Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spanish Holiday: Odds and Ends

Catalona Province
This year we stayed on the Costa Brava, NE of Barcelona, in Pineda de Mar at the Hotel Stella and Spa.  We would recommend this hotel to anyone.  Billed as 3 Star Plus, it is certainly plus.  It even has a Library/Reading/Music room. Great food, great service, great everything in our books. It is five minutes from the beach and five minutes from the railway station.

The mattress was quite firm 
Our plan was to take the train to Barcelona and see the "City of Goudi" (more on him later).  It is an hour and ten minutes from Pineda de Mar to downtown Barcelona.  (It is also an hour and ten minutes back again IF you catch the right train, otherwise it takes 5 hours to sort out the mess.  Don't ask.  At least I know Tanya really loves me.) We thought we could manage one day in Barcelona, one day off, etc.

The beach is reasonably fine sand.  It was warm enough to sunbathe.  The waves washed into shore constantly, day and night.  With shoes off, I approached the edge of the waves to get my feet wet and test the temperature.  The waves teased me closer and closer to the waters edge.  Then the next wave came in crotch deep, of course.  If I wanted to swim in water that cold, I could have stayed in Saskatchewan.
Kids were braver than adults in the cold water
It rained almost every day, usually late in the afternoon.  It had been sunny and warm until we arrived according to our tour guide. So we would go to the beach and keep one eye on the clouds.  One day I came back to the room first and Tanya stayed on the beach.  A couple hours later it started to pour rain.  The skies opened; it rained cats and dogs.  For a while I was afraid it would start hailing taxis and fellows well met. Fortunately Tanya had returned to the hotel shortly after me and was downstairs (free WiFi in bar and lounge) checking her smart phone.

The food and service were wonderful.  Every day was a different supper 'theme'. On Mediterranean Night, all the serving staff wore sailor hats and tops.  Tanya thought this young man was quite dashing so got a picture of him with me.  There was a young woman, long black curly hair, dark flashing eyes, filled out fit her sailor top to perfection.  Couldn't have been cuter or more Spanish if she tried.  Do you think Tanya would take her picture with me.  No way.  Wives are funny like that.

One evening an older chap set his plate down at the table next to us and sat down heavily heaving a great sigh.  I said, "You sat down like a man glad to get a load off your feet".  He replied, "Well, you see, mate, the problem is I only have one leg". "Oh, OK, then.  . . . a load off your foot". Not only one leg but he needs dialysis every two days, too.  He has holidayed in Cyprus, but had to pay for dialysis, while in Spain it is covered as both countries are part of the EU so he goes to Spain twice a year. Tanya said he was so brave and I agree.

Do people with flat brimmed baseball caps drive you bonkers like they do me?  I was in Cathedral Square in Barcelona and a family of three came by.  the little girl, maybe 10 or 12, had a baseball cap with a large, absolutely flat brim.  To myself, "Please, kid, roll your brim.  You look like a Japanese tourist".  Of course, they WERE Japanese tourists.

The shopping isn't as good in Pineda de Mar as it was last rear in Salou but it was adequate and there was Barcelona too. We managed to do sufficient to boost the Spanish economy 3 points.

Tanya of course took lots of pictures of flowers and was so tempted to smuggle some home from a greenhouse retailer but wisely chickened out.


  1. Sounds like you had a good tim.! Wonderful!

  2. Great pics, sounds like a great time.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  3. great pictures and sound like great fun.

  4. The beach looks wonderful (sans cold, soggy crotch)! And I have to agree with Tanya's photographic taste - sorry about that. ;-) What kind of tree is that in the last pic?


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