All posts filed under: Events

Clear the Ring for the International Circus Festival 2015

Magic, exoticism, adventure, and a bit of freedom is what comes to our minds when thinking of circus. The smell of popcorn, the rustling straw under our feet, the spotlights and drum rolls, the laugh of children when the clowns fall over their enourmous shoes – circus always is an adventure which we experience with all of our senses.

It lets us forget about the world when watching the beautiful artiste who is gracefully swinging the hula hoop. We hold our breaths when the trapeze artist is winding around himself for the fifth time and only holds on to the trapeze with one foot. We laugh out loudly when the clowns are hunting each other, the toy trumpets are echoing and their colossal noses are slipping. We applaud enthusiastically when the circus horses are strutting across the circus ring on their back legs and we cry tears of joy and emotion when little girls are dancing on the high wire as if it was a runway.

Tatiana-Artiste-wire
This year, The International Circus Festival in Figueres enters into the fourth round on February 26. There are 72 artistes coming from 14 countries expected to come which already have caused enthusiasm among the audience of last year. The elite of jugglers, aerialists, clowns, and acrobats will be represented in Europe for the first time and will cause an unforgettable evening in the new big top on the exhibition centre of Figueres. During different shows – the blue and the red one – the artistes and their 24 circus acts will be evaluated by a specialist jury. Only the best artistes will enter the final – the golden – show. Last year, the individual artist Kai Cao from China, the circus “Diabolos“ from Russia as well as the “National Circus of Pyongyang“ from North Korea won the “Golden Dalí Elefant“, being the highest award.

Circus-acrobatic-boys

On http://www.festivaldelcirc.com/en/ you can get tickets for groups at 10€ per person. At 40€ per person you can sit down in the VIP loge. 
On https://www.facebook.com/festivaldecirc?fref=ts, the organizer will provide you with constantly up-to-date information.
Visiting the circus will be an unforgettable experience, as the slogan on the website promises.
So don’t miss it! Clear the ring for another fantastic edition of the International Circus Festival of the City of Figueres.

Circus-ring-at-night-show

Anysetiers support Tramuntanets in Roses

The International Order of Anysetiers is an alliance of citizens revived in France in 1955 which wants to attend to social responsibility in the spirit of interpersonal care and international understanding. The Anysetiers support those who are in a social need and promote cultural matters.

During the last years, the Commanderie Costa Brava of the International Order of Anysetiers supported many social projects and organizations with word and deed on a regional basis. This year in October, they handed over a cheque of 2.500€ to the Association Tramuntanets (l’Associació Tramuntanets). This association is a private foundation for families with disabled children which, for example, makes the holiday care for mentally and physically disabled children in Roses possible. The current donated money guarantees the upcoming holiday care for Christmas 2014 and Easter 2015.

Tramuntanets-Group
A mutual event in the Cituadella of Roses assured communication and cooperation. Affected children, parents, relatives, and members of the Order of Anysetiers were pleased about the staging of the Castellers de Figueres. Castellers – human towers – are full of symbolism. There is a need for trust in the other one’s abilities when standing upon their shoulders.

L’Associació Tramuntanets (Association Tramuntanets) : 630 838 151 / 660 541 908 / tramuntanets@hotmail.com / IBAN: ES87 2100 8175 80 2300044430 / BIC: CAIXESBBXXX
Commanderie de Bahia de Rose-Costa Brava – Ordre International des Anysetiers : bahiaderoses@anysetiers.com

Pessebres Viventes – Living Cribs

Every year around Christmas time, committed inhabitants of historic medieval villages come together – the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of the cobbler, the hairdresser, the potter or the carpenter. They have fished out the antique tools of their ancestors from sheds and broom closets and are now assembling in courtyards, alleys, and public places to form living pictures. In Báscara, Castelló, Pals, Peralada, and at many other places workshops, markets, and the birth of Jesus become alive. “Pessebres Viventes““Living Cribs“ are tradition in Catalonia and so nearly every village is filled with new life around the Christmas period.

Living Cribs sometimes only take place on one evening but mostly on every holiday. Families and guests will join together being actors or visitors then. One can hear children laughing mixed with the cackle of ducks and chicken, being interrupted by hammering noises coming from imaginary workshops, shrouded in the smoke coming from old chimneys, and lighted up by tiny campfires and the light of torches in the wind. This is the picturesque and colourful scenery which every year creates the right feeling of Christmas – the feeling that Catalonia is on a travel through time back to the birth of Jesus Christ.

