Learning to love again in Spain

by Loren Miles

This story is part of our 'Romantic Travel Stories' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our travel writing competition.

Photo by Vroig.


Back in September 2008, I had known Rob for just three months. This was the first relationship I’d been in since the break-up of my marriage three years earlier and, although things were going well between us, I was still slightly nervous about staying with him for any length of time.

We chose to go away for a week and our destination was Tossa de Mar, a small and charming village in Costa Brava, Spain. Neither of us had been there before and we were both equally delighted with the ease of finding our way around. There was a bus service that ran to several places, including Barcelona and Gerona and Lloret de Mar. We visited all three.

In the town itself, we discovered amazing ruins of a Roman house, an art exhibition by a local artist whose paintings of the landscape and forests were breathtaking, and of course the beautiful beach with its coves, cliffs and majestic overlooking castle. The Roman ruins were particularly interesting because they were what was left of the foundations of a house and notices clearly described how each room would have looked and explained a little about Roman life. Tree covered mountains gently rose all around the town, adding another dimension to the landscape.

The shops were small and friendly, there were restaurants galore and many places to stop for coffee and soak up the atmosphere. My favourite day was spent walking up the side of a mountain. This, for me, was extremely brave because I am terrified of heights, but with Rob by my side I felt safe, even a little adventurous! The views were thrilling – I couldn’t stop taking photographs of the sea as it crashed upon the foot of the mountain, just to prove to my friends how high I had gone. Looking back at the town with its roofs and churches all nestled together, an occasional cat curled up on the sun-warmed tiles, brought contented smiles to our faces. Later we took an enchanting boat trip around the base of the cliffs.

Another day was spent in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Again I found the courage to go to the top of the Cathedral and gaze at the views from the roof. There was a column that somewhat resembled Nelson’s near the marina and I travelled in the elevator to the observation gallery where there were still more vistas for me to store in my memory. Rob is the kindest, most caring man I have ever met and his gentle attitude somehow gave me courage I had not experienced before.

Each meal we ate was delightful, the food always delicious and the service friendly and welcoming. Rob and I spent every moment together and got on really well. There was no grand proposal, no music playing in the background or fireworks going off, but we are still going strong after 2 years and our first holiday together will always be one of my fondest memories.

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