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Figueres Dalí museum

Figueres: artistic flair guaranteed!

 

church figueres

Església de Sant Pere in Figueres

Figueres – small town charm. Those who are looking for a bit of variety and urban feeling – even if it’s just on a small scale – should give the charming town Figueres a go. The relaxing atmosphere is perfect for a stroll through the town and some window-shopping – I’m sure your wallet won’t stay put for long! From charming, classy boutiques to bigger fashion chains – Figueres has it all. The city also has a range of culinary treasures to offer to its visitors. For those who are looking for restaurants in a beautiful ambiance, the square in front of the town’s church is the place to be. Lean back and watch the colorful life of the city.

Dalí everywhere!

figueres dalí sculpture

Dalís impressive sculptures!

But now moving on to a man who gave Figueres its artistic flair and made the town known around the world. Yes, you guessed right: Salvador Dalí! Because what would be an article about Figueres without mentioning Catalonia’s most prestigious artist? Exactly: simply incomplete and not capturing the town’s character. Strolling through the Catalan streets, stumbling upon Dalís works of art over and over, you can definitely tell: Figueres takes immense pride in the surrealist.

 

Teatre-Museu Dalí – Figueres pride and joy

figueres dali museum

The famous facade with its colossal eggs

His most impressive and noticeable work would be the Teatre-Museu Dalí in the city centre. The matte red facade with its oversized eggs representing love and hope, the enormous dome-shaped roof and the strikingly beautiful front with its countless details that alone take up a couple of minutes to observe, give a first hint of what’s hiding behind the old walls of Figueres’ former municipal theatre.

 

figueres dali

Night at the museum

figueres dalí museum outside

Impressive facade of the Teatre-Museu Dalí

Every summer the museum offers its art-loving visitors a special treat: exclusive nighttime tours including a glass of champagne! But beware: the tours that take place between 10pm and 1 am are extremely popular. Get your tickets early enough and I guarantee you won’t be sorry! The short period of waiting doesn’t bother us because now in the evening time a light breeze is blowing in front of the museum and you don’t feel like melting in the sun anymore like one of Dalís famous clocks.

 

 

Figueres entrance museum

Beautiful details at the entrance

Entering the Teatre-Museu Dalí we immediately get goose bumps all over our bodies. In the semicircular inner courtyard where all of the different figures and sculptures are magically displayed with spot lights shining on them, our eyes wander directly to the giant glass dome. Especially at night the outside area of the museum spreads a special charm because now the stars are shining – almost kitschy – above our heads.

Figueres glass dome museum

The sparkling glass dome at the museum

Figueres’ famous museum – fascinating and multi-faceted

Figueres museum dalí

Much more than just the famous clocks!

We continue our visit through the different rooms and notice in amazement: Dalís works of art were extremely multi-faceted. There is so much more to the artist than just the „Melting Clocks“. You could spend hours studying and interpreting every little detail of his art work. Dalí once said to his friend (and rival) Picasso: „Picasso es un genio, yo también“ meaning “Picasso is a genius but so am I“. Well, he wasn’t particularly humble…but he also didn’t have any reason to be!

 

 

 

Surrealistic dream

figueres dalí artwork

Dalís huge artwork

Those who still haven’t had enough after a couple of hours in the surrealistic museum, now have the chance to stock up on souvenirs from the gift shop. And if you developed a certain fascination with the artists life and motivation like I did, grab yourself a copy of Dalís autobiography “The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí“ and start reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

pirate

Yo ho, yo ho – pirates in l’Estartit

„Yo-ho, yo-ho a pirates life for me“ Jack’s Sparrow was humming with a wild grin on his face as he puts out to sea with his beloved ship. Plundering, capturing, throwing all manners overboard and knocking back barrels of rum… Oh, the sweet life of a pirate!

 Back in time – pirates in l’Estartit

pirate life estartit

Pirates in l’Estartit!

 

Of course, life for commoners wasn’t always easy during that period. Especially the citizens of the former fishing village l’Estartit had a hard time. In the 16th century, the Medes Islands – now uninhabited – were jam-packed with pirates, corsairs and rapscallions of all sorts. The poor villagers were victims of the pirate’s attacks more than once.

