Cambrils, Spain


During the summer of 2019, me and my two sons decided to take a European vacation. We ended up traveling for 26 days to a total of seven countries and over 17,000 miles. Day thirteen through fifteen were spent in Cambrils, Spain. We headed to Cambrils from the Barcelona train station which is well staffed and everything is clearly marked. We arrived at the train station with only 8 minutes to buy tickets, find the correct platform and get on the train. We were successful at completing all of those steps and had a minute or two to spare. It was a pleasant 90 minute (approximately) train ride with not too many stops. Occasionally, we had beautiful views of the Spanish coastline.


Where we stayed

Lucky for us, we have friends that have a vacation house close to the beach in Cambrils. They were generous in letting us stay with them and they drove us around and let us use their bicycles. Similar to Germany, bicycles have a general right of way even trumping pedestrians.

What we did

For the most part, we spent much of the time in Cambrils just hanging out with our friends, visiting the beach and having good meals – many of which were home-cooked. The boys wanted to go to a nearby theme park, so we spent an entire day in Salou at PortAventura. We had a blast at the theme park and the weather this day was particularly pleasant, except for about two hours when it was a little humid and hot. During the warmer hours, we rode on the log ride which was a lot of fun. This park is huge, not excessively crowded but enough people that all rides were in full operation and fully staffed. The park had parkwide free wifi which was a plus so we were able to communicate and post pictures without using our metered MiFi device. Food was expensive for Spain, but not painfully overpriced like in-park food in the US.

Mobile phone service

Since there were three of us, I rented at MiFi device through so we could all have data service. I know that from a technical perspective when a phone is connected to WiFi, most apps think the data is fair-game and will use an unlimited amount of data, so I installed an app called NetGuard. This app sets up a firewall and will only allow certain apps access to the internet when connected to the MiFi device. We did have to be ‘data-aware’ because we did not have WiFi at my friend’s house either. With the NetGuard app, we all stayed under the 10GBs of data I purchased. For telephone service, I used my Google Voice account to place calls – calls to the US are free and calls to most of the places we traveled were under five-cents per minute. The calls worked reasonably well when my phone was connected to the MiFi box.

How did we feel about Cambrils?

It was great to visit with friends and hang out at what didn’t seem to be a crowded touristy city. The beaches were beautiful and we had fun at the theme park. We easily were able to do a 20-minute bike ride to McDonald’s without any confusion or issue at all. This was midway through our journey through Europe, and it made for a great location to just chill and relax. The only downside is that Cambrils has mosquitos. Being from Northern California where we do not have mosquitos, these pesky monsters were very annoying. By the time we left, my fifteen-year-old son probably had 25 or more bites and me and my older son had our share of bites as well. If or when I return to Cambrils, I will have an advanced mosquito intervention plan. Maybe the bug repellant bought in the USA would do better than what I was able to buy in Spain.

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