Solo Trip To Zadar, Croatia Part 2

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Day 3 of my trip here was spent wondering around Zadar’s beautiful old town. The journey was around a 15 – minute bus ride from the Donat Hotel where I was staying. The journey cost me 10 kunas which was around Β£1.15 in sterling pounds or €1.31 in euros at the time of being there.

What the video if you would like to see this beautiful old town. You will also get to see the sea organ, which was definitely the highlight of the day! It was so fascinating!

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Video: Salou, Tarragona, Spain

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For those interested, I managed to film some clips of my time in Salou and Tarragona over a period of 48 hours.

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Hotel Details:

Disclaimer: Prices may vary depending on your party size and the time of the year you plan to travel. All details are based on my own experiences, please do not take all details at face value.

Hotel Best Cap Salou

On the first night, I stayed at the Hotel Best Cap Salou. My one night stay cost Β£34 which included breakfast, although I didn’t have to pay for this as Onethebeach.com foot the bill due to the hotel mix up. I thought it was a very reasonably priced hotel especially due to its location and the facilities it has to offer. It’s located in a tourist area, however, it’s not a hustle and bustle area, in fact, you will be guaranteed tranquillity as it’s set right on the sea. That being said, there are also good bus links in the area with bus information workers directing you in the correct direction, to the Salou Centre etc.

The Salou Pacific

The second hotel was the salou Pacific (my original hotel booked).

Cheap!!!

This hotel is a cheap budget hotel. I tend not to stay in the 4 and 5-star hotels as frequent travel will be costly unless of course, you have millions in the bank, which I don’t! Also, I do not like the idea of staying in a hostel, not that there is anything wrong with its just personal preference. I like my privacy.

The hotel cost me €109 for a whole 7day stay!! It was well located, had all the facilities I needed and most importantly was clean. What more could I ask for? Oh, wait! Free-Wifi which isn’t available, but nonetheless everything else was absolutely fine.

No cleaning Service

The hotel does not offer a cleaning service it’s basically like just renting an apartment. I actually preferred this! There was no bother of having to think about the housekeepers coming in. I brought my own cleaning products for €4.50 and kept up with the cleaning myself. Some people prefer not to have to do anything on holiday, but I clean up even when there is a service of housekeeping so it made no difference to me.

Clean Towels

You can get clean towels at the reception in exchange for your used ones

Deposit and rules on leaving

There is a €50 per person deposit on arrival this is given back on check out after a quick inspection.

To get your deposit back you are required to clean the apartment. By this, I mean to ensure the kitchen area is cleaned, wash the dishes put them away and wipe the sides down. You do not have to spring clean it as it will be cleaned after you leave, you just need to tidy it as you found it.

You also need to take your rubbish out to the bins, which are directly across the street. (Do not leave any rubbish whatsoever).

Do all this and you get your deposit back πŸ™‚

The hotel is in a fantastic location with excellent links to Cambrils, Tarragona, Barcelona and is only a 15- 20-minute walk from the promenade (or bus it and get there in 5minutes). I would highly recommend this hotel for the budget traveller.

Thanks for visiting:)

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.

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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 😁

Calella, Spain #2

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It’s Day 6, yesterday I spent the day in Barcelona. Today I plan to have a walk around Calella and see what it has to offer.

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It’s around 13.30 in the afternoon by the time I head outside. It’s not the most pleasant day, it’s raining and quite miserable out however, it’s not going to alter my plans. I’ve seen glimpses of the area on the way to the beach or to the train station but that’s about it.

As mentioned in my last blog I’m staying at the Hotel Neptuno, it’s right on the heart of Calella and only 50metres from the centre so, as soon as you step out your pretty much surrounded by shops, cafe’s, restaurants etc. It’s quite busy, I spent a short while walking Round the shops browsing although, most of the shops were tacky souvenir shops. There are a few high street shops as well as traditional Catalan food shops so, there are many opportunities to try some good traditional food.