In the hinterland of the Costa Brava, in Báscara, you get one of the most impressive stagings. Here, more than 300 amateur actors annually transfer their visitors back to the Palestine of more than 2000 years ago. This crib performance takes place in the medieval alleys and ruins of the municipality since 1973.The living pictures in the midst of the beautiful landscape and on the bank of the river Fluvià, in front of the backdrop of innumerable rocks, springs, and waterfalls are nearly film material.

One crib figure with naked bottom causes serious amazement among non-initiated visitors here in Báscara and at other places. This is probably because you can only find this in Catalonia: Someone pulls down his trousers and puts a stinking poop close to the Christ child and the crib, in the midst of the most beautiful photo motive. If you now assume a new type of joke, you are wrong. This strange happening is a fixed crib ceremonial since the age of baroque. 
The small Caganer – “the crapper“ is considered to be a lucky charm and reflects the Catalan mentality – blithely indifferent to the holy and rather thinking practically of fertilizing the fields and of having a great harvest afterwards. 
If you are looking for the individual lucky charm for 2015 to give for Christmas, you will be spoilt for choice. Football stars, politicians, characters of films, as well as Queen Leticia with naked bottom are available for 16€ onward. The incredible beststeller of the year 2014 is the Pope.

In all holiness we wish you a Merry Christmas and the perfect start into the New Year 2015.

Caganer-Bascara

¡Viva Cuba! in Catalonia – Fira D’Indians

Begur towers high above a hill with its medieval castle and the city centre, which today should turn into a Cuban place. Many Spanish people had emigrated to Cuba between the 16th an the 19th century when it was a Spanish colony and returned wealthy. The architecture of the city still reflects the wealth and today you celebrate the “Fira D’Indians“ annually in honor to the closeness to Cuba.

The city, its inhabitants and the visitors adorn themselves with Cuban flair. Every first weekend of September, whitely dressed people romp about the narrow streets, smoke cigars in cafés, drink cold Mojitos and stroll around those many small stands which sell Cuban treasures. An elderly man is extolling his Cuban pipes, a woman from Central America is rolling cigars behind a cluster of people and a man wearing a straw hat is sitting at the piano and creates Cuban rhythm.

The guests got carried away by the music, they were dancing and clapping on the village square, their white dresses blowing in the wind and the atmosphere is so contagious, that even more guests start to join.
Small streets meander through the city, starting at the village square, decorated  with garlands of blue, white, and red. Our gaze is wandering from left to right and again and again we discover new things, whether it where stands selling chocolate of any kind, decorated between aromatically smelling cocoa beans, or herbage arranged in baskets made of raffia, which offer relief for any slight pain.

Fiery Spanish barmen are mixing Mojitos, which already have made some of the visitors feeling tipsy beneath the burning sun. Leather straps, white clothes and dresses for those who have forgotten about the dress code, delicious somethings like cake or Magdalena, which should sweeten the event, and palm leaves on every wall of the buildings, which create a feeling of being on the island – everything is available here.

Attractions like a lesson in mixing cocktails, in learning Latin dances or weaving a basket – entertainment is guaranteed for young and old.
Cuban music inspiring us, cigarette smoke surrounding us, and the Mojito got us going – this is how we were strolling through the hubbub and were feeling it authentically, feeling the enthusiasm for the distant country in the Caribbean which was the home of many Catalans for a long time.

Fashion show.

Sensorium Grand Gala of Surrealism

…the revival of Surrealism: We normally go in search for art and not the other way around. The atmosphere in Cadaqués last saturday raised the feeling, that the art itself went hunting. It‘s probably Dalís legacy, that the scene along the coast in North Catalonia is ruled by the Surrealism. We associate it with yonder brillant and bizarre art movement, but it was also a way of living for the artists at the time. Dalís legendary parties were almost as famous as his dreamy paintings. The crazier, the better was the motto – and the impossible was made possible.

Exactly that was, what inspired the organizers of the Grand Gala of Surrealism, which took place in Cadaqués for the first time this September and was contributed by many international artists. The group behind the project is called immaginae, comes from Italy and is co-organizer of the annual Florence Design Week. Dalí’s presence now attracted them to Catalonia. Making art not only sense perceivable, but also tangible  – so the idea. And in fact, the whole day was something in the air. Installations appeared out of the nowhere between the bathers on the beach, emitting a magical blue light at dusk. Eccentric hats and quirky jