasing us at Valencias art quarter

Fountain behind Valencia's cathedral