Summer lasted till October 5th
This year summer lasted till October 5th. This is crazy and let me tell you why.
Each year in September, I tend to refuse to let go of summer. I mean I am the kind of person who insists on the fact that summer is not technically over before September 21st, even though we all know it psychologically ends as soon as September shows up. But this year something else happened. My darling Mina gave me a very special present for my birthday: a trip to Spain planned for the end of September. That's about all I knew by the end of August, no idea what city or even what region we were going to visit.
On September 28th, the day has finally come and we are heading to Paris airport. And just before boarding in the plane, I figured out that our destination was Barcelona (I actually already heard Mina talking about Barcelona a few days ago with a friend so my first thoughts had just been confirmed). As I already knew the city I found this a bit surprising, but was more than happy to go back to this incredible city. But this is not where it ended. As soon as we arrived in Barcelona, we took a train and stopped in a little town one hour from Barcelona: Tarragona, still in Catalonia. I had never heard about this place before (Mina definitely got me) and was pretty curious to discover it.
I have to say if was Fantastic! We had the chance to visit Tarragona (and its masterpiece: the cathedral), spend some time on a few spanish golden beaches, attend the incredible Castell traditional competition, visit the unique and colorful little town of Altafulla! This trip has been like a ray of sunlight to me. And this year thanks to Mina summer ended for me even later, on October 5th, when we got back to Paris full of energy and positive vibes. I am now ready to say goodbye to summer (till next year) and, who knows how long the next one will last :).
In this post you will find a lot of pictures I took during this trip. I really want to share this adventure with you and give you as much as possible of what we could discover there, hoping that it will also help extending your summer.
Chapter I - the streets of Tarragona
Tarragona is a small port city in northeast Spain (in Catalonia) on the Costa Daurada by the Mediterranean Sea. It has a strong roman History and you can actually visit a lot of Roman ruins while exploring the city (the circus, the amphitheater and many other ones). Some parts of the city are quite urban while other parts are picturesque and colorful.
Oh and by the way, the first Diptych shows pictures of Mina, to whom I dedicate all these pictures, in Tarragona.
Chapter II - the Cathedral of Tarragona
Okay, when I was buying the tickets to visit the Cathedral, I wasn't really expecting to be amazed as Tarragona is quite a small town and the Cathedral seems quite sober from outside. But as soon as I went inside, I realized that I was completely wrong. In my opinion, it is definitely the masterpiece of Tarragona. It's full of extremely detailed sculptures, colors, marble and they even have a "Treasure room". And the icing on the cake : an idyllic inner courtyard where you just want to sit under a tree to read a book while listening to the birds and the sound of the fountains.
Chapter III - the golden beach of Tarragona
Well, the name of Tarragona's most famous beach is Platja del Miracle (Miracle beach). It's a long golden sandy beach that is very busy during July and August. But we actually had the chance to share it with very few people as we were there at the end of September.
Chapter IV - the Castell Competition
This part of the trip was absolutely not planned. We happened to be in Tarragona exactly when the biggest Castell competition of the year was taking place in the city Arena. We managed to find places (it's actually very affordable) and even had the chance to get down in the center of the arena in the middle of the competition. The Castells, also called human towers, are part of a tradition that appeared in Valls, next to Tarragona, at the beginning of the 18th century.
This event (between sport and circus) was very impressive to witness and was surrounded by a lot of positive feelings. Even though it was a competition, you could notice that each time a team was starting to build a Castell, people from other team were gathering to help them consolidating the foundation of the tower. And each time a Castell was successfully executed, everybody would celebrate together! Special point for this year: there was even a Chinese team (Els Xiquets de Hangzhou) coming from the city of hangzhou. The people in the arena gave them a warm welcome and the team performed more than great!
Chapter V - the town of Altafulla
Altafulla is 9 minutes from Tarragona by train, or 20 minutes by car. The old quarter is totally intact, colorful and charming.It's definitely worth visiting this little gem (a big thank you to my catalan friend Caterina who advised us to explore Altafulla), just have a look at the pictures!