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Published: April 9th 2014
Shame about the cranes!
When the weather forecast says sun, sun and more sun, it's always a shame to stay at home. Instead we headed down the coast to Sitges, which is just the other side of Barcelona for us. Instead of taking the AP-7 motorway, we decided to go along the C-32 and B-20 through the outskirts of Barcelona. That was the first time we had done that, and it wasn't really worth the saving of about 10km in terms of distance driven because of the increased traffic.
Arriving in Sitges was a little frustrating. We drove around looking for our hotel but we couldn't find a way there. On the website it clearly says, under otro servicos
, PARKING, therefore we presumed we would be able to park at the hotel. In the end we used a car park which cost a whopping €1.70 for the half an hour it took to wander down to the hotel with our bags, check in, and dash back again. It turns out there is NO car park but they have a special arrangement with a nearby car park (not the one we were in!) so you can park overnight for a discounted price of €16. Ouch!
We drove out of our car park then found an area on the edge of town where we could park for free. It was about 15-20 minutes walk but hey, it's good exercise!
Anyway, the hotel was really nice and at €54 a night including breakfast we thought it was a bargain because it is right in the heart of the town. A few weeks later and we might even have been able to use the swimming pool but despite the sunshine the temperatures haven't yet reached those dizzy heights. If we go back, we will head to the Hotel Medium Sitges Park
It's quite easy to get lost wandering around the maze of streets in Sitges. You soon get your bearings though and learn which alleys lead towards the sea and which don't. Emerging from a narrow lane onto the seafront road is a real pleasure. The question then is, do I turn left or turn right?
Turning right you can walk for the best part of an hour alongside the beach, pausing to watch the occasional surfer trying to ride the waves. As we went that way there was an art festival under way beneath a
huge white tent. There are clearly some very talented artists in the area. We also came across a guided tour of roller bladers. Quite a sight really! The architecture is quite grand along that way too. you wonder who lives in a house like that.
Turn to the left and you will see the church of Saint Bartholomew. Below it stands a statue of a mermaid complete with a shiny hand which has been rubbed for good fortune over the years. A little further along is the gleaming whitewashed Palacio de Maricel, a museum which is due to reopen any time now. The path goes along the coast, past the nudist beach (if it's not warm enough for a swim in the hotel pool, how can it be warm enough for that?!!) and down towards the port. Look carefully and you'll see a military pillbox on the rocks which was used during the civil war to defend the shores of Catalonia. We also had a stroll around the port. They were lifting a boat out of the water to clean its underside which was interesting to see. It's quite a tricky operation.
While we were in town there
was a tapas trail promotion going on. We tried the bar next to the hotel and it was really nice. Our tapas was a piece of toast with guacamole spread on top, an anchovy was laid on the sauce and an edible flower beautifully positioned for decoration. With a small beer the price was €2.50 each. To be eligible to vote for your favourite you had to collect 4 stamps and that was going to work out a bit pricey as well as spoil our evening meals so we didn't participate. it's a shame because there were some intriguing tapas on offer such as one which looked like a cappuccino and another like a chocolate ice lolly.
There are a whole host of restaurants and bars to try in Sitges. Most cuisines of the world are represented by the looks of things. We went Mexican one night (Tex Mex Sitges
) which was excellent. The other night we had a very Catalan menu del día
which was equally delicious. Saturday night was incredibly busy but Sunday night was really quite tranquilo
. No doubt it will be a whole lot busier in the summer and we'll do our best to steer clear.
If you like these photos and would like to see more of Sitges, take a look at our Flickr gallery
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