Tarragona - A Journey Back in Old Roman Times

When you mention Tarragona, most people will ask, where is that? But ask people where is Salou or Costa Daurada, they will have an image of busy beach filled resorts and mass tourism, markets and bars. Taragonna is completely opposite and within a stone's throw of these popular busy seaside resorts. Tarragona is a port city in northeastern Spain’s Catalonia region. Many ancient ruins remain from its time as the Roman colony of Tarraco.

We took a day out of our busy cycling schedule to take a tour around this mysterious city, within a city! Yes, Taragonna itself is a large city, population of around 130,000, however at it centre is what was once a small Roman settlement, in fact the only settlement completely surrounded by a Roman bult wall outside the Italian Peninsula. Locals live in terraced apartments and small houses that overlook the city, often seen are the locals watching the tourists pass by from their pretty little balconies.

A smaller population of 3,000 local people live in this smaller community of this industrial city, its streets are cobbled and are littered with small traditional Spanish cafes that welcome you with strong coffee, tapas and delicious cakes. perfect food for the hungry cyclists. A great place to soak it all in is the central square which is surrounded by eateries, an ideal place to people watch and take in the true Spanish authentic experience.

At the heart of the small city is an historical Catherdral, once at the command of the Bishop, now a popular tourist attraction with its mixed architecture of Gothic and Roman periods. Its a restfulk place and a humbling experience, so a must visit to give the head some space and light a candle for a loved one. Just outside the Cathedral entrance on a Wednesday, you can catch the local market offering local artifects and works of arts.

There is a visitors centre at the entrance that takes you back in time when it was a true Roman city with a large model that shows the transformation to today's state using clever video technology. A must visit is the old amphitheater, well what's left of it, still a very interesting place to visit with its vast network of tunnels that once led onto the open entertainment area of the amphitheatre.

A magical place to visit whilst cycling in Costa Daurada, free entrance to the city but guides are available if you want that personal experience and gain a deeper experience, regardless, if you do get out to the Costa Daurada on your bicycle, then on your day off or one evening, visit this beautiful city and take a walk back in time.

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