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Sitges is a very beautiful town about 25km from Barcelona. It has been a retreat from the big city for most of the 20th Century for various different groups. Artists, families, quite a sizeable gay crowd and the rich seem to have all taken over different parts of the town. The feeling is very relaxed - even when the beach gets as crowded as it does in August.
We were there just for a week in the middle of August. Our final weekend there turned out to be the last week of their Festor Mejor (or Major Festival in English) Like most festivals in Spain it had quite a strong Christian/Catholic focus - but was also an excuse to have a big party. There are a few photos here of some of the things that were going on for the festival.
It was hot.
It was busy
I'd go back tomorrow!
I lived in Barcelona for six months before I went to China. I studied Spanish at the Don Quiote school and I gained a qualification from Cambridge University (which I'm dead proud of!) by taking my Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults (CELTA) at International House in the city. It was really nice to go back and see if things were still the same. They were, but then again, I'd only been away for a year!
We also called in to see a friend of a friend who owns a restaurant called Por Que Si (a play on the expression Por Que No, which means "Why not".) It took us quite a while to find the restaurant because it was quite new and my Spanish was still in need of serious refreshment. Eventually we found it, but the guy wasn't there. Still a nice meal was had, and as you can see from above, the surroundings were very nice as were the staff. Their website it here.
This statue at Barcelona Airport was put there as part of the 1992 Olympic games (you can't escape the Olympic Games in Barcelona, there are even windows in the Cathedrals that celebrate the event) It is by the (living) Columbian artist Bottero. I'm a big fan for two reasons. Firstly he does fun, approachable and interesting work. Second, when I was studying at Don Quiote school I would go along to the daily evening lectures on cultural and social matters and the Bottero lecture was the first one that I really understood!
One of the best things about studying in Barcelona was that I got to find out where all the interesting bars were. I took Ed and Neal to one of the nicest. Just next to the Placa Real, there is a unassuming door which you have to knock on, climb a coupld of flights of stairs (you feel you are going to end up in someone's front room or some drug den) then you open a door and you are in a really pleasant bar, right in the centre of town, but with no tourists (but quite a few language students!)
It has a speakeasy kind of feel and an amazing view of the Placa. We spent a really nice afternoon there just playing pool and watching the Barcelona tourists paying 3 times as much in the bars below.
I'm not sure what this little series of pics means to you. I think it just goes to show we really didn't know what we were doing! (You should also be aware that I rowed for quite a bit. But no-one took any pictures of me doing it. And when I rowed I didn't know what I was doing!)
One final thing...
On our last day we had to leave our apartment quite early. I sat with the bags whilst Ed and Neal went off to see the Festor Mejor. They were gone quite a long time. Ed came back , but still no sign of Neal. I decided to try and find him. I soon did. I passed a bar and there he was, quite merry, after drinking a whole jug of Sangria on his own. I think this picture not only captures his merriness, but also his burnt skin he managed to acquire the previous day. I understand that when he got back to the Pagemaker course in London, the burning got even redder!
Launched on December 25th 2003