This morning we woke up early to catch a glimpse of one of the most widely talked about attractions at this location.. Sunrise on the Mediterranean Sea. I can’t say I was quite as enthusiastic about it as I was yesterday when we discussed it. 6:30 AM with a warm bed tends to change one’s mind. But Jim said “let’s do it!”, so we did.
We threw on some layers and grabbed the car keys and headed out the door. 40 minutes later we were just north of the pier and walking on a soft white sand beach. It was cold. It was quiet. And it was beautiful.
There were a few other soft souls there with us on that beach witnessing the dawn of yet another day. Another gift from the universe for us to cherish and not waste. Another day to love and live and be kind to one another, and ourselves, and the Earth. It’s hard to say at sunrise where the day might lead sometimes but on this day, our path was pretty set.
After navigating our way through crazy Wednesday morning rush traffic back to the apartment, (which, by the way we are getting really good at) we only had enough time to cook a quick breakfast and pack up our things. We were Anxious to get on the road, and dive back up the east coast to Barcelona. We May have had a little too much to drink last night but still had enough wit about us to map out several strategic stops along the way.
Well, we knew for sure we wanted to stop back by Tarragona to see the remains/ruins of a Roman Aquaduct. Our detour into the city center first was dictated by hunger and we wasted a lot of time parking and walking and looking for a good bite. It’s the first time this trip we didn’t necessarily agree on what to do. I thought any street cafe would be fine but we walked and walked and apparently nothing looked good to Jim. We landed on a corner cafe that had seats outside in the sun and was open to a larger plaza behind. It was sub-par. Ajacent to that was another restaurant with tables outside that looked to be serving full plates and not just tapas.
I kept looking longingly at those plates being served as I picked at the chips and guacamole, smoked salmon, and green olives in front of us. The best entertainment was tossing fragments of corn chips out onto the sidewalk and watching the pigeons fight for them. La Fresca del Forum was the name of the cafe. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad and had I more red wine and time to waste, spending an afternoon that way would be just fine by me. But, as it was, we had an aquiduct to see and a hard-deadline in Barcelona later in the afternoon.
We wound our way back down skinny brick and stone streets to where the city below opened up and we found the car. Navigating around here isn’t too difficult. They drive on the right side just like in the US, thank the Universe, and the map app has been pretty spot on. The two worst things so far have been the lack of street signs and roundabouts with no lane designations and that have too many enterances and exits. It’s chaos!
The Aquaduct was cool. There’s a sign on top warning to not walk on it which I’m sure included words that translate to “mortal danger”, but Jim walked out on it anyway. I did for about 15 feet and then decided to go back and just take his pic instead. Cool pics. Had we more time, it would have been a great area for a hike. Again, the 6:30 business dinner Jim was scheduled for was fast approaching and so we were took our leave for the highway again. Back up the coast of the sea, out my window this time as we were headed north.
As we came near the big city (over twice the size of Valencia) the rain began to pour and traffic became dense. We are staying at the Hilton right on the coastline compliments of the work engagement we are here for. Checking in at the lobby there were women seated in chairs behind us speaking English. It’s the first time since Saturday we’ve even overheard anyone that might be from the US. Everywhere we have gone we’ve eavesdropped on Italians and Germans and people from France. Lots of tourists in Spain, but were definitely in the minority. Here at the Hilton, everything is in English. Much less of an authentic experience than we have had at our little Airbnb the last three nights. It will be a good contrast, I think.
Perhaps I will order room service and just enjoy the view out this 16 story window while Jim is at his dinner. I’ll have plenty of time tomorrow to explore solo while he is in meetings all day. But first, a nice long hot shower to cleanse away the road-travel grime…
Cheers to another Sunrise -or- Sunset, Whichver You Prefer!