Tarragona - The essence of the Mediterranean

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2012

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Camping La Llosa Chambrils

Flag of Spain  , Catalonia,
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tarragona- population 134,300 approx
Tarragona is Barcelona's senior in Roman times and a lesser medieval city. The city has some of Catalonia's finest Roman ruins, which we visited today. Also a magnificent Medieval Cathedral. Tarragona is a very attractive old town on the Mediterranean Coast and as you have probably guessed by now , impressed us as well.
Decided to catch the bus to the city,mainly because you see a lot more of the area than by train. Walked to the bus stop which is not very hard as it is all along the beach front and the weather was warm, even that early in the morning. Went as far as the bus station which is on the Placa Imperial Tarraco, mainly because that was as far as the bus went. Map in hand we proceeded to walk to the various sights.We did not walk through the newer part of town as it was  much more interesting taking the back streets. Our first stop was the Carhedral de Tarragona, build in the 12th century. A very interesting sight to visit, especially the cloister area, that was so opulant and rich with decorations and statues. We only had limited entry to the main Cathedral due to restoration work being done ,and did not see very much of it, however some of the smaller chapels displayed some fantastic tapestries and paintings.  Next mission, to walk to the Roman Circus Praetorium, dating back to 1st century AD. The Circus was mainly used for chariot races. It was build at the end of the 1st century and was probably used up untill the 4th century. Since than it has gone through many changes and used for all sorts of things. Towards 1822 reconstructions were made to change it into a prison and was used for this purpose until 1953. The area around all this is still visible as it was in the Roman days and a delight to see. A lot of housing has been build over the area but I bet a whole big Roman city can be found underneath it all. You have to use your imagination instead, which is not very difficult, and see it all in front of you. We climbed the steps to the top of the tower ( oh so many many steps ) and were pleasantly surprised at the views from there. It gave us a great view of the Amphitheatre just across the road and I must say kept in it's original findings as much as possible. Also the ocean is across the road as well and of course a birds eye view of the city in all its glory. Stayed up there a while because it was just so nice to be there. Stu we wished you were here ,as you would have loved it, your archaeological knowledge would have kicked in and you probably would have been able to see a lot more in it  than we did.
Coffe break next because we had been walking around for 3 hours and needed a bit of a rest. It was nice to sit there amongst all that history and of course the city itself. It's unique and very pleasant to the eye.
Colonial forum next ( this was also on our way back to the bus station ). You can find all sorts of ruins there. Preserved in situ are seven column bases. Also remains of the basilica, remains of a square and an island of houses surrounded by streets, one of which is stoned. It is funny to walk through all this because all around you are modern apartments and office blocks.
All these Roman Ruins we saw today are very well displayed to the general public. They charge such a minute amount of money for entrance fees as well. Being seniors we were charged 1.60 euros each to enter any of these sights, you wonder if that would cover any preservation costs at all.
We walked back to the bus station, finding it with no problems and were lucky enough to hop on the bus straight away.
Tarragona is a great place to visit and is small enough to get around in with ease, not too busy with tourists yet, but that will change in a month or so.
We had a great day today, pleased with everything we saw and the ease of getting around.
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Ingrid Nichols on

That's it.... I'm winning lotto on saturday so I can do a 6 month trek. It's decided xoxo

rickandwill on

See you here then, we can hang around till Saturday.

Stu on

Do loves me a bit of Roman ruin I does

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