As I walk further in to the old town the crowds seem to get less and less but, still I grow bored with the main streets and start to wonder down the side streets, admiring the apartments and the old feel of the town. I soon come to a small museum that catches my eye in a quiet side street.

Museu-Arxiu Municipal de calella Josep M. Codina i Bague

My entry ticket was €2, there is a combined ticket €3.50 which also gives you entrance to the lighthouse and refuge.

Inside is full of ceramics, tiles, archaeological materials, old machinery, clothes, art, Iberian and roman remains, and an old pharmacy. The museum was bigger than first imagined, spread over the ground floor, first floor and second floor, with numerous rooms to enter which keeps the curiosity going. There’s also a pretty garden with benches for people to sit, on better days than today of course. The museum really gives you an insight to the history and traditions of the municipality, it’s definitely worth the €2 and got me out of the rain for an hour or so, as I refused to buy an umbrella.

From here I venture through more side streets and through the residential areas, making my way more towards the sea end near the Sardana monument on Passeig Manuel Puigvert. The shopping streets run parallel to the sea so, as your walking through you get glimpses of the sea.

The Sardana Monument on Passeig Manuel puigvert

I learnt this was where the locals celebrate all their festivals. Many of the festivals are around June to September around the times when there are fewer tourists. One of the biggest and oldest festival is the Aplec de la Sardana. It takes place on the first Sunday in June and a big traditional dance takes place in a circle. The monument shows people holding hands taking part in the circle dance. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of this to display.

Other festivals include The Calella and Alt Maresme Fair, which includes craft shows, traditions and customs of the region. Then there’s the Oktoberfest which lasts almost all of October. This includes visitors from all over the globe, music bands and beer from the Bavarian culture.

Now, I don’t know where the time went but, it was all of a sudden almost 6pm! I made my way back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner.

I’m all freshened up and ready to go down to the restaurant. I’m the second one of the solo travellers to arrive, the German gentleman is already seated and gives me a wave. After getting my food I go to join him at the solo traveller table. Seriously! We actually had a table! We all didn’t speak the same language but, we greeted each other and always sat together.

The Solo Traveller Table

On my third day at the morning buffet, I noticed a lady sat by herself. The tables were rather large so, I sit on her table but at the other end. Moments later another lady arrives, and a few others appear one after the other. They all seem to know each other as they greet each other and have small conversations on what their doing for the day. Then I discovered they actually didn’t know each other as some only said hi and that was it. This was when I realised we were all solo travellers I thought it was really cool. From this day I became a member of the table πŸ˜‚

On this table I met Joanna who was also from the UK. On this night after my busy day walking around Calella Joanna comes quite late, we always talked so much so, I stuck around for longer. Afterwards we decided to go for a drink at the Hotel bar, it was a really lovely ending to the day.

You see travelling alone doesn’t always mean you have to be alone all the time. There has been many occasions when people say they couldn’t imagine, not being able to speak to people for a week. Well, this is the proof in the pudding, it does not have to be that way.

Day 7 Not going to lie I literally do nothing on this day. Its another rainy day and I don’t feel like getting drenched through like yesterday. My day consisted of using the Hotel gym, chilling out watching Netflix then around 4pm I’m a little bored so go to the hotel bar to watch the football and chat with the Hotel staff. It was just a nice chilled out day as I had to be up at 5am in the morning to catch my plane.

This trip was a fantastic trip without as much worry as the first solo trip. However, there was a little moment of panic on the day of leaving. I don’t want to make this blog too long so, I will tell you about this in the next one.

Thanks for reading 😁

Calella, Spain #1

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Calella is a seaside city situated on the Costa del Maresme in Catalonia Spain and is just 50km north of Barcelona.

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It’s a place that is accommodating to all ages and families with young children in particular, as there are a number of lively facilities nearby. PortAventura is nearby and only a short bus ride away plus a free bus ride to water world is also available. It’s also a place that has a lot of history and culture to be discovered. The lighthouse of Calella is one of its main attractions where you are able to get amazing views over the Mediterranean sea. Calella also has three main beautiful beaches where a number of water sports take place.

