A Day In Tarragona/ Catalonia, Spain

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Tarragona is a port city situated in north-east Spain on the Costa Daurada Although, it only sits 100 km to the south of Barcelona, It is by far less known. It’s full of well-preserved medieval and roman charms and is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

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The majority of tourists visit Barcelona and the more popular locations such as Madrid, Seville and Valencia. It’s surprising how many people have never heard of Tarragona here in the UK, especially since it is located only 11 km from Salou, the hugely popular British tourist destination.

Now I have to admit, I had never heard of it myself until I was searching for a city to visit on my 6th day in Salou. I come across it on trip advisor and was completely blown away by the pictures and reviews.

That morning I made the 15- 20 minute journey by bus for €2.50, I was so delighted I did! It was full of wonders!

I got off the bus at Tarragona bus station, google maps directed me to turn right and to walk straight ahead.

After 5 minutes of walking, I arrived at the beautiful port.

I was then lead slightly to the left off the port to this bridge.

I could see the views of the Amphitheatre as I walked further along the bridge.

Tarragona Roman Amphitheatre

This Roman amphitheatre built approximately in the 2nd century sits on the coast just of Rambla Nova. Initially, it was used for battles of the gladiators and fighting and hunting of animals. Later on, it was used for undertaking executions of people who were sentenced to death.

Circ Roma

Directly across the road from the amphitheatre was the Circ Roma (Roman Circus). Circ Roma is the underground open-air ruins of the 1st century where horses and buggy racing took place.

Admission is €3.30, free for children under the age of 16 years. €1.70 for groups of over 25 people, pensioners, students and one parent families.

Inside is spectacular! Full of dark underground tunnels. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked but here are a few.

I made my way up the building, stopping to admire the contents inside until I reached the rooftop. The views from the rooftop were stunning!!

A 10-minute walk from here is the Roman walls and the cathedral.

The Cathedral

The cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church from the late 11th century and was declared a monument in 1905. The architecture inside is truly astonishing!

More wandering

I found a little people square surrounded by shops and cafes where I stopped to refuel. It was the perfect place for people watching and taking in a bit of the culture, as many locals seemed to be here with their dogs.

After here I wandered into the centre and browsed through the shops, whilst also wandering down the side streets.

I was entirely fascinated by this little cosmopolitan city, it completely took me by surprise! There were lots of little hidden gems everywhere! I could go on and on but then this blog would be far too long. I would highly recommend visiting this place, it’s especially worth visiting if you’re in Salou, Barcelona or any of the other nearby destinations.

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

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 £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!! 😂 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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*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 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 £10/£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.

5 Essential Things For Your Malta Trip

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Should you find yourself booking a trip to Malta. Here are a few items I would highly recommend and will most definitely come in handy whilst on your trip.

*Disclosure: This post contains 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.*


1: A Cooler Backpack


I’m the proud owner of a cooler backpack and whilst out and about in Malta it saved me a good few euros. In my Malta blog you will find I rarely stop for food and I don’t eat out too much. This is because I packed and stored my food and drinks in my backpack. The backpack kept everything fresh and cool and was a convenient way to store everything in one place. My hotel was nice enough to store my Ice pack for me as my board was room only.

2: Water Bottle

These cool foldable water bottles are not only space efficient if needed to be but, funny unique and have a choice of five different colours. They also have a leak proof valve and are perfect for both hot and cold drinks. This is probably one of my best buys for travel and convenience.

3: Microfibre Lightweight Towel

As mentioned in my blog, Malta is surrounded by beautiful beaches and water. Whilst on your travels you may decide to take a dip or take a rest on one of the beaches, either way you can be prepared with one of these microfibre towels. Towels usually take up a lot of space but, these towels are space efficient and are very lightweight you wouldn’t even feel as if you are carrying a towel around.

4: Sensible lightweight footwear

Forget about bringing those sandals here! I doubt you’ll be wearing them much. Malta is a place to be explored so, if you want to get the most out of your trip, you will be venturing out and doing a lot of walking. Sensible lightweight footwear which still have a summer holiday look are definitely the best option. The beaches are also quite stoney too so, sensible footwear is a must.