The pirates are coming!

Even though l’Estartit’s past is still engraved in the citizens memory, nowadays they take it a lot more lightly – as I could see for myself at the pirate’s celebration in l’Estartit! Having arrived at the village, I immediately felt the changed atmosphere of the usually quiet holiday destination: thrilled anticipation and hundreds of voices excitingly chattering. Boat trips to the Medes Islands, workshops, exhibitions and artisan markets are organised during the day. But now, at night time, when the sun has already sunken and the moon is up in the sky, the scene changes. It’s getting dangerous and loud… the pirates are coming!

pirates beach

Pirates on the beach of l’Estartit

Fire dancers and sword fighters

pirate fire torch

Playing with fire

In the course of the next two hours, l’Estartit offers its visitors a spectacular show. Torchlight processions accompanied by traditional musicians as well as dancers performing incredible acts with fire and realistic sword fights are thrilling the audience. The best is yet to come, though. I let my eyes wander over the dark blue sea and in the distance – far away from the show – my eyes catch a glimpse of something big. Something big that’s coming closer and closer. A giant pirate ship packed with pugnacious barbarians loudly roaring while swinging their swords. Not only the kids jaws are dropping – mine is too! The first pirates are already jumping overboard and screaming furiously while running towards us. The fierce fighting that follows couldn’t be more thrilling.

Fireworks on the beach

pirate firework

Giant firework over the sea

The spectacular show on the beach ends with a a giant firework over the sea.

pirate firework

Sparkling firework at the beach

Grand Finale on the church square

pirates estartit fire-breather

Fire-breather on l’Estartit’s church square

But that wasn’t all. The whole gang of pirates persists in roaming the streets of the village – and we are of course close behind! Finally, all pirates and corsairs come together on l’Estartit’s church square to celebrate the end of the spectacular show. For many visitors this was only the beginning of a wild night. The next barrel of rum is already open – that’s the way real pirates live! And we say: drink up me ‘earties, yo ho!

 

 

Flour museum in Castelló

Fira del pa – Bread fair in Castelló d’Empúries

Not far from Empuriabrava, there is the small town of Castelló d’Empúries, which used to be famous for its mills and the production of flour. When the place was the capital of the county, it had three flour mills. Only one of them remained and was transformed into a museum, explaining the process of the flour production.

The journey of the wheat grain

Designed as a tour through the different floors of the old fabric, visitors can follow the complex journey of the wheat grains and their end product flour. Divided into different stations, you get to know more about cleaning machines, conditioning machines, milling machines and the famous red mills, the heart of the Farinera. The museum is definitely worth a visit, also for kids there is a lot to explore and to try out. Visiting La Farinera will surprise you!

Grains in the museum

From the grain to flour, visitors can go on a journey and see how the process of producing flour works.

Bread fair

Also interesting is the visit of the annual bread fair in Castelló d’Empúries, which takes place every Whit Sunday. The fair is organized by the museum. Apart from guided tours through the museum, there are also workshops for the preparation of bread. Young and old can experience an old craft together, trying out different bread recipes. Who doesn’t like to knead just goes to the market. Here you can try different types of bread and take them home. Besides, you can buy regional specialities and hand-crafted products. Have a look at our photos from 2017!

 

Captivating race

Windsurf World Cup at the Costa Brava

Fluttering flags in the wind, sails in all imaginable colours speeding along in the water in front of me and loud music booming from the big loudspeakers. In between the presenter’s announcements. On the beach of Sant Pere Pescador there is a lot going on. Hot surfer boys, waiting for their turn in the race, excited fans and family members, curious tourists, big tents and lots of colourful windsurf sails and boards. The wind is howling in my ears and sand is scratching in my eyes. First, I have to get my bearings. After a few photos, I find a place between all the surfboards lying in the sand. I’ll sit down, wrapped up in a towel. Why didn’t I put on more clothes?… Well, after some time I don’t care anymore, because the windsurfers fascinate me so much I forget everything around me…

PWA World Tour Catalunya

Here in Sant Pere Pescador, on the beach of Cortal de la Devesa, which provides the perfect conditions because of the Tramontana wind, the PWA World Tour was taking place from the 23rd to 28th of May. After Korea and Japan, Catalonia was the third stop of the PWA World Cup Tour, where the male windsurfer elite comes together for the world championship of windsurfing.