I had never heard of the place until searching on Teletext Holidays for a cheap getaway. It came up in the search as one of the cheapest packages at the price of Β£290, half board for 7days. The price included, flights, hotels, transfers, breakfast and dinner, I had to book it! The holiday was booked for the end of May just before the summer holidays so, was a little cheaper in price.

Day 3 At this point I’ve been here for 3 days but haven’t seen anything of Calella yet. I arrived late on the first night, the second day was spent in Barcelona, and on this day I planned to do nothing but relax on the beach, after a busy day in Barcelona.

So, it’s around 1pm by the time I’m making my way to the beach, it’s just a straight walk ahead from Neptuno Hotel where I’m staying. To be more precise it’s actually only 250metres away from the beach.

On arrival, I’m pleasantly surprised at how empty the beach was, I was expecting it to be a lot busier. But, thinking this, I was thrilled! It meant peace and quiet.

Platja de Calella, Beach

I can imagine this place to be busy in the summer holidays but, it was perfect for me at this time of the year. Being here helped me to relax from my usual busy lifestyle, it gave me time to think with no distractions. In fact, it was almost like time stopped for a short while, allowing me to think of absolutely nothing, whilst being able to appreciate the surroundings.

Bahari Club

I’m a little hungry after a while, there’s a couple of bars along the beach, I go to one called Bahari Club.

The staff were extremely welcoming from the moment I walked through the door. I’m given a menu, I prefer a vegetarian dish but there’s not much choice, so I go for a fish dish which cost almost €9.

The food comes and I couldn’t believe it! Was expecting a big plate of food Although, the plate was big, there was just not much food on it. Ok, so, it’s a la carte menu which I didn’t realise prior to entering. I totally get the concept of a la carte, the dishes are smaller because you can order separate items, rather than part of a set meal. However, I’m not a fan of a la carte, I always find I’m still hungry afterwards. I ordered another dish which was almost €7, and I was still hungry! Don’t get me wrong, the food was delicious but, €16 to still be hungry!! Ha-ha. Are you a fan of a la carte?

Luckily the wine was nice and at reasonable prices too, which helped me to forget I was hungry for a short while. In addition to this, I did receive a complimentary glass of wine with bottled water, after making friends with the bartenders. Would have preferred free food but, never mind I was still very grateful and hungry.

I stayed here until the early evening it was great! Sat outside sipping wine, people watching, watching the waves of the sea and listening to the lovely Spanish music playing in the background.

The bartenders kept coming over to talk to me, think they wanted to keep me company. But, even without that, I felt completely comfortable with my own company. This was the first time I had actually felt completely confident being alone in a bar/restaurant. I’m absolutely fine with being alone traveller however, lack confidence when it come to certain situations like this but, would often push myself to do it. Believing the more it was done, the more confident I would become with it.

It was around 7.30pm by the time I got back to my hotel. On arrival, I take a shower and go to the hotel restaurant for dinner. I’m not there long before returning to my room, watching a film then falling asleep.

Day 4 Its 11am I’m showered, dressed, had my breakfast, my workout at the gym and I’m good to go. I don’t really have that much of a plan today other than to have a wonder around the local area.

No joke! I’m about to walk out the door and it throws it down! So, instead I go back to my room and watch TV for a while.

It’s 3pm and as predicted by the weather forecast it’s turned nice and sunny. At this point its siesta time so, instead I decided to go to the beach again and take a visit to the lighthouse.

This time around I walk right to the end of the beach, well, it’s not the end but, without a boat I can’t go any further.

It was so peaceful and absolutely stunning here. That was until a naked couple appear from the other side of the rocks! I had no idea I was on a nudest beach!! πŸ˜‚ Didn’t know where to put my face, and they just stroll past me like it was nothing!

Calella Lighthouse

Just above it is the beautiful light house of Calella.

The lighthouse of Calella is one of the main attractions in Calella.

