#WeAreCatalonia: A Dashing Visit of Barcelona’s “Via Lliure” & around

My dear readers. I confess the following to you. I did it. I really did. Completely crazy, and yet surprisingly simple. Once more in my life, I have asked myself the very question that has moved me around the world and allowed me to pursue this beautiful, book-writing life dream of mine. The question goes like this:

 

“Why not?!”

And really: Why not? Because it really is that simple, I believe. There are people in this world who constantly ask themselves, “Why?!” Like, why should you go and give up a ‘safe job’ in order to travel the world? Why does life, or work, have to be so hard? Or, more importantly for the issue at hand: Why does Catalonia want to be independent?

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I came to think (and discuss) a lot of answers about this question recently, having become la catalaneta de l’imperi de l’est according to my sweet, new-found Catalan friends & family. So I simply thought to myself and asked, 36 hours before boarding another flight to Barcelona (the fourth in just over four months):

 

“Why not go & see for myself, this thing about Catalonia ‘nation state’ and two million (!) people ‘going wild’ on a ‘well-ordered’ street parade?!”

Now, THAT’s Catalonia. “Seny i rauxa” – reflection and celebration is what the Catalan people like to call it. A country and its culture I have reflected upon at large in my last post about travelling #InCostaBrava. Or, as my dear friend Marc likes to say: “We’re from the north of the south – Catalonia is not Spain. You’re from the south of the north – Austria is not Germany. It works out, doesn’t it! Surely you do understand?!”

😀

I do.

 

Let’s take a fresh look, therefore, at this ‘wild ordered thing’ called “Via Lliure” that has taken place on 11 September 2015 in Barcelona city.

Arriving to Barcelona city ...

Arriving to Barcelona city, the view of otherwise ubiquitous cathedrals and shopping malls is blocked by …

 

... flags and T-shirt-carriers proudly displaying 17:14 - the time of independence, the year of the nation's defeat .. Because yes: Catalan people actually celebrate their day of defeat as their national holiday !!

… flags & people proudly displaying 17:14 – the time of independence, the year of the nation’s defeat .. Because yes: Catalan people actually celebrate a day of historic defeat as their national holiday !!

 

Whatever the story on this rather contradictory thought may be: I do enjoy the companion spirit of spending Catalonia's national day with my sweet friends from Catalonia ..!

Whatever the story on this rather contradictory celebration may be: I do enjoy the companion spirit of spending Catalonia’s national day with my sweet friends from Catalonia …

 

... who promptly ...

… who promptly …

 

... and readily ...

… and readily …

 

... have turned me into ONE OF THEM !!! Big is the heart of the Catalan nation for its "germans de llengua", all those people who like me have come from abroad to go and celebrate with them!

… turn me into ONE OF THEM !!! Big is the heart of the Catalan nation for their “germans de llengua”, all those people who like me have come from abroad to feel, enjoy and celebrate with them!

 

And after all, who can resist them, really ...?

And after all, who can resist them, really …?

 

Have a look at the official video of two million people celebrating “Via Lliure a la República Catalana” here:

 

Besides all the frenzy in Barcelona city, I did conclude my culture trip to Catalonia with another stay #InCostaBrava. Do not miss …

1. A taste of the country’s brilliant seafood soup platter.
Yummy beyond description, make sure you dip in lots of bread after gorging on the fish & seafood. The soup is just delicious, full of flavours and aromas. Waaant – again!

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2. A visit to the beach. Beautiful Cap Ras in Llançà is always worth your while!
Perfect for a morning swim, chat with the girls, time with the kids, collecting shells, shooting photographs or just … perfect as it is.

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The beach at L'Escala, too, slightly further south is just stunning ...

The beach at L’Escala, too, slightly further south is just stunning …

 

... let's set up camp here on my next writer's retreat #InCostaBrava ?!?

… let’s set up camp here on my next writer’s retreat #InCostaBrava ?!

 

3. A donkey in a hostel. Only #InCostaBrava’s beautiful Alberg Costa Brava!
“We are a group of four hiking across the Pyrenees from France to Cadaqués and back, leading a donkey for a children’s charity. Can we come and stay at your garden – the donkey, that is?! We even have an electric fence with us, so the donkey will stay put and sleep only on the grass allowed …!”

“Sure …!?” They make it work, is all I can say. Only at #AlbergCostaBrava. Be prepared for many a pleasant surprise when staying at this cosy, family-run hostel in sweet little Llançà.

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4. A visit to Castelló d’Empúries on the occasion of its medieval festival “Terra de Trobadors”.
Lovely – and not so different from our own medieval festivals back home in Austria! A great place to mix with the locals, either over beer or … after a fight!

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Lovely Castelló d'Empúries.

Castelló d’Empúries Medieval Festival.

 

5. A look for “the other orange”. You might just find it here!
Catalan, as well as Spanish people, have this cultural reference of finding your loved one(s) by referring to a “look for the other half orange”. We say “finding the cover to your pot” in German, perhaps thinking of cooking food first before eating … Whatever the case may be, here is to having found “lots of other oranges” #InCostaBrava – #WeAreCatalonia!

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