2023-04-28 – beach day at Premià de Mar

Last Updated on 30 April 2023 by gerry

There are still a few towns and many beaches in Maresme country, which we have yet to visit. Today we set off for Premià de Mar on a mission to take a look at the town, have some time on one of its beaches and then walk north to the next town of Vilassar de Mar. Continue reading “2023-04-28 – beach day at Premià de Mar”

2023-04-27 – Solidarity Park, Malgrat de Mar

Last Updated on 8 May 2023 by gerry

On our recent visit to the Crown and Anchor Bar in Malgrat, we’d heard about a monument recently erected to commemorate the international brigadistas who died just off the shore when the Ciudad de Barcelona ship carrying them was sunk by an Italian submarine on 30 May 1937. We must have walked right past this monument on at least one occasion before, so today we set off along the beach front to have a good look at it. Continue reading “2023-04-27 – Solidarity Park, Malgrat de Mar”

2023-04-26 – daytrip to Sitges

Last Updated on 27 April 2023 by gerry

We were out the door at 8.45am this morning – a (not so impressive) record for us on this trip. We were catching the 9am train into Barcelona Sants to change onto an R2 train to Sitges. A couple more firsts for us there: our first experience of the big railway station of Barcelona Sants and our first journey on a double decker train, which is what took us to the seaside resort of Sitges located to the south of Barcelona. Continue reading “2023-04-26 – daytrip to Sitges”

2023-04-25 – a rainy recce in Malgrat

Last Updated on 27 April 2023 by gerry

After our day in the sun in Sant Pol yesterday, we needed a bit of a recovery day. Plans have been made for a daytrip to Sitges on Wednesday to meetup with the other Pep in my life, who lives in Edinburgh and has helped me so much with my Catalan over the last few years. He is in Catalonia visiting his family this week. So plenty of rest and recharging is the order of today to ensure we are ready for the big day tomorrow. Continue reading “2023-04-25 – a rainy recce in Malgrat”

2023-04-24 – sunbathing in Sant Pol

Last Updated on 25 April 2023 by gerry

Today we returned once again to Sant Pol de Mar, only three stops down the R1 train line with loads of interesting coves on the beaches. We sought out the cove we had discovered on our first visit in March. Back then the temperatures didn’t encourage sunbathing or swimming but it really is a different story now. Continue reading “2023-04-24 – sunbathing in Sant Pol”

2023-04-23 – return to Arenys de Mar for Sant Jordi

Last Updated on 24 April 2023 by gerry

La Diada de Sant Jordi / St George’s day has arrived and we’ve chosen Arenys de Mar as our venue to sample the celebration of Catalonia’s national saint. The main events take place in the evening from 5.30pm, which gives us a perfect excuse to have a lazy Sunday in the apartment and a much deserved rest from what has been a week full of long walks. This is the first time we’ve missed Vermut Time in many Sundays, but it means we set off for Arenys well fed and watered with both the laundry and my family zoom done and dusted. Continue reading “2023-04-23 – return to Arenys de Mar for Sant Jordi”

2023-04-22 – Sant Jordi’s eve spent in Malgrat

Last Updated on 24 April 2023 by gerry

Having seen how lively Malgrat de Mar was yesterday evening, I suggested we go along again today (Saturday afternoon) to check out the Sant Jordi weekend atmosphere. It was another sunny / blustery day, so we brought our beach gear with us as an option. I showed Alison the back road to Malgrat that leads straight to the church square where the three florist shops are located, sporting their roses in many guises for Sant Jordi day. Continue reading “2023-04-22 – Sant Jordi’s eve spent in Malgrat”

2023-04-21 – movable missions

Last Updated on 24 April 2023 by gerry

There is great variation in how different ATMs here handle cash withdrawals in terms of fees and exchange rates. A useful guide has been compiled to the ranges of fees charged by Spanish banks on Triptipedia. From this list we can see that a number of banks charge no fees at their ATMs: Kutxabank, Banca March, Deutsche Bank, ING, Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (BBK), Unicaja Banco, Eurocaja Rural and Banco Pichincha. Unfortunately these banks are not very common in this part of Spain. I’ve figured out we would have to go to the Marseme capital, Mataró, or Barcelona to make use of them. All the cash machines closest to us charge fees ranging from 4 to 7 euros and offer extremely poor exchange rates. Continue reading “2023-04-21 – movable missions”

2023-04-20 – crossing the Tordera

Last Updated on 23 April 2023 by gerry

After yesterday’s mission to tick off one stretch of Maresme coastline we had not yet traversed, it dawned on us that we don’t know how the coastline might look beyond Malgrat de Mar. So we set off to walk from Santa Susanna to Malgrat and beyond, knowing that the River Tordera dissects the coastline at some point along there. Continue reading “2023-04-20 – crossing the Tordera”