Construction began on the 9th October 1856 and was inaugurated on 15th December 1859. It’s light can be seen from a distance of 35miles and it’s navigation pattern is three short beams and two large every 30 seconds.

The views were breath taking! Right over Calella and over the Mediterranean sea.

Inside the lighthouse is a little museum where you can learn about its heritage and the history of the area.

It was pretty much a chilled relaxed day. Tomorrow I was heading back to Barcelona for my tour and knew it would be a busy day.

The next blog will be the second part of my time here in Calella.

Thanks for reading 😁

Barcelona, Spain:#2

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So, It was on the 5th day of my trip when I returned back to Barcelona, this time with a free walking tour booked from Freewalkingtoursbarcelona.com . You book the tour completely free of charge, the concept is you decide the price at the end. The guide does not look at the amount you place in their hands so, there’s no awkward feeling of paying more than what’s affordable to you. I would highly recommend one of these tours, there a fun way to explore the city, especially if your travelling solo. It’s a way to meet people too, I met a lovely girl called Katie who was also travelling solo. Katie had been travelling solo for quite sometime, she shared some of her stories as we walked around together. It was really refreshing to meet someone like-minded, she was such an inspiring young lady.

The tour was booked for 3pm and the meeting point was at placa de Cataluyna. Placa de Cataluyna is a large square located in the city centre surrounded by and apparently the favourite meeting point.

Placa de Cataluyna Square

I’m a little early so, go to a place called EL Triangle, a small shopping centre, to have a coffee and a look around the shops before it was time.

Back in placa de Cataluyna Square and the tour guides are organising our groups, their very organised and have each of our names for a guide who speaks our languages. There are a number of tours to choose from I choose to do the Gothic Neighbourhood one. Before we leave there’s a group photo with our tour guide, which was supposed to be put on the website for us to download free. Maybe our group was stingy with their payments because, ours was’nt on the website haha. It’s kind of a shame, as our guide was brilliant, he was funny, enthusiastic and was filled with so much knowledge. Although, our group was significantly smaller than we started off with as people dropped off towards the end. I paid €10 for those who are wondering, it was definitely worth it but, like I said we didn’t have to pay a thing.

The Gothic tour

First we take walk to the MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana a Roman funeral way dated back to the 1st century A.D, it’s located in placa de la Villa de Madrid. It is actually an exhibition but, we do the street view as we are doing the free tour.

Here we learn about its history of how they were found during the reconstruction of the road. It was amazing to see how well-preserved they are after all this time. We learn a little more on Spanish history and its civil war before moving on.

We then arrive in El Call which is Barcelona’s Jewish quarter. It’s a full of character area with little market stalls all around the square. Here we learn about history and stories of the Jewish people in the Catalonia area.

We moved on through the narrow streets and were taken to a chocolate shop were we learnt about the Catalan chocolate traditions.

Then on to the art work of Pablo Picasso the Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramic artist, etching artist and writer. Picasso was a fine artist who had a significant influence on 20th century art.

Carmen Amaya the great Spanish Romani flamenco dancer

We stop for a 20-minute break in a pub in this area to have a drink.

Our next stop was City Hall also known as Casa de la Ciutat and The Plau de la Generalitat. The location is in Placa Sant Jaume, the cities political centre which is located in the middle of the Gothic Quarter.

We learnt about the history of the two buildings in medieval times, and how they still govern the lives of Catalans and the people of Barcelona today.

Our last stop was the Barcelona Cathedral one of the cities most remarkable landmarks. It’s full name is The Cathedral Of The Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, dedicated to the Co-patron saint of Barcelona.

Needless to say we learn about the history of the Cathedral

Probably one of the most beautiful buildings I ever seen

I never went inside the building as there was big que, time was getting on and I still had to get back to my hotel which was an hour train ride away. Albeit, just standing outside to admire it was unbelievable in itself, the details are phenomenal!

I don’t return back to Barcelona during this trip but, my next post will be about Calella, as this was the location where I was staying.