5: Phone charger on the go

Don’t be like me and run out of phone battery. Especially when your in one of the most prominent places in the world! When I visited the Citadel my battery went, and I was not able to capture any pictures. Malta is definitely a place you really would not want this to happen. Take a charger on the go to avoid this or you will be extremely disappointed. I now own one of these chargers. Their small compact, easy to carry and work just a good as the more expensive ones.

5 Tips For Visiting Malta

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My trip to Malta was booked with absolutely no research whatsoever. It was booked solely on the cheap price at the time of booking.

*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.*

Everything was learnt and discovered whilst there. This meant I didn’t benefit from some of them as it was too late during the trip. Although, my trip was incredible! These tips would have further improved the quality of my trip.

So, hopefully these tips enhance your trip.

1: Use Public Transport

In my opinion, public transport is the best way to move around Malta. It’s the cheapest way to travel and the best way if you want to explore in your own time. I also believe it’s possibly the safest way to travel around. My experience of the driving in Malta was, it was kinda crazy! Bus drivers are familiar with these driving conditions. Your best bet is, let them do it whilst you enjoy the scenery

Single journey tickets cost €1.50 in the winter, €2 in Summer and €3 if you’re travelling at night. These tickets can take you to anywhere you want and have a 2-hour expiry time. E.g if you travel somewhere local and spend half an hour there, you can reuse your ticket. All these bus tickets can be purchased from the bus driver.

In addition to this, they have Tallinja Cards available

Explore 7 day Adult card €21

Explore 7 day children card €15

12 single day journeys €15

For more information on Tallinja Cards click here

Using the ferries are also a convenient and cheap way to travel. For example, my trip to Gozo by ferry cost €4.65 return.

For children aged 3yrs to 12yrs this would cost €1.15

children under 3 are free

2: Be Prepared When Taking Journeys

Although, I recommend using public transport, bear in mind public transport here is not always efficient. Buses are often late, especially on the popular tourist destination routes. On these routes the buses are often overcrowded. People will hustle their way on to secure a seat or avoid having to wait for the next one.

Avoid travelling through rush hour. Travelling through rush hour in Malta is absolutely horrendous! Many locals avoid using public transport so, there are too many cars on the island. With Malta being such a small place, the roads are heavily congested during this time.

3: Avoid Summer

My trip was booked at the end of February so it was not too hectic. However, when visiting tourist attractions such as Valletta and Gozo travelling back was rather hectic. The buses and ferry were crowded and quite stressful at times, having knowledge of this would have prepared me better for the journeys and made it less stressful. Whilst thinking about this at the time, I did wonder how frantic this could get during peak season.

“When’, speaking with locals they suggested it’s best enjoyed visiting October to April. So, presumably I visited in one of the best months to visit.

They also mention how in Summer temperatures soar, the nights are humid, the beaches are too full, restaurants are full and public transport is a nightmare and with it being such a small place it gets too overcrowded.

4: Spend more than one day in Gozo

Don’t be like me and make the mistake of going for half a day. Gozo is only a third of the size of Malta but it has so much to offer. You will only get to see the main sites and miss many other things. For instance, I arrived in the afternoon so, didn’t get round to many things including the Gozo Coastline. If you can’t spend more than a day here, I highly recommend you leave super early and arrive in the morning to benefit more.

5: Book in Advance

For some of the most popular sites you will need to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Example, I wanted to visit the Hypogeum however, it was fully booked for a good few months down the line.

Malta is such a unique place packed with gems, It’s definitely a shame to miss some of the main attractions. Next time I plan to travel here I’m definitely going to be more organised and plan an itinerary.

Here is website Get Your Guide where you can book excursions or get ideas to create your own itinerary.

Malta Part 1: The First Solo Trip

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Malta is a small island but, certainly has a lot to offer. The beautiful beaches, chic harbour towns, and centuries-old sites are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. The best of these sites can be found in Valletta, the UNESCO-listed capital, which was the European Capital of Culture in 2018. It’s also an up and coming new clubbing scene, and has many carnivals and festivals throughout the year.

*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.*

Thinking of visiting Malta? Here’s how I spent my 7 days in this beautiful captivating country.

