Saturday, 15 September 2012

Postcards from Santa Susanna, Catalunya

I have a confession to make and I’m a little embarrassed to do so.  I went on a classic beach holiday recently and I absolutely loved it.  We had the opportunity to go to nearby Barcelona and Girona but instead, we spent our week in Santa Susanna, Catalunya doing… very little.

We went to the beach, we suntanned by the pool, we took a little tour around the Old Town and we ate lots of incredible Catalunyan food.  We learned that Catalunyan bartenders don’t measure spirits and we learned why they wish you good luck when they give you cocktails.

It was the best holiday I have ever had

So I apologise dear readers because quite unlike my usual 500 photographs, I came back with 35, seven of which weren’t of the beach.

Don’t worry though, it doesn’t mean that I’ve given up travelling or that my Kindle has finally taken the place of my blog, but I do think I’ll be taking at least one beach holiday every year or two in future!

The Santa Susanna El Cuc

This is El Cuc, the tourist train that takes you up into the mountains of Santa Susanna, around the residential areas and through the Old Town.  It was ridiculously cheap at €4 per person for an hour and it was a great way to orient yourself to the town.

Views of Santa Susanna

Santa Susanna is a beach resort in Catalunya, Spain (although the locals will go to some lengths to explain to you that Catalunya is not Spain).  It lies on the Costa de Barcelona-Maresme between Barcelona and Girona.  It really is perfectly placed if you want to visit both of these old cities and it was why I chose it in the first place. 

Views of the Mediterranean from Santa Susanna

How beautiful is that?  The little cream building with the brown roof just right of centre in the photo above was our awesome hotel, the Aqua Hotel Montagut.  I have never received such incredible service before and everything from the room to the food was perfect.

Houses of Santa Susanna, Catalunya

There were some lovely villas in the hills.  I’ve always been fond of Spanish-style villas and they are extremely popular in Johannesburg.  I could just imagine us living here!

Nature in Santa Susanna

We were a little surprised to see that autumn seemed to have come early in the hills of Santa Susanna.  It was a different world by the coastline, not nearly as arid.

Avinguda del Mar Santa Susanna

I admit, we weren’t completely lazy.  We took lots of walks up and down the Avinguda del Mar.  On the second night we were here, there was a fabulous street market taking place the whole way down this avenue with the most colourful and beautiful stalls.  I had no idea that it only ran on Tuesday nights or else I would have been taking lots of photos!

Santa Susanna train station

This is the Santa Susanna train station and it is opposite the tourist information kiosk.  It is really easy to catch a train to Barcelona, the botanical gardens in Blanes or the old town of Girona.  We thought the prices sounded really inexpensive compared to what we pay in London and the journey to both Girona or Barcelona was about an hour.  Note that we found all of this out but didn’t go on any trips!

I can just hear you asking what it was, exactly, that I did all week.  Well, there was a little bit of this:

Platja de Levante, Santa Susanna

And a lot of this:

The Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean from Santa Susanna

I listened to Alex Clare, Moby and The Heavy as well as Nick Cave & Warren Ellis.  I read a couple of novellas and then discovered Cassandra Clare’s excellent City Of Bones.  We swam in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time and fell in love with Catalunya, as we knew we would.  And most of all? We just spent time together.

It was fabulous but we did promise that we will return to Girona or Barcelona within a year to make up for being Bad Travellers.

When was the last time you truly relaxed on a beach? Or do you prefer to explore and travel and discover instead?

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12 comments

  1. I usually can spend like 1-2 days on the beach than I start to look around and think what else can I do?:)

    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

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  2. I'm so happy you enjoyed your stay here. And I couldn't enjoy more your post: the photos, all these words in Catalan correctly spelled, the flags on the train... We really feel as a nation. Thank you, Emm, and come back soon!

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  3. Love the beach sand and sparkling water...totally beautiful!

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  4. Nothing to be ashamed of! I'm glad you had a great time :)
    Usualy, we like to explore. But our fave is cruising. That way you can pick what you feel like that day. Exploring, beach or even stay on the ship.
    Hugs from Ohio,
    I.

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  5. It sounds like you must have needed a relaxing break...glad you got to have one in such a lovely setting!

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  6. hi emm,
    i am so glad you've had a great time! what a beautiful place to see! it looks and sounds like a must-see.

    i thoroughly enjoyed your post and your photos.
    simply gorgeous!

    xx

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  7. Nice shot, i like the second last of the beach photo:)

    Simon Lee

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  8. Beautiful photos, a good place, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  9. Wow, it is beautiful there. I don't blame you for not taking more photos at such a relaxing place. I used to do lot so beach vacations and just read, but unfortunately, not anymore.

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  10. wow that looks like a perfect getaway, my kind of place to go for a holiday. the beach looks absolutely clean and inviting. glad you had an enjoyable moment.

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  11. @ Ola: I'm usually the same! But this time was just different... somehow I found endless patience to lie on the beach and take it all in.

    @ Josep: I'm glad I did it justice in a way that was pleasing to you! We definitely hope to be back soon! I really fell in love with the Catalan culture and definitely want to see at least Girona and Barcelona.

    @ Victoria: it was just beautiful.

    @ Ivanhoe: we haven't been on a cruise yet but I think we will go on one eventually.

    @ Kathy: Yes, it has been a busy year with the new job and this was just what we needed.

    @ Betty: Thank you, I am still slightly shy at not doing anything exciting but we enjoyed ourselves!

    @ Simon: thank you

    @ Leovi: thank you! It was wonderful.

    @ AVCr8teur: yes, it was something we did sometimes in South Africa but definitely something I'm coming to appreciate more and more.

    @ Life Ramblings: it was indeed very clean!! It was wonderful.

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  12. Mandy it looks lovely, and no guilt should be felt about taking a relaxing holiday in a beautiful place. We need to recharge sometimes

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