Salou, Spain: Part 3

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My trip to Salou has been far by the most challenging up to date. You can read more about this in my blog Nightmare in Salou part 1 and part 2 nonetheless, I still managed to make the most of the few days where no dilemmas transpired.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

Salou is located in Costa Dorado in the Catalonia region of Spain and is the most popular in Costa Dorado. It has two main beaches Playa Ponent which is the biggest of the two is a sandy beach along Catalonia with a wide variety of cafes and restaurants. The other is Playa Llevant which sports a gym, volleyball and children’s play area. Both beaches offer a number of water sports activities.

Spain’s top theme park PortAventura is just next door, as well as a number of golf courses and a world-class water park.

Salou sets a vibrant pace for nightlife offering a number of bars, clubs and restaurants. And those who want a change of scenery Barcelona is only 90 minutes away via train. Then there’s Tarragona, a city declared a world heritage city by UNESCO in 2000.

This is a tremendous family destination with something for everyone of all generations. But, just how did I spend my time here as a solo traveller?

Day 3

It’s the third day in and the first day I’m actually able to enjoy the holiday. I don’t really have a plan other than to explore the local area.

It’s around 12 noon by the time I leave my apartment. I’m staying at the Salou Pacific Apartments in a self-contained apartment. I would definitely recommend these apartments for low budget travellers.

The sun is beaming down on me from the moment I step outside. It was beautiful! just what I needed! I walked and walked just taking in the scenery. It was definitely that typical British tourist destination. Don’t think I have ever been to a holiday destination surrounded by so many British accents. That being said, it felt rather comforting after everything I’d been through.

It wasn’t long before my stroll brought me here.

Salou Promenade

It’s was so beautiful and seemed like an endless abundance of palm trees, waterfalls and monuments.

Avenida Jaume l

Cambrils

My roaming walk brought me to the small town of Cambrils.

Cambrils Habour

Cambrils is a coastal town, a quieter alternative to its more full-on neighbour, the resort of Salou. It is more low key and is regarded as a foodie place due to its wonderful seafood restaurants and local ingredients.

I enjoyed the quieter beach, the harbour, strolling through the back streets, a fine bite to eat at Denver Restaurant (highly recommend) before heading back to Salou.

On my back through Salou, I come across some interesting architecture but one that struck me the most was the stunning Xalet Bonet.

This wonderful private home was built by Ciriac Bonet in 1918. The architect for the piece was Domenec Sugranyes I Gras disciple and colleague of Antoni Gaudi.

The house is not open to the public but, it is extraordinary just to admire, even if it only from the exterior.

Xalet Bonet

Day 4

This day consisted of more exploring locally around Salou.

Again there were no plans, I just wondered around. This time my wanders took me to Parque Municipal de Salou, a beautiful quiet park in the centre of Salou.

Parque Municipal de Salou

It was such a quiet, relaxing place with only the sounds of the waterfalls and birds twittering away. The ponds had small fish and I’m pretty sure I saw tiny turtles (I think)

The park also had a cafe, a small child’s play area and an outdoor gym, which was pretty cool.

After here arrived at the beach. I walked pretty much the whole way around admiring all the beach bars restaurants, and the beauty of the sea.

Levant Beach

On the way back to the hotel I opted to walk on the street that runs parallel to the beach to avoid the crowds. This meant I was walking up the steep streets, which was rather exhausting after a while. Just a few steps ahead was a sign that read Koko Beah Bar, in need of rest I was grateful to see this. I really needed to sit down, my legs were like jelly, I’d been wandering around for so long.

To my surprise, they had the most remarkable terrace with the most incredible views over the sea.

Views from the Koko Bar

If I hadn’t of wandered down this street I would have never found this place. I was so delighted to have come across it! Not only was it a great place for relaxation and to watch the sunset. It served a great selection of drinks, cocktails and delicious gourmet dishes all at reasonable prices, given it’s the location.

My time in Salou was mostly spent relaxing on the beach. It was a trip with quite a whirlwind of events and emotions, so I needed a lot of time to recharge. Having said that, I did, in fact, make the journey to Tarragona whilst here. Tarragona is an extraordinary place which deserves a blog of its own. I’m super excited to share the place with you, so I will be doing a write-up on this Shortly.

Thanks for reading 😁

My Nightmare in Salou, Spain Part 2

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Hi all!! Welcome back!

This blog is a follow up from my last blog Nightmare in Salou Part 1. If you have not read it yet, maybe have a quick read before reading this one.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

So, it’s been 5 days since my awful arrival, I’ve put it all behind me and I’ve been having a great time. I will share these nice few days with you in my next blog but, for now let’s get all the negative stuff out of the way.

