Malgrat de Mar and Barcelona, way back when...

Malgrat de Mar Travel Blog

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Me in one of the many souvenir shops in Malgrat de Mar, I was so thin! (Malgrat de Mar, Spain 1994)

In 1994, my friend Suzanne and I had tiny funds, but we also wanted to have a vacation with some serious sun, fun and beach. We were two twenty year old students and like everybody else we knew in those days, we booked a ten day vacation to the coast of Spain. We had picked the camping Bon Repòs at the edge of the coastal town Malgrat de Mar, right at a beach called Santa Susanna.

The package deal for this cheap vacation was that a tour bus would take us to Spain (that’s over twenty four grueling hours on a bus!!), where we would be dropped off at our camping together with other youngsters. The camping was quite nice for our small budget, situated in a pine tree forest, where families of all ages stayed in large tents and caravans. There was a pleasant pool, a not too expensive basic restaurant, reasonably clean toilets and showers and it was all situated right next to the beautiful beach.

Our tent at camping Bon Repos (Malgrat de Mar, Spain 1994)

In a remote corner of this camping there were smaller tents which were destined for young folks who mainly got drunk at night and slept during the day. Suzanne and I easily mingled with the others and before we knew it, it had gotten dark and we were all on our way to discover Malgrat de Mar’s nightlife.

After that first night, our favorite hot spots became the Malibu, a laid back bar, and Discotheque QK. We were there every single night until closing time and we had the time of our lives. During the day, once we had managed to crawl out of our blistering hot tents, we would sleep in the shade by the pool.

Suzanne and I had found out it was only an hour by train to get to Barcelona, so after a few days we ignored our hang over and walked to the train station of Malgrat de Mar.

Our new friends from the camping, Renske and Charlotte and me at camping Bon Repos (Malgrat de Mar, Spain 1994)
It was all easy to figure out, especially since we hadn’t prepared anything. We just got on the train and waited for the computer voice in the compartment to announce that we had arrived in Barcelona.

About an hour later we discovered that there would be about twelve stops that all had the name Barcelona in it, so we needed to pick one that would be in the city centre. We decided to look out the window carefully and get out at the stop that looked the biggest and most modern. When we left the train at the stop that fit those descriptions, we eventually learnt that we had arrived at Barcelona airport.

We wandered around for a bit and after a while we noticed a bus that said Barcelona Tourist Bus. Since that sounded promising, we walked towards the bus stop and read that we had accidentally found the ideal way to discover Barcelona.

Me wearing way too much eyeliner (Malgrat de Mar, Spain 1994)
All we had to do was get on the bus, buy day tickets at the driver and go through the booklet we got with our bus tickets to decide what we wanted to see.

We visited the Olympic stadium, La Rambla, The monument of Columbus, La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. Even though we barely knew what we were looking at, I was hugely impressed by the architecture and atmosphere of this beautiful city. Now, many years later, I know I was bitten by the travel bug that day. But my future hadn’t been set enough during that trip…

A few nights later Suzanne, our new friends from the camping and I where hanging out at The Malibu. I had just ordered drinks, but even though happy hour had passed by a couple of minutes, I got twice the amount of beers I had paid for.

The Olympic Stadium (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
Not knowing what to do with all the beer, I gave some of it to a few new guys who were talking to my friends. One of these guys introduced himself to me as Rens and he invited me to come to Tilburg (I lived in Den Bosch at the time, half an hour away by train) so he could return the favor.

I didn’t pay much attention to him that night, but back at home he managed to track me down and I eventually did go out with him in Tilburg. That was over sixteen years ago and we’ve been together ever since, sharing an unsatisfying interest in travelling and culture. :)

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Me in one of the many souvenir sho…
Me in one of the many souvenir sh…
Our tent at camping Bon Repos (Mal…
Our tent at camping Bon Repos (Ma…
Our new friends from the camping, …
Our new friends from the camping,…
Me wearing way too much eyeliner (…
Me wearing way too much eyeliner …
The Olympic Stadium (Barcelona, Sp…
The Olympic Stadium (Barcelona, S…
The Olympic Stadium (Barcelona, Sp…
The Olympic Stadium (Barcelona, S…
The Columbus Monument. I managed t…
The Columbus Monument. I managed …
The Columbus Monument, another bri…
The Columbus Monument, another br…
View from the top of the Columbus …
View from the top of the Columbus…
La Rambla (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
La Rambla (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
La Rambla (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
La Rambla (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
Casa Mila (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
Casa Mila (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
La Sagrada Familia. In those days …
La Sagrada Familia. In those days…
La Sagrada Familia. In those days …
La Sagrada Familia. In those days…
Park Guell (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
Park Guell (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
Park Guell (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
Park Guell (Barcelona, Spain 1994)
Park Guell. I had never seen a pal…
Park Guell. I had never seen a pa…
The beach Santa Susanna, right nex…
The beach Santa Susanna, right ne…
The beach Santa Susanna, right nex…
The beach Santa Susanna, right ne…
Suzanne, Charlotte and Renske at t…
Suzanne, Charlotte and Renske at …
Camping friends at The Malibu (Mal…
Camping friends at The Malibu (Ma…
Me and camping friend Edwin at The…
Me and camping friend Edwin at Th…
Malgrat de Mar
photo by: Sjoshie