Beach with sail

Surfing sail in the sand.

Once upon a time…

What started 25 yeas ago as a meeting among windsurfer friends, is today a famous competition known worldwide, organized by the PWA (Professional Windsurfers Association) with seat in Hawaii, which holds it every year under the name PWA Worldtour.
Over time, there have already been a lot of different disciplines, like for example freestyle, boarder cross and slalom. The new discipline of this year is the so called foil windsurfing, where you can see the boards floating, almost flying above the waves. The hydrofoil, more precisely, lifts not only surfboards, but also boats or ships at a certain speed out of the water.

Professional windsurfer

Albeau is making his way to the top.

What are hydrofoils?

Hydrofoils are kinds of wings, mounted on struts below the hull, or across the keels of a catamaran in a variety of boats. When increasing in speed, the boat or, in this case surfboard, equipped with a hydrofoil develops enough lift to raise the hull out of the water, which reduces hull drag. This enables an increase in speed and fuel efficiency. Foil Boarding is the latest and hottest trend in windsurfing.

Hydrofoil

With hydrofoils, windsurfers seem to fly above the water.

Winner is Albeau

On that weekend, 64 windsurfers participated in the regatta. The winner of this year’s cup is Antoine Albeau. The second and third place are occupied by Pierre Mortefon and Matteo Iachino.

French windsurfer

Antoine Albeau is this year’s winner of the PWA World Tour Catalunya.

 

Flower festival Girona 2017

Temps de Flors – Girona spring scented

Sometimes carnival like, other times tastefully and minimalist, every now and then poetically or just hopelessly romantic – there’s such a diversity in the installations of “Temps de Flors“ 2017.

Rebellion against Franco

There are many myths around the history of the flower festival. According to some sources, the festival was a symbol of resistance against the Franco dictatorship. However, the flower show was officially opened in 1954 for the first time, that’s a fact.

Decorated stairs with flowers

The stairs in front of the Sant Feliu church are lovely decorated with arches and flowers in bright colours.

Kitsch and art

This year, the colourful festival takes place for the 62nd time in the old town of Girona. You can argue about the artistic value, but not about the entertaining quality. The lines between kitsch and art become blurred. Year after year in May, the Temps de Flors festival is a major attraction and works perfectly as marketing element for the city.

Bags filled with water

Bags filled with water hanging down from a tree, interesting decoration, we think.

Everyone is participating

The spring festival is also proof for the sense of community the locals of Girona have. Everyone does his bit, whether it is a small bouquet of flowers at the entrance, opulent tendrils at the front of a window, or hundreds of flowerpots in an old bathtub in a historic patio – everybody wants to be part of it.

Huge onion

While walking through the old town, we suddenly find this huge onion consisting of loads of small onions.

Food with flowers and a cappella music

In cafés you can try flower cakes, boutiques present flower dresses, a flowerbed decorates a furniture shop’s window, restaurants serve flower menus and the A Capella Festival provides the perfect music to all of this.
Every year, we stroll curiously along the alleys and let the city cast its spell over us. Girona shows how beautiful community and province life can be.

Peonies in a cupcake store

We can’t walk by this lovely decorated shop window of an even lovelier cupcakes store. They have arranged peonies, my favourite flowers!

Pink rockstars in Roses

Carnival in Roses 2017: colourful, loud, cheerful

Hot rhythms and tight costumes

Samba and hot disco rhythms, that is the motto of carnival at the Costa Brava.
People are having wild parties in Roses, L’Escala, Empuriabrava, Platja d’Aro and other places along the coast of Catalonia.

Dancing all night long

Rising temperatures make it easy to have a street party while dressed in short costumes. Salsa rhythms are roaring from the decorated carriages. At the promenade, people are in party mood. Garishly dressed, people are dancing all night long.

Dancing in the street

In Roses, people know how to make party.