Fraud!

It’s the morning of day 5, I’m still lying in bed thinking of how I’m going to spend my day. I pick up my phone to google a place to visit and notice a text message from my bank. The text message read something along the lines of, it’s the fraud team, you need to contact us immediately. I felt extremely anxious!

Due to unexpected expenses and over spending my budget I had nothing but €1 left! I planned to withdraw some more today using my card. This was not something I needed to hear! All sorts of thoughts started to run through my head. What if my account has been cleared? What am I going to do? Panic started to kick in! My first instinct was to check my bank balance, which I did. Not noticing anything had been taken, just absolutely thrilled to see money in it, I ring the bank.

The bank inform me almost £200 had been taken from my account and there were companies still trying to take payments, which they blocked. I didn’t recognise any of the four companies they mentioned. I just couldn’t understand how and why this was happening to me!

The bank had to blocked my card!

The lady from the bank informs me, she needs to block my card immediately. Well, I can not even begin to describe the panic that overcome me at this point. I asked her if she will give me some time to go and withdraw some money. She begins to tell me it’s irresponsible on their behalf to leave an account unblocked, after having knowledge of fraud. I tell her my situation of being abroad, having no money and the card being my only access to money. She starts asking me if I can lend money from a friend or whoever I’m with. After telling her I’m alone, she allows me time to go and withdraw some money but, not without informing me the danger of my account being cleared. She went on to explain, if one of the companies slip under the net, they would not be responsible for any money taken. Great!! Just what I needed to hear!! As if it wasn’t frightening enough!!

One last attempt before the card gets blocked!

In a frenzied hurry I run down to the cash point, luckily enough it’s just outside the hotel. However, in such a poor state of mind I managed to tap in my pin number incorrectly twice!! I get memory block! Now I’m left with one more attempt!! I’d never felt so anxious in my whole life!

I can’t use my card for Cash back in this country. My only option is to try again! I’m hyperventilating and I’m too scared to try again in case it’s wrong. I just want to cry! But given the fact I look like a crazy lady, in my pyjamas with a huge messy afro currently covering the whole of Salou, I don’t want to draw any more attention to myself. All I can think is my bank account could be cleared right now!

I try again

I sit on the wall for a while to try not to think of anything because, to think would make me over think. Instead, I people watch in the hopes of my pin coming back to me subconsciously.

I have the number in my head but, for some reason doubting myself a little. I go with it and bingo! It’s the correct number! Nothing else has come out the account, I was able to withdraw cash and ring the bank to have the card blocked.

You couldn’t write it!

After the fraud incident I was able to enjoy the last couple of days of my holiday but, disaster strikes again!!

It’s the day of leaving, I’ve been told my coach will collect me at 6.50pm outside my hotel. I decide to sit on the wall outside the hotel at 6pm to catch the last bit of sun also, so I don’t miss my coach.

It’s 7.10pm my coach has still not arrived, I ring the transport number. The lady on the other end tells me the coach has already been! I was quick to correct her it had not been. She apologizes saying the driver informed them 20-minutes ago, to say I wasn’t there. Then tells me I will have to find my own way to the airport, then claim it back through my insurance. I was furious! After a few heated words for her to deliver to the dishonest driver before hanging up. I go back to my hotel to ask reception if they knew how much a taxi to the airport would cost. They discuss with each other in Spanish, then say around €25 however, they seem a little unsure. This made me feel uneasy nonetheless, with €30 left, I have them ring me a taxi.

Whilst waiting for the taxi a guy shouts over in a Scottish accent. “Did they forget you?” I nod at him, and tell him I’m waiting for a taxi. He tells me to take the number 5 bus from the top of the street because, it will cost at least €45 in a taxi. I realise he actually works at the supermarket and seems to have great knowledge about the buses. He explained how the last one was at 7.30pm and tells me to run because, it was 7.30pm now. With not enough money to take the taxi I listened and ran to the bus stop.

It’s 7.45pm, my plane’s departs at 9pm, it takes at least 40 mins to get there and there’s no sign of the bus! To say I was frantic, would be an understatement.

It’s been! I’ve missed it! I’m going to miss my plane! I’m going to be stranded! What am I going to do? And just as I was about to go into a melt down, the number 5 arrives! I could not believe my luck!

I made my flight with 2- minutes to go! 😂🤣😂

Although, these bad experiences happened, I’m actually thankful they did and now take extra precautions in the event of things going wrong. I will be writing a blog on these precautions on a later date, hopefully it helps others.

