Monday, September 13, 2010

A Touch Of Spain - Hola

Well despite the intention of staying in Tarrogona for the first night of our holiday we ended up in a small city called Sitges 35 klms Southwest of Barcelona and if you knew how bad I am at map reading you would understand how that came about:! Sitges is  very pretty and within a few minutes of arrival you soon realised that it is shall we say a gay-friendly sort of place:) Saw some amazing sand sculptures though, but my camera was not even unpacked and anyway it was dark. Thanks to good old google I found this great shot of an Indian and Jazz player curtesy of The ones we saw were, crocodiles, Hommer, Snow White, castles and were just amazing pieces of art.

The following day we headed of this time for L'Ametlla de Mer where we had rented a mobile home, settled in and ready for some exploring. Beautiful coastal paths with  mad looking plants and hidden coves where you could swim and had the place all to yourselves ah bliss.

We found a leaflet which was inviting us to explore the "Coves Meravelles" so we had a drive over to Benifallet to discover they were not so marvellous as they were closed and we were really dissapointed , seemingly they date back to the neolithc period. Well had the caves been open we probably would have missed this wonderful place called Tortosa. But if any one has any pictures of the caves I would love to see them.

Tortosa's castle (La Suda) which looks down on the town from its lofty position, dates from the 10th century but incorporates part of a much earlier Roman acropolis. The castle has now been restored and turned into a  'parador' with the most stunning views of the town and the River Ebro.

Tortosa suffered badly during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), when the River Ebro formed the front line between the opposing forces, the town eventually fell to the Nationalist forces in April 1938 after a bloody battle which cost some 35,000 lives.
Tortosa cathedral which dates from 1347 was built on the site of a Moorish mosque built in AD 914, it is mostly of Gothic design but had a Baroque façade added in the 18th century, the stalls in the choir were carved between 1588 and 1593 by Cristobal de Salamanca.

So I was really pleased to have missed the marvelous caves.
The next few days were filled with going to various markets,walking visiting the ports eating and drinking (would be rude not to) really.
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