Thanks for reading 😁

Barcelona,Spain: #1

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It’s day 2, I arrived late last night in the early hours. It’s around 8am and I’m heading to the restaurant in my hotel for breakfast. I’m staying at the Hotel Neptuno, a lovely little family run hotel located in the heart of Calella, only steps away from the centre and a five minute walk to the beach. Breakfast is buffet style and has a variety of choices to choose from and everything looks so fresh!

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Over breakfast, I decide to go to Barcelona for the day as it’s only an hour train ride away. I haven’t seen anything of Calella yet but, I’m just too excited about Barcelona!

Breakfast is done, I’m now making my way to the train station which is around a 10 minute walk.

Arrived at the train station and purchase my ticket at the counter. It’s €10 for a return ticket which is considerably cheaper than paying €30 for a hop on and off bus.

I arrive in Barcelona quicker than expected! Eventually, after walking around for a little while thinking it was nothing like I expected and significantly quieter than imagined. I realised I was in the wrong place after asking a gentleman where La Rambla was, and him telling me it was in Barcelona. I can’t be the first person to mix up Badalona with Barcelona right?

I return to the train station explaining to the lady at the desk. She’s very pleasant, lets me back through telling me the stop to Barcelona is Placa de Catalunya.

The train comes, it’s a lot quieter than the other train with many empty seats. It’s around 2 minutes into the journey when a man comes and places a plastic bag near me accompanied by a note. Can’t clearly see everything in the bag but it consisted of a packet of tissues, mints and some other small items. In fact, he has placed these bags and notes on every seat. Thinking he has put so much effort into making these packages and clearly wants to make some money, I think about purchasing one. Well, that was until another man, then a lady also come along to place their items next to me. Felt kinda bad at this point as it wasn’t possible to buy from all of them so, decided not buy anything.

As we approached the centre, the train sellers quietly collected their stuff without bothering anybody. It was a relief to get off the train, the whole situation had made it a very uncomfortable train ride. In addition to this, the many signs of “Go home tourists” wrote all over the walls in graffiti had made it an uncomfortable journey. Although, I attributed this to a few angry youngsters, telling myself they were isolated incidents and to ignore them.

Barcelona

On arrival walking through the train station, it was surprising to see street vendors selling fake designer goods out in the open. Don’t get me wrong, people sell fake goods in most places but, never imagined seeing so many and how open it was all being done.

I head towards the exit, up the stairs and wow!! It’s the Barcelona I imagined! Nothing at all like Badalona! It looked so exciting, I couldn’t wait to go and explore.

As it was all a last minute plan with no itinerary, I walk ahead and come to La Rambla, the most iconic street in Barcelona.

Walking through La Rambla was a unique experience crowded with tourists, souvenir kiosks, cafe’s, restaurants, fruit and flower shops and entertainers etc. Then there’s the drug dealers who blatantly offered me drugs! On three separate occasions! (No kidding) In fact, there’s a good few extremely dodgy characters hanging around. As well as this, it’s surrounded by beautiful building as well as the Columbus Monument, which was always in view from the beginning of the street.

It wasn’t long until I was distracted by La Boqueria an iconic market, one of the most visited attractions. Here you can buy and taste local products and experience the Barcelona market life.

I take full advantage of this and end up being in here for one hour! Eating, drinking and tasting everything in sight! It couldn’t be helped everything just looked incredibly delicious!

After my binge eating session, I continue walking up La Rambla stopping to look in stores for souvenirs. Although, it all gets very agitating being followed around the shops and being pushed to buy stuff! It was that annoying I abandoned trying to shop! In fact, I’m sick of Las Rambla now altogether! And opt for walking down the side streets, which are much more admirable and calmer.

The Wax museum

I come out near the Columbus Monument then arrive at the port.

There’s a shopping centre here called Maremagnum, it’s very distinctive with its mirrored walls and arched roof. People are sat around it relaxing and watching the boats come in. Inside, it’s a really nice place, with a variety of shops, places to eat and it’s not overcrowded.

From here I wonder around the beautiful city in total disbelief I’m even here. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit since watching the Olympics 1992 as a young child when Barcelona hosted the games. There was just something that looked so appealing to me when they shown clips of the city. And here I was, and it didn’t matter I was here alone, its a memory to last a lifetime.

Parc de la ciutadella

Parc de la Cittadella is a blissful beautiful park in the city. I thoroughly enjoyed my time walking around here taking in all the surrounding nature.

There were many other attractions here such as the zoo, the Catalan parliament, The Museu de Art modern, The Zoological Museum, The Museu Geologia and the lake where you can take a boat ride (it’s definitely worth a visit here).

Learning about Tapas

It’s now around 5. 30pm, I’m making my way back to the train station when I spot a little bar to take a break. I can’t remember the name but, pretty sure it was called Las Ramblas wine & Tapas. It’s a lovely little tapas bar, with the friendliest waiter who tells me how to do tapas the Spanish way. Apparently you don’t order all your tapas all at once in the same place, it’s a social thing. You do tapas the very same way you go for a few drinks in a few different bars.

Vermut The Traditional Beverage

He also tells me to not leave Barcelona before trying Vermut a traditional beverage in Barcelona. On leaving, he points me in the direction of a tavern to try one, sorry, I don’t remember the name of the place.

The vermut was well worth stopping by for. Vermut is an inexpensive tasty wine with spices and botanicals like cinnamon and chamomile. It only cost around €1.55 so, I took two, it was too nice and cheap not to have another one (you definitely need to try one if you come to Barcelona).

Its now time for me to leave but I return in a few days.

If you would like to hear what I get up On my return, follow to receive the alert.

Thanks for reading 😁

Calella, Barcelona Spain: The Late Arrival

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The Late Arrival #Anxious

When I visited Calella it was only the second time to venture out on a trip alone. It was definitely a different feeling to my first solo trip to Malta. I had absolutely no fear whatsoever! That trip to Malta definitely made me feel more confident with travelling alone, it was nothing but an exciting feeling well, until I arrived in the dead of night!

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Feeling so confident from my first trip, hadn’t even considered how booking a late flight would leave me feeling so anxious!

It was around 22.45pm on arrival at Reus airport in Barcelona. There was just something about arriving late and being alone that left me feeling rather anxious. To top it off my travel documents for my transfer pick up was not making any sense! I had followed all the instructions that had some how taken me outside the airport looking for an office. Pacing up and down looking for this office only made me feel more anxious. I stopped to ask people if they knew where it was, nobody seemed to know! I ended up ringing the office number, turns out there was a miss print on the instructions. Eventually finding the office, the lady was able to instruct me on where to get my shuttle bus. She also informs me it’s about a 10-minute walk and I’m the last person the driver is waiting for. For some reason, this had me panicking and thinking I was going to be left.

I get to the coach, confirm my details with the driver and board. Once on the coach the panics over and I’m able to relax (for now) The coach journey was going to be around one hour and twenty minutes with several drop offs on the way. This meant I would arrive at my hotel just short of 23.55pm.

The coach stops and I hear the driver shout out my hotel. I’m so thankful and grateful I’m still alive! I literally travelled the whole way with my eyes closed! The drivers style of driving was like the fast and furious style. It was pitch black in many places during the journey but, this didn’t seem to slow him down. So, when I say I was thankful to be alive, I really mean it.

He chucks two suitcases out and directs a couple who also got off to their hotel. Then chucks mine out and gives me the directions but, I don’t listen, I’m more concerned with catching up to the couple.

The coach drives off, It’s gone midnight, and we have been dropped off on a main road. There’s not a single person around just a few moving cars passing. I walked quickly to catch the couple up but, they tell me their staying in a different hotel. I can not begin to tell you just how stressed out I am at this point.

I decide to go to the couple’s hotel to see if I can get the directions to my hotel from the hotel reception desk. Whilst walking to the hotel I discovered on Google maps my hotel was just a 2-minute walk away, so began to head towards my hotel.