Thanks for reading :))

Have you been through anything like this? Or have you any thoughts? Would be great to hear.

Thank you so much for reading x

My Nightmare in Salou, Spain Part 1:

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I went to Salou back in May of this year, it was booked for a relaxing break as I hadn’t been away for a few months. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely time but just about anything that could go wrong, went wrong.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

*Disclosure* Please note this is my own personal experience and should not be taken at face value. Click the link above to see the full disclosure page for more info.

I booked my break with Onethebeach.com a month in advance. It was an absolute bargain! £230 for a week! This included a self-catering hotel apartment, flights and transfers, I could not wait to go! However, as the days grew closer I began to look through my documents in more detail and come across a problem. The voucher for my hotel said the reception area closed at 8pm and anyone checking in after this time, must contact the hotel. I tried to contact the hotel but was unable to use my free minutes So, I rang Onthebeach.com explaining the situation. The gentlemen dealing with my call said he will ring the hotel to see what to do and get back to me. When he rang me back he explained the hotel had a sister hotel where I could collect the key which was around a 10-minute walk away. I explained to him I was a solo female traveller, I did not feel safe walking around in an unfamiliar place at 10.30pm. With this, he agreed to change my coach drop off to the sister hotel to collect the key, then I would get a taxi to my booked hotel. Although, this was not what happened!!

Stranded!!

On the day of arrival I was dropped off at around 10.30pm at the Hotel where I’m supposed to collect the keys. I walk around the corner which appears to be the front entrance and guess what? It’s closed and the doors are locked! I couldn’t believe it! I walked around the sides hoping there would be another entrance but, there wasn’t. At this point I’m a little anxious but I’m managing to stay calm because I know it’s not going to help if I panic.

When I return back to the main entrance I notice a guy (Emmanuel) stood there with his suitcase, he looks to be in a similar predicament. I ask him, and he tells me he’s supposed to be staying in this hotel but, doesn’t know how to get in. He said his friend who was meeting him there had booked it online, and he was waiting for him as he didn’t know what to do. At this point were kinda both just stood around unsure what to do, a kind lady comes out and tries to help us but, there’s nothing she can do.

No Internet

I dug out my documents to ring on the beach but, guess what? The line was closed!! I knew there must have been another 24hour line but, it was not on my travel documents. I then decided to search for it online but, guess what?? My internet would not come on!! I felt so stressed out!! After telling Emmanuel he kindly offered to give me his password for his WI-FI, then I was then able to find a number and get through. If it was not for the lovely Emmanuel it would have been a lot more stressful.

After, getting through to On the beach I spoke to a lovely agent. I told her my situation, she was so apologetic really concerned for my welfare. She arranged for me to stay at another hotel which was a 10-minute taxi ride away. She also added a breakfast on for me to compensate for the taxi and the inconvenience. In fact, this lady kept in contact with me until I was where I was supposed to be. She rang me to see if I got to the hotel ok then rang me the next day to see if I got to my original hotel (fantastic customer service).

After getting my documents through email and screen shotting them I left Emmanuel who was now with his friend. Emmanuel was a true gent and kept in contact to see I arrived safely. Both him and his friend went to find another hotel after the realisation they were not going to get in to their apartment.

More Problems

I arrive at The best Cap Salou Hotel and show the gentleman on the reception my screen shots. He begins to speak to me in French, I didn’t speak French and he didn’t speak English. He begins to tell me No! Many times whilst pointing to my phone. No! What do you mean No! I was thinking to myself in a state of panic. Then he points to paper, at this point I realise he wants the paper print for the booking. I show him my original voucher for my other hotel and try to explain I don’t have a paper version for this hotel. He continues to say No and points to paper and tries to explain what he needs from me. By this point I was exhausted, tired, frustrated and I just wanted to cry. But, that wasn’t going to solve the situation was it?

The guy then asks for the email, I then ask him for the Wi-Fi, in which he hands me the password. From here were able to eventually communicate me sending the email to the hotel, so, he was able to print the voucher.

It was a stressful situation, but we got there in the end Haha.

It had gone 12.30am by the time I arrived in my hotel room but, I was grateful for a bed.

You couldn’t write it!

The next day I arrive at my original hotel The Salou Pacific and guess what? The lady informs me there open 24hours!! I went through all that stress for absolutely nothing!!

I have no idea which hotel the guy from Onthebeach.com rang but, it certainly wasn’t this one!

I had a lovely time in Salou for the next few days but, I ran in to more problems. If your interested what happens next, look out for the next blog.

Thank you so much for reading 🙂