Day 1: Arrived at Malta International Airport at around 16.40pm. The weeks and day’s leading up to the trip were so exciting but I felt apprehensive, the thought of being alone started to fill me with worry. Panicked, flustered and overwhelmed I manage to find the holiday taxis desk to hand in my documents. Half an hour later I’m greeted by a friendly Scottish man who said he was taking me to San Pawl. Now, before I continue, I have a confession to make. Malta is one of those places I’d heard of, but knew very little about. It was a cheap getaway booked with no research so, was unaware most people spoke English. Hearing this familiar accent helped me to relax a little.

The journey was pleasant and took around 20 minutes. The Taxi driver was lovely, he gave me a bit of insight into Malta along with some advice. I remember taking in the surroundings and thinking it was nothing like expected. In fact, I wasn’t really all that keen.

All checked in at my £13 a night room at the San Pawl Hotel, found as a package holiday at Teletext.com and cost £219

San Pawl Hotel is a 3-star hotel situated in the heart of St. Paul’s Bay, about a 10 to 15 minute walk from Malta National Aquarium. It has great access to public transport with a bus stop less than a 2minute walk, the hotel is situated just 500metres away from a variety of shops, bars and restaurants, so there’s plenty of entertainment and options available.

After taking a shower it was now around 18.30pm and still relatively light outside. Still feeling a little reluctant but, decided to take a walk outside to get my bearings and a feel for the place.

Found a restaurant called Pash Cafe just a 2-minutes from the hotel. It’s a healthy food restaurant with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free choices.

My meal choice was the €7 Chlorella pesto dish along with two cans of Cisk a Maltese beer at €1.50 each. Didn’t think much of this dish but the beer was very nice indeed (I return to this restaurant during my stay with a much better review).

One of my biggest dreaded thoughts before coming on this trip was the awkwardness of eating alone. However, the restaurant wasn’t too busy so it was perfectly fine.

At the time of leaving Pash it was almost 8pm and dark out. I decided to quickly go to the supermarket across the road before heading back to the hotel.

It was 8.30pm, feeling exhausted from travelling, I got ready for bed. Didn’t go to sleep right away as a number of things were running through my head. What if someone gets in my room? What will be my escape route? What can I hit them with? I had to calm myself down and convince myself everything was fine. Eventually, I fell asleep.

Day 2: Woke up early around 7am took a shower.

For some reason my internet data roaming would not work here (I needed to change my data APN setting but didn’t know at the time). The hotel unfortunately did not have free Wi-Fi, they offer pay Wi-Fi cards which can get a little expensive.

With no way of researching where to go and how to get there I went down to reception for advice. The manager at reception was very helpful and recommend a few places to visit with leaflets and prices.

One of the places I wanted to visit was Valletta the capital of Malta. There was a hop on and off bus which I believe cost between €15/€20 but, I preferred to explore by myself, plus it was cheaper. After asking questions and finding out where the public bus stop was, I headed to pash where I had been the night before for breakfast.

I opted for the vegetarian full cooked breakfast which was €7.50 and a coffee around €1.50. This time the food was delicious! The portion was huge, it was filling and very satisfying. Maybe be slightly overpriced for breakfast but I’d say it was worth it, nevertheless, they had free Wi-Fi so was able to check bus information.

The bus stop was directly outside Pash. It was a 15- minute wait for the bus and a surprising €1.50 for a half an hour journey. Never known of such cheap bus fares! I was happy to get exploring to get a better feel for the place as St Paul’s Bay didn’t look like the expected holiday destination. It looked fine……but not special in the slightest. If anything, it felt very residential, full of apartments, kiosks, bars, restaurants and a busy road with the oldest cars ever! It was a little disappointing, never imagined I would grow to love the place.

Valletta

Valletta was full of rich sites to see, intriguing historical buildings around every corner, statues, niches and fountains. Narrow side streets were full of tiny quirky shops and cafe’s, while the main streets had larger international shops for fashion, jewellery and music etc.

The architecture through the city was just captivating, I kept finding myself wondering down the side back streets.

Valletta is a remarkably romantic city, characterized by its bright coloured balconies and religious statues around the city and carved into street corners.

After getting caught up and lost in this beautiful city, it was now 14.30pm and hunger was kicking in. I found a cute little cafe called Dolci peccati. It’s a friendly cafe with good service and reasonable prices, €4.50 for a toastie and coffee.