It was quite possibly the longest 2-minutes of my life. I walked quickly through the tiny empty streets, with my heart racing and only the sound of my suitcase wheels wheeling along the ground. The thought of being in a foreign country alone, walking through the empty streets in the middle of the night was frightening. I told myself off in my head for putting myself in this situation.

Finally, I turn the corner and there was my hotel, Hotel Neptuno, I was so relieved.

#Note to self and to others

If your thinking about travelling solo I recommend you totally avoid arriving to your destination late at night. Spend that little extra and get a decent flight time, your more important than saving that extra Β£10/Β£20

Arriving late also doesn’t give you the opportunity to have a walk around your hotel and it’s surrounding area. Doing this helps to make you feel comfortable during that apprehensive first night.

Malta Part 2: The First Solo Trip

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Here is the second part of my amazing trip to the incredibly amazing Malta.

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Day 5: Having done some research, my destination for today is the island Gozo the second largest island of Maltese archipelago. There are excursion trips available but, I like the idea of making it cheaper whilst also having the adventure of making my own way.

Before setting off on my journey I’m ravenous however, I want to try a new place to eat. Directly across the road from the hotel there’s a place called Jesters bar. On arrival I’m greeted by the owner Manuel then his wife Lillian moments later. They were a very lovely couple and were very welcoming towards me. After speaking for a while they recommended a visit to Mdina, the old capital of Malta. As today was already planned I thought it would be a good idea for tomorrow’s day trip.

If I’m completely honest, can’t remember what I ordered! β€œBecause” from here onwards I returned on several occasions. But I remember how delicious and incredibly cheap everything was! Breakfast was less than €6 including my daily coffee, all the main meals were very cheap as well as desserts. Their local spirits were only €2 each! It was definitely a great decision coming here.

So, its time to leave. Manuel and Lillian advise me on what buses to get to Gozo ferry terminal and wish me well.

It’s another pleasing €1.50 bus fare! The bus journey was pleasant, going through little towns and villages, then in-between we would get views of the exquisite coastlines. This was the moment I realised just how beautiful Malta really was, it was stunning! As the bus got closer to Gozo ferry terminal the villages and towns disappeared then it was just huge bodies of water!

Outside the terminal are men selling boat trips to Gozo and Comino for €40. At this point, not really sure, I decide to just go with the original plan and think about the boat trip on the other side.

Inside the building there’s a reception desk, I go to purchase a ticket. The lady informs me the tickets are purchased on returning back.

Having never been on a ferry I’m super excited! But, we have 25-minutes until boarding time so, I grab a coffee, sit outside and try to wait patiently.

The view sat outside the ferry terminal

The ferry finally arrives, we all set off to the ferry entrance up a big slop and board. It was mesmerizing just how big this thing was! So excited! I couldn’t even choose where to sit! Eventually sitting outside downstairs to capture the views of the deep blue sea. It was breath taking except, after 15-minutes my hands and feet were numb because of how cold it was out at sea. Still, I stayed put as it was too beautiful to miss.

GOZO

After 25-minutes we arrive at Gozo port. Once off the ferry people start going in different directions, some are buying boat trips, others are getting on buses and I’m stood with no plan from here whatsoever.

There’s a bus ready to leave to Victoria Bay, with no other plans other than getting to Gozo, I get on it. The bus was probably about an hour drive, it felt forever getting to Victoria Bay but, it was nice to see more of Malta. The bus went through the countryside and its little villages and tiny streets. All the local residents were getting on and off with their groceries. I thoroughly enjoyed this as it was something not to be experienced on a hop on and off bus.

VICTORIA

We arrive at Victoria Bay it’s around 1.45pm and all I can think about is food. So hungry I don’t take in the name of the place, it was an old pub. The food was dirt cheap! A starter, main course with a glass of wine and bottled water was all under €15.

After coming out of the pub I Notice a narrow hidden street behind a market stall, I curiously head towards it, it leads me here!

A cute little residential area with religious statues carved into corners, little shops and a restaurant hidden away.