The beat booms far out to the sea

Golden knights waiting for their battles, coloured masks laughing into the crowd: the beat is roaring over the sea. People applaud when  the festive carriages, going from Plaça Catalunya to Plaça Frederic Rahola, pass by. There is a lot of dancing, flirting and singing going on.

Gentlemen of Freixenet

The noble guys from Freixenet know too how to celebrate.

The square in front of the harbour

This year, there have been 62 creatively decorated carriages and lots of marvellous costumes to admire. The mayoress gave the keys of the town to king carnival, who would be in charge for the town during carnival time. At the end of carnival, on Monday before Lent, she got back the keys and power.

Lions partying at carnival

A little party never killed nobody.

Funeral of the sardine

The end of carnival is near when weirdly dressed figures wander through the town of Roses on Monday before Lent (in other parts of Spain this would be Ash Wednesday). After the funeral of the sardine, carnival is officially over. There is big fireworks when the locals set fire to the sardine. In some places, the burning sardine gets carried to the open sea. The legend says that something has to be destroyed for something new to arise…

Partying dragon in Roses

The last party people are walking through the town.

This unique tradition has many explanations:

1. The custom is supposed to originate from 19th-century Madrid. At Ash Wednesday, Lent starts. The townspeople went to the countryside, in order to symbolically bury something. Because during Lent they did not consume any meat, they buried pork ribs, which were called “cerdina“. Over time, while passing on the legend, some mistake happened and “cerdina“ turned into “sardina“ – sardine.

2. In the 19th century, a group of students organized a funeral procession, in order to celebrate carnival one more time and symbolically start Lent.

3. King Charles III. of Spain (1716 – 1788) prohibited to eat meat at Ash Wednesday, instead people were supposed to eat sardines. At Ash Wednesday, temperatures were unusually rising and it got too hot for the sardines and they turned inedible. The smell was unbearable. Therefore, they organized a funeral. This spontaneous procession then became tradition and a party.

4. Other legends tell that the sacrificial offering was part of praying for a large fishing.

Nowadays, it is impossible to truly discover the origin of this tradition. The only certain thing is that the custom terminates carnival with big fuss, before starting again next year.

Seal in Catalonia

Seal – live in Catalonia

Inimitable British singer-songwriter Seal will be presenting his new album, 7, at what will be his only performance in Catalonia this summer. On this occasion, he is back with his former collaborator, producer Trevor Horn.

Seal performing at the Peralada Festival

Seal in the middle of the crowd

From the start of his career, Seal has focused on creative discovery expressing the complete experience of love through song. He will be making his Peralada Festival début with an album that captures beautifully the different dynamics of love, such as anger, acceptance, joy, sadness and imprudence, different forms of emotion that merge into feelings, the silly things that love does and that go straight to the heart.

Seal standing out from the crowd

Seal – live on stage

This is the first album released by the British singer since his divorce from model Heidi Klum in 2012. The songs on 7 describe the feelings of someone who has experienced a love story that has failed.  Leaving a great hole and a wounded person who has left something very important behind. Winner of four Grammys and three Brit Awards, he has sold over 30 million records worldwide. His hits hits inlcude Killer, Crazy and Kiss from a Rose, the soundtrack to the lm Batman Forever.

Seal giving the performance of his live at Peralada

Rocking the stage

Red flags in the wind

White Summer Festival in Pals

For the 5th time in a row, White Summer in Pals is offering a 22-days-long open air market from 6pm to 1 am in bohemian-chic. Fancy jewelry, the latest fashion, art, furniture and decoration as well as small beach bars attract more than 100.000 visitors every year. Over 30 food-tracks and 3 restaurants offer a wide range of culinary diversity. Ttraditional, Spanish food or vegan meals – you can find everything you wish for at the White Summer festival.

Refreshments at the festival

Visitors can enjoy fresh drinks and food.

White Summer is a perfect place for those who are creative, curious and willing to buy unique items for a fair price. Numerous stages attract musicians to play instruments and sing. The nice music creates a perfect atmosphere to relax in one of the various cozy seat possibilities and have a drink or two with friends.

Perfect atmosphere at the White Summer Festival

People enjoying their meal from one of the 30 festival food tracks.