2023-04-19 – sunbathing in Sant Pol de Mar

Last Updated on 20 April 2023 by gerry

When we reviewed the stretches of the Maresme coastline we have already walked, it became apparent that we had almost covered the complete length of coast from Malgrat de Mar to Sant Andreu de Llavernes. Just one piece of the jigsaw remained unexplored: Sant Pol de Mar to Canet de Mar. That was today’s mission. Continue reading “2023-04-19 – sunbathing in Sant Pol de Mar”

2023-04-18 – Tuesday market in Santa Susanna

Last Updated on 19 April 2023 by gerry

Most of the towns here have a weekly market and the market day varies from town to town. The traders come to Santa Susanna every Tuesday morning and they set up their stalls in the main street along the Zona Hotelera. We were expecting the same variety of produce we saw in Pineda de Mar last Friday, but we were disappointed, mainly because the fresh food stalls were absent and we were hoping to get our fruit and veg for the week today. Continue reading “2023-04-18 – Tuesday market in Santa Susanna”

2023-04-17 – Monday shopping and Malgrat morning

Last Updated on 18 April 2023 by gerry

True to my Monday habits I set off early to get some provisions for the days ahead from what is now my favoured supermarket in this Santa Susanna area: Carrefour. I found a nice seeded baguette and ciabatta rolls for our burgers later. I also discovered the greek yoghurt Fage for the first time here and noticed they also have Lurpak. I resisted the butter but snapped up the Fage and got a new type of muesli to try. Continue reading “2023-04-17 – Monday shopping and Malgrat morning”

2023-04-16 – Vermut time in Pineda de Mar

Last Updated on 18 April 2023 by gerry

One conclusion of our Friday exploration of neighbouring town Pineda de Mar was that here we would find a great location to continue our Sunday vermut time tradition. There are plenty of cafes with seating in the big square of Plaça de les Mèlies and the smaller square, Plaça de Catalunya, home to the Ajuntament, Can Comas and one bar: Bar Barcelona. This bar was our first choice for a vermut time venue, but unfortunately although it seemed open we found it devoid of customers and therefore rather lacking in atmosphere. Every other cafe terrace in the bigger square was buzzing and there was a political rally ongoing at the furthest end of the square, along the dog-leg as it were. Continue reading “2023-04-16 – Vermut time in Pineda de Mar”

2023-04-15 – a simple Santa Susanna day

Last Updated on 18 April 2023 by gerry

I think some wee beastie has bitten me on the eyelid. There is a bit of swelling and it’s quite itchy and uncomfortable. I’m happy enough to catch up on some computer stuff while Al has some sunbathing time by the pool. In the late afternoon we grab a light snack at La Pèrgola cafe attached to one of the three Aqua hotels here. Its menu is great value, for instance I had a tasty omelette sandwich for €3.50 and a glass of local red wine for just €2.50. Continue reading “2023-04-15 – a simple Santa Susanna day”

2023-04-14 – Pineda de Mar

Last Updated on 18 April 2023 by gerry

Santa Susanna has Malgrat de Mar to the north and Pineda de Mar to the south. We haven’t yet really visited Pineda de Mar, apart from using its railway station to catch a train after walking from Malgrat a few weeks ago. So an exploration of Pineda de Mar was today’s objective. It was already afternoon by the time we walked to the train station, an illustration of how relaxed we are feeling in our new home from home, I guess. Continue reading “2023-04-14 – Pineda de Mar”

2023-04-13 – return to Bon Repòs

Last Updated on 18 April 2023 by gerry

We set out to explore the beaches of our new home from home (Santa Susanna). We’d been here once before and it was the beach vibe that encouraged out to settle here for a few more weeks. Particularly the Bon Repòs campsite cafe on the beachfront. Continue reading “2023-04-13 – return to Bon Repòs”

2023-04-12 – Santa Susanna moving day

Last Updated on 19 April 2023 by gerry

I can’t deny packing up our stuff from our home from home in Arenys de Mar was tinged with a wee bit of sadness. We’ve had a fantastic six weeks here and we’ve very lucky to be staying on in Maresme county at Santa Susanna. The transfer from Arenys to Santa Susanna could not have gone more smoothly to be honest. A northbound train pulled into the station just a few minutes after we got there and our apartment at the Odissea Park hotel was ready early just a few minutes after our arrival there. Continue reading “2023-04-12 – Santa Susanna moving day”

2023-04-11 – lazy last day in Arenys de Mar

Last Updated on 19 April 2023 by gerry

The end of our six weeks in Arenys de Mar is fast approaching and we’re both naturally happy we are able to extend our stay for another four weeks up the coast in Santa Susanna. The sunny aspect of our flat in Arenys is a primary factor in our enjoyment here, so it’s no surprise that we take a relaxing time enjoying our last full day here. As late afternoon arrives we decide to check out whether the local Xiringuitos are open for business for maybe a last drink on platja de la picòrdia, the beach directly in front of the main Riera in Arenys. Continue reading “2023-04-11 – lazy last day in Arenys de Mar”

2023-04-10 – Park Güell

Last Updated on 19 April 2023 by gerry

The Catalans take their Easter Monday holiday quite seriously and many shops and businesses are shut today. It’s a day for family gatherings and eating the traditional mona cakes and chocolate. We have a family gathering of our own planned as we have bought tickets for Park Güell in Barcelona to spend the day with my cousin and her fiancé, who are in the city for a week just now. Continue reading “2023-04-10 – Park Güell”