So, after walking round here and beyond, its now gone 4pm. Noticing a number of tourists walking from the same direction, I’m curious to see what’s beyond there. As I proceed and continue to walk I notice steep hills and at the top is the Cittadella (Citadel)

The Cittadella

The Cittadella, also known as the Castillo of Victoria has been home to Gozo since the Bronze Age. It consists of churches, historical buildings including the Cathedral Of The Assumption.

So I make it up the steep hills! No wonder people have hiking sticks!

It was certainly one of the most prominent sites in Gozo it was filled with history, well-preserved winding streets, incredible church as well as others, museums, an old prison and several cafes inside the walls it was like an open air museum! I didn’t pay to go and see inside anything, it felt a shame to rush around as time was getting on. It was one of those places where you needed a good few hours to explore and take everything in. I was thinking of coming back with more time. Nonetheless, just walking around the walls was absolutely stunning, the views overlooking Gozo was phenomenal! Didn’t get any pictures as my battery died! Don’t you just hate it when that happens!

Photography by Ruben Farrugia

Cathedral Of The Assumption

Photography By Ruben Farrugia

The journey home was a little hectic after waiting for around 30minutes for a bus! Once at the ferry terminal there was an enormous queue to pay for tickets. It was quite a wait, even longer as people rudely pushed in the queue. The ferry only cost €4.65 return!

Stood all the way through the ferry journey, then all through the bus journey. I was so relieved to get off the bus when it arrived back at st pauls Bay.

I return back to Jesters bar to have dinner and a few drinks whilst speaking to Manuel and Lillian. Afterwards return to the hotel, watch the Elvis impersonator for a short while before returning to my hotel room.

Day 6: It’s 10.30am I’ve had my breakfast at Jesters now I’m making my way to Mdina.

Mdina And Rabat

Mdina is the old capital of Malta also known as The Silent City. Mdina is a small town, rich with history, surrounded by tall bastion fortifications and is filled with centuries old buildings. Rabat is the village that is neighbour to Mdina, its much quieter and has a more rural feel to it. It has a few museums around but, also has its forest green areas.

Mdina was out of this world! It was most definitely one of my best experiences.

with its horses and carriages, narrow streets, alley ways, stone slabs and old architecture styles. It was definitely like stepping into a time machine that takes you to a medieval century.

The market that comes to the town every Saturday

The place is filled with individual museums, cathedrals and points of interest.

St. Paul’s Cathedral
Inside The Church of Annunciation

It was truley a fascinating place with so much to explore.

Spending so much time in Mdina left very little time to cross over to Rabat. Although, I did eat in Rabat at a place called Chalk Cafe Bar, a cute cafe with all fresh and home made food. Although, managing to have a little wonder around it was not as much as I would have liked. The time seemed to pass so quickly it was around 5.30pm, I was ready to leave.

Day 7: Today is my last full day here in Malta, my flight leaves early around 9am which means it’s an early get up. With this in mind I decide to stay more local and take a trip to sliema as it’s only a 25-minute bus ride.

Sliema

Sliema used to be a fishing village, the present day it is home to thousands of residents. It is known for being the home of many British inhabitants.

It has a front coastal line and feels quite busy with local Shops, pubs, restaurants, hotels and apartments it feels more like a holiday destination. It’s definetly worlds apart from Mdina and Rabat with a most definite 21st century feel to it. It’s also close to St. Julians which is known for it’s nightlife area know as paceville.

Although, it wasn’t to warm my plan today was to sit or walk along the coastline and to have a walk around sliema.

After sitting and walking along the coastline, had a little wonder around the neighbourhoods before looking in some shops and grabing a coffee.

How beautiful is this view!

The rest of my day was spent back at the hotel using the gym, relaxing in the pool before having to pack my stuff ready for my early flight home.

So, that was it! That was the end of my holiday. That long fear of travelling alone had been conquered! I can not even describe how empowered and independent I felt whilst on my journey back home. I kept feeling myself smiling because, I knew nothing was going to stop me now.

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