How it started

Miryam Cuatrecasas is the founder of this event. Her intention was to improve and expand the leisure facilities during the summer in Pals. The festival represents social commitment and supports sustainability as well as km0/slow food. Thus, all sellers and suppliers of the market are locals.

Perfect labelling at the festival

You can’t get lost at the festival with this beautiful handmade labelling.

White Summer is more than only a market. It is a unique event, that combines leisure time, gastronomy, art and music. A place that surprises with its creativity and variety. We can only warmly recommend everyone to visit the festival in Pals and enjoy its uniqueness.

People enjoying the sun beneath red festival flags

People enjoying the last sunrays of the day.

Semana Santa – Easter in Spain

Images, emotions, incense

Pictures provoke emotions. Pictures are catchy. Pictures are powerful messages.
The media’s flood of images increases over the years and nearly turns into the Flood. Those among you, who like live images or taking a selfie in front of an imposing scenery, must not miss the Semana Santa (Eastern) in Spain.

Verges Easterprozession Spain
The rulers of the Catholic Church have been operating with picture language since the 16th century and invented “preaching through pictures“ by introducing the Easter processions. Those who could not read or write were converted by moving images and touching sceneries. Although most of today’s visitors are able to read, rousing pictures accompanied by drum roll and choral singings, surrounded by a tiny breath of incense, still move the crowds the most. Every year, hounders of processions to do penance attract their visitors to come and so they do in Catalonia. Even famous dignitaries hide under their tapered hoods. Being a member of brotherhoods (Confraries) is an honor and can only be passed on to somebody.

Castello d'Empuries setamana santa
The motto is not only “repentance“ but also love and hope, humanity and compassion are topics which the processions dedicate themselves to. After having marched for miles, people then dance, laugh, and celebrate within the streets. Mysticism and religion go along with cheerful exuberance. Restaurants and bars are opened in many villages until late into the night. Even the Easter procession in Girona no more appears like a gloomy story from the Middle Ages but like a big baroque fair.

Eastern in Spain
The beautiful Madonna carved out of wood and decorated with a magnificent floral decoration appears at night and is the superstar. Being the Christian Virgin, the Goddess, and the heavenly beauty queen, she is the centre of the frenzy of flashing cameras. The „Paso de Christo“ glides through the fascinated crowd, carried unsteadily by strong men.
The mysticism of the scenery – Girona’s beautiful old town being the perfect backdrop – is an experience for your senses which you definitely should not miss.

Verges holy maria Costa Brava

On Maundy Thursday, all bars in Verges are opened throughout the night. The spot vibrates. The dance of death called “Dansa de la mort“ takes place in this medieval spot, located between Figueres and La Bisbal. (www.laprocesso.com) The spectacle dates back to 1666 and catches the visitor’s fascination every year. First, scenes of the Passion of Christ are reconstructed on the market square at 10 pm. At midnight, the crowd forms up into a procession through the small alleys of Verges, led by people dressed like skeletons. Dropping candle wax marks the path. This bizarre spectacle, accompanied by the rhythm of drums, is considered to be one of the most eldest manifestations of church art. Muffled drumbeats, the rattling of chains, strokes of a whip and many visitors characterize the scenery. The backdrop, being the medieval façades of the spot, emphasizes the drama. But even here, people are going to celebrate later on. In the garden of Mas Pi, located in the old town, they will have a drink together.

Carnival at the Costa Brava

We enjoy carnival – a funny, colorful, and boozy celebration that occupies the streets in many of the cities of Spain.
In Roses we experience a crazy night full of carnival beauties, exotics from fantasy worlds, witches and princesses – firefighters and toreros – punks and devils – Carmen and Don Juan – tigers and kittens – Romans and sailors.

All dance together through the streets and alleys. There is no limit to imagination. Carnival float after carnival float passes by and the music ring across the sea.
Why can’t we repeat carnival in warm summer nights? 

men-throwing-confetti

Roses: 12.02 – 16.02. 2015
Torroellà de Montgrì: 12.02 2015
Tossa de Mar: 9. – 15. 02. 2015
Platja d’Aro: 7. – 18.02. 2015
Sant Feliu de Guíxols: 7.02. – 15.02. 2015