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Exploring Catalunya: A Beach & Spa Weekend on the Costa Brava

Exploring Catalunya: A Beach & Spa Weekend on the Costa Brava

One of the best weekends I have had in a long time. That is how I would describe my jaunt up the Catalan coast to the beautiful Platja d’Aro.  It was a girly weekend, and all four of us had our own reasons for deserving a break and needing to get away from it all.  It was the middle of May and the weather was starting to warm up, and after some research on booking.com to find a hotel with…

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Exploring Catalunya with Catalunya Wine

Exploring Catalunya with Catalunya Wine

It’s Wine Wednesday here at Tales of Barcelona HQ. That midpoint of the week when the hangover from the previous weekend has finally faded, and thoughts turn back to that sweet nectar we all love.   To be honest, any day with a Y in it is Wine Day for me – but Wednesdays and Fridays most of all. That said, I am rather fussy with my wines, and totally clueless when it comes to selecting wines, as I tend to…

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An Expat in Barcelona: 10 Things I Miss About the UK

An Expat in Barcelona: 10 Things I Miss About the UK

I wasn’t born to live in Britain.  I have always yearned for travel and adventure, for more excitement than the usual kids’ activities of girl guides and piano lessons.  From ice-skating to horse-riding and considering jumping out of a plane at 15 (as I was underage I needed a parent to jump with me, which strangely wasn’t met with enthusiasm from my mum & dad, so I haven’t yet ticked that off the list) I always knew there was more beyond…

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Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

Exploring Catalunya: Roman Ruins in Tarragona

The Romans certainly left their mark on Catalunya; and nowhere more so than in Tarragona, the Roman capital of Catalunya.  Within easy reach of Barcelona, about an hour by train, Tarragona, or Tarraco as it was called then, is well worth a visit.  Smaller & less hectic than the big city, it makes a pleasant day trip or weekend visit. I took the train from Barcelona down to Tarragona, but be careful which train you take.   The high speed Ave…

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Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

Activities in Barcelona: EatWith Marta & Cook Paella

You’ve gawped at Gaudi’s works, peeked in the Picasso Museum & rambled down La Rambla. And now you’re hungry. But perhaps you are hoping for something a little more authentic than the pre-packed, frozen paellas offered in many tourist traps. How about learning to cook paella for yourself, in the home of a local teacher? I am a big fan of EatWith; and a big fan of paella, so I have been waiting for a chance to combine the two,…

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Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

As we usher in a new year, shake off the inevitable hangovers, grimace at our waistlines and look ahead at the year to come, many of us also look back on the previous year.  We assess our achievements, successes, adventures and the missed opportunities.   2014 was my second full year living in Barcelona.  I had some definite highs and some real ‘kick you in the crotch’ lows, all of which I have learned from.  I am older, hopefully wiser (or…

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Exploring Catalunya: Wine Tasting in Penedès

Exploring Catalunya: Wine Tasting in Penedès

Penedès is THE wine region of Cataluyna. Considered one of the best wine producing regions in Spain (after Rioja), Penedès produces a dazzling array of wines and cavas. Torres is the largest & best-known winery in Spain, and from their base in Penedès they export wine such as Viña Sol and Sangre de Toro all over the world. Still a family run business, the company has grown exponentially from its foundation in 1870, to a huge multinational business, and was awarded…

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Ten Simple Pleasures of Travelling

Ten Simple Pleasures of Travelling

There are many simple pleasures in life, that don’t require any technology, hard work or complicated designs.  And for me, most of these can be found through travelling.  I was planning to just do a top 5 list but there are just too many pleasurable aspects to travel!  The sheer joy of discovering something new, leaving your daily grind back in the city, and breathing fresh air somewhere else….. just get me on a plane! 1. The moment you get…

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Exploring Catalunya: A Waterfall Adventure in Campdevánol

Exploring Catalunya: A Waterfall Adventure in Campdevánol

If you follow my blog regularly you will know I am a fan of social networks as a way of meeting people and doing things I might not normally do.  So, feeling a little restless and in need of adventure I decided to get back on the Meetup wagon as I hadn’t done anything with them for a while.  After browsing the meetups on offer I selected one from the aptly named Enjoy Barcelona & Catalonia group.  The group’s organiser…

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Lucky 7? My Tips for Flying with Ryanair (& other Low Cost Airlines)

Lucky 7? My Tips for Flying with Ryanair (& other Low Cost Airlines)

Cheap with no frills, these so-called “low cost” airlines are usually adequate as long as you don’t need anything else from them, but are to be approached with caution, and typically, low expectations.  I don’t like flying with Ryanair et al, but I continue to do so simply because they are cheaper, and still get you from A to B (even if B is slightly further away from where you actually need to get to). Having said that, both the…

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