If you’ve seen many of my posts, you’ll know I don’t research where I’m going ahead of time. Ajay and I like to be surprised by it all when we get there. Vinaròs was no exception. But I had no idea I’d find romance and love in Vinaròs while on our family sabbatical in Spain.
We booked our place because it had three bedrooms and appeared to be close to the water. It was supposed to be walking distance to beaches, and that was great news for me because I was missing being close to the ocean.
We took a two hour train ride from Barcelona and arrived at a little train station which luckily had one taxi waiting which took us to our new home for the next month.
When we arrived I felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. There was no sign of the sea or any beaches. The only saving grace was that there was a supermarket and bus stop right outside our apartment complex.
Our host greeted us and with her broken English asked why we were staying in Spain. We told her we wanted to learn Spanish. She said she wanted to learn English and perhaps we could swap lessons. Little did we know that would be the start of a new friendship. She showed us around the place and it was stylish and cosy. The perfect place to hang for a month.
She took us out to the gardens of the complex which is surrounded by a hedge and gates. Right outside the gate was the beach of Cala Montero – literally right outside the complex. I was in complete shock at how close we were to the beach. Being the end of March, the waves were rough and stormy but it was so heartwarming for me to be close to the water again, even if it was the sea and not the ocean.
It was cold those first couple of weeks in Vinaròs, mainly because of the offshore winds that would storm in every afternoon. Every morning we were able to catch the sun rosing over the Mediterranean horizon at 6am. But with light blocking shutters we mostly slept in. The first few days were navigating the supermarket working out what foods we wanted to try and what the kids would enjoy, as well as exploring the bays in the area.
We realised we were a five kilometres from the city, and that the coastline was owned by the council so we could walk up and down the coast pretty much uninhibited. The beaches in our area were all pebble beaches along cliff lined shores. The pathways were often dirt tracks along the cliff edge, down some stairs to walk across the beach and up some stairs at the other end of the beach.
Because Carmelo still had a broken arm the kids didn’t do too much exploring. But with so much homeschooling to catch up on, it didn’t matter. We needed to setup our schooling structure. Mila, our landlord, had begun meeting us twice a week where we could practice English and Spanish together.
Two weeks in, I was enjoying our place. We decided to extend our stay til the beginning of June. It gave Carmelo’s arm a chance to heal while sticking with one medical service provider and it gave us a chance to enjoy the beaches for two full months, and perhaps catch some famous Spanish warm weather.
One thing I love about Vinaròs is the colour. There are murals to provoke, educate and entertain. There were many pretty squares that always featured a playground and areas for parents to relax.
The waterfront features a long sandy beach with playgrounds and lots of interesting artistic chairs to relax on. On one end is the port where we chanced upon a pirate ship one day.
As the weather became warmer towards the end of April Ajay and I began taking long walks along the coast. It started out as a way of getting fit where we aimed to complete at least 8km each day. But a week in, it became a luxurious two hour stroll as we chatted and enjoyed the view of the varying cliff formations, rocky ledges, sea breezes, cloud shapes and water colours along each new bend.
We would chat about the books we were reading, ideals and philosophies we had for ourselves, aspirations for the future. It was all very dreamy. A few times we fought about our attachments to certain outcomes, but before the walk had ended, we would always come to a loving place. As the water warmed we would stop for a swim in the clear aqua blue waters. The whole affair could be depicted like a montage in a romance movie, creating intimate connections with each other.
Whenever the weather was warm enough we would get the kids out to the beach for a play or to the pool to cool off a bit. Playtime with our little ones was varied thanks to the small front yard of the apartment and the spacious grass garden areas around the complex.