Today I want to share the moments I experienced as an au pair in Tarragona (Spain). For those of you who don't know, Tarragona is a town situated about an hour (by train) south from Barcelona. After my previous stay in Ireland, this experience was a whole lot different for me.

The very first thing I have to mention is that I struggled with Spanish. I studied it 8 years at high school before going on this au pair stay, but I still couldn't really speak the language as the only phrases (or rather words) I knew were the very basic ones like Hola, Mañana, Buenas Noches. There might have been a few more, but anyways, even if I did manage to say something, I wasn't able to understand anything and Spanish people were like very fast-speaking-aliens to me.

To this day, I have no idea how did I convince myself to go back then. But I did and I think it was one of the best choices I made as I wanted to study Spanish and the stay helped me a lot, even though I had to learn the language the hard way. I was also pleasantly surprised that even though I stayed in a Catalan-speaking area everyone talked to me in Castillian.

Our local swimming pool, just a few metres from our house.

The only thing that I didn't quite like was the fact that I lived in the outskirts of Tarragona where there was a pretty poor connection with the city as well as the fact that I often didn't have anyone to hang out with as there were no au pairs in the area nor any language courses opened while I stayed there. I also had my working days divided - I had 3 hours off after lunch in which time I couldn't even go to the city so I had to explore the near surroundings. Thanks to this I discovered some really lovely places! I also enjoyed the communal swimming pool as the days were often too hot to do anything else :-)

One of my favorite quiet spots nearby.

One of the things I also have to mention is the food and the times at which Spanish people like to eat. I remember being hungry most of the days as we had our lunch way too late (2-3pm - I'm used to eating at 12) and then the dinner was at the time I already wasn't hungry (because I'm not used to eating that late). I don't know why my body struggled with the rescheduling as on holidays I don't mind eating a bit later. On the other hand, the food itself was amazing. I loved every single thing I ate there. The host mum was an incredible cook as was all the rest of the family. I still remember eating arroz negro or all kinds of seafood for the very first time there. I'm getting hungry just by thinking about it. Perhaps that was the real reason why I craved food all the time!

The view of the housing area in the neighborhood.

Even though there was a pool nearby and it was ideal for those really hot days (meaning every single day of my stay) I just wanted to swim in the sea. The seaside was only about 15 min walk but in the heat it was sometimes really terrible and the walk would wore me out pretty easily. However, I really loved this little bay with a small beach, which was right besides a larger beach (but I didn't really like that one so much). Sometimes I would just sit on the rocks and listen to the sea, read a book and just relax. Only locals ever visited this place and so it was the perfect spot for a bit of a relaxation. And also, the view could never bore me!

My reading spot, right next to a small beach.