After fueling myself, I’m ready for more exploring. I walk and walk then start to see blue water in the distance. I’m intrigued and can’t wait to get there!

I suddenly get to this place. It was absolutely stunning! In fact, the pictures do it no justice

I stood here for a good while admiring these beautiful views

After walking around some more and doing a spot of shopping it was now 5pm. A little exhausted I head towards the bus station which was packed with tourists. When the bus come it was a hustle and bustle job of getting on it. Everybody barged their way through, it was as if there was never going to be another bus ever again. I would learn as time goes by, buses were mostly always full and people did this to make sure they got on.

The journey was much longer coming back then it was going, it was a busy bus route and it was rush hour.

Returned to St Paul’s Bay within the hour around 6pm. Tired, exhausted and not having the energy to figure out where to eat. I went to a pastizzi place and got a Maltese pea pastizzi (I’m soon addicted to these) their 30c each! So cheap! Then I got a salad and a bottle of wine from the supermarket down the street. The wine was a Maltese wine recommend to me by the shop assistant, it cost €3 and was a good quality bottle.

Back at the hotel I showered then caught up with family whilst watching Netflix.

My night was done, it was time to sleep and with no fears of the night before, I fall asleep.

Day 3: I did nothing! Seriously! One of the best things about travelling solo, you can do whatever you want with no one to please.

To be honest, it was throwing it down outside, couldn’t be bothered and Still exhausted from yesterday I decided to have a Netflix day. Also, caught up with family/friends and just lazed around all day. The only time I left my room was to order food at the bar in the restaurant. It was a nice day doing absolutely nothing.

Day 4: It’s 7am and it’s raining! Nonetheless, I get up to take a quick shower and go down to the hotel restaurant. I was dreading going in case it was busy but, to my surprise there were very few people and a couple were eating alone. The breakfast was buffet style with a good variety of hot food, cereals, fresh fruit, fruit juices and hot drinks costing €7.50. It wasn’t too bad for a buffet breakfast, especially since I left with fresh fruit to put in my room for later.

It’s now 9.30am the weather was shocking absolutely throwing it down! It was going to rain for most of the day therefore, thought it would be a good day to explore the local area of St Paul’s Bay.

An impromptu walking tour brought me to Gillieru Harbour (In St Paul’s Bay). It’s one of the most popular tourist spots visited by thousands a year.

St Paul’s Shipwrecked Church

Walking along the long stretch of water in the rain with hardly anyone around was quite enjoyable! There were many bars, restaurants on the other side of the beach, I hadn’t realised all this was behind San Pawl Hotel. I continue on and arrive in Bugibba a village neighboring St Pauls Bay sharing the same promenade. Although Bugibba didn’t have anything to offer in terms of culture and history, it looked more like the holiday destination for tourists. With its sandy beach, tourist shops, bars, restaurants and well -connected bus routes it definitely felt like a holiday destination. So it was possible to combine my holiday with holiday comfort, exploring and staying amongst the locals in the residential area and get the best of both worlds.

Its now 3.45pm back at the hotel room I’m, exhausted! But chuffed with my adventurous and courageous walk in a foreign country by myself. At this point I’m really beginning to feel comfortable being here

After waking from a much need nap that happened to turn in to two and a half hours. Feeling quite ravenous yet still nervous to eat in the hotel restaurant it’s another trip to the pastizzi place for the pea pastizzi (its one of my five a day right!). It was accompanied by another salad from the supermarket and the fruit snook out from the restaurant this morning.

It’s now around 6pm the indoor pool closes at 8pm I decided to go tale a dip. On arriving there were still a few people around. It felt a little strange walking in alone, especially as they all watched me enter through the doors. Although wanting to leave, I carry on with the plan to avoid looking weird, find a corner to change and get in the pool. It felt rather strange just standing in the pool not being able to swim so, I decided to try to learn how to tread water. It went terribly wrong! But this was a blessing as it broke the ice with the four remaining people. They were all laughing at me as I screamed and laughed! I just had to have an embarrassing moment or it wouldn’t have been me! After this we all got talking, exchanging stories and places we had been to.

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.

*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.*

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! “Because” 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 🙂