2023-04-09 – last Vermut time in Arenys de Mar

Last Updated on 19 April 2023 by gerry

Easter Sunday and we had mona de pasqua for breakfast. Three layers of sponge with some custardy cream between each, with a sprinkling of nuts on top, decorated with a small yellow bespectacled bird and some blue and yellow feathers. Continue reading “2023-04-09 – last Vermut time in Arenys de Mar”

2023-04-08 – Costa Brava day trip

Last Updated on 19 April 2023 by gerry

Today was the day Marta had offered to take us on a road trip up the Costa Brava, but all four of us had a longer lie-in than maybe planned due to the exertions of Friday night. Nevertheless we decided to set off for Pals and Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava, about an hour’s drive from us in Arenys / Canet. Continue reading “2023-04-08 – Costa Brava day trip”

2023-04-07 – la Renglereta on Good Friday and jam session al Celler del Rial

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

We made this a long Good Friday, by getting up earlier than we have risen since we got here. We wanted to experience la Renglereta at 8am, which is an outdoor procession marking the stations of the cross from the Santa Maria church to the Capuchin friary up the road a wee bit. Continue reading “2023-04-07 – la Renglereta on Good Friday and jam session al Celler del Rial”

2023-04-06 – Sant Adrià de Besòs to Sant Martí, Barcelona

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

After such a successful jaunt down the coastline between Caldes and Sant Andreu yesterday we were fired up for a bigger expedition into Barcelona to see how the coastline into the city fares as a ramble. We got the train as far as Sant Adriá, which is on the northern outskirts of Barcelona and walked down to the beach. It is very industrial in this neck of the woods, but this is the last coastal train station heading into Barcelona on the R1 line and we had hopes that we could navigate ourselves on foot all the way into the first beaches of Barcelona proper. Continue reading “2023-04-06 – Sant Adrià de Besòs to Sant Martí, Barcelona”

2023-04-05 – Caldes, Sant Vicenç and Sant Andreu

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

Although we have enjoyed a couple of visits to the neighbouring town of Caldes d’Estrac, the southbound stretch of beach across the railway tracks remained unexplored, so that was our mission for today. Continue reading “2023-04-05 – Caldes, Sant Vicenç and Sant Andreu”

2023-04-04 – platja de Cavaió

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

Today was another restful day, taking it easy in Arenys de Mar. It was another lovely sunny day, so we donned our swimwear and headed to the beach beyond the docks in Arenys, which is called Platja de Cavaió, a very long wide beach. Even on a Tuesday afternoon we are seeing the beaches here more populated with sunbathers, people fishing with rods and even swimmers. I was determined to have another dip in the ocean myself. Continue reading “2023-04-04 – platja de Cavaió”

2023-04-03 – quiet Monday, an evening walk and burgers for tea

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

After pushing the boat out so far metaphorically yesterday with our Sunday afternoon pub crawl, we needed a bit of recovery time today, so we took it easy at home. Apart from a quick shopping expedition to Bonpreu in the morning, we only ventured out again in the evening for a walk up to the cementery, returning via the main street, so Al could pick up something to put in a burger bun for tea. Continue reading “2023-04-03 – quiet Monday, an evening walk and burgers for tea”

2023-04-02 – Sunday pub crawl in Arenys de Mar

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

It’s Palm Sunday today and families gather in the church square in Arenys de Mar with rams for the children. These are tall bouquets of palm fronds, decorated with all sorts of things like sweets and toys. There is a blessing of these rams outside the church. To be honest, we missed all the action and found the crowd in the aftermath of the religious ceremony on our way to find some Vermut time. With so many people now filtering out of the square there is significant competition now for tables at nearby bars for Vermut, but we manage to get the last one at El Celler del Rial. This is the first time we have found it open and they have a special offer for Vermut time of a little vermut, olives and crisps for €3.50. Continue reading “2023-04-02 – Sunday pub crawl in Arenys de Mar”

2023-04-01 – Canet Saturday and a bang on the nose

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

I recalled that the first Saturday of the month was a special market day in Canet de Mar and we’d been there 4 weeks before and met Marta and her pro-indy activist pals, so we decided to jump on the train to Canet today and maybe see Marta and Jordi, now that Jordi had arrived from Scotland. The market was very much as we had experienced the last time, with plenty of hippy crafts, vegan cheese among the other things. Continue reading “2023-04-01 – Canet Saturday and a bang on the nose”

2023-03-31 – birthday no. 2

Last Updated on 17 April 2023 by gerry

My fifty-sixth birthday has arrived! After a lovely lazy morning, the plan is to explore La Musclera beach near Caldes d’Estrac and in the evening I fancy going to the pizzeria there to eat. It’s menu is reasonably veggie-friendly and I like how they name all their pizzas after towns in Maresme. Continue reading “2023-03-31 – birthday no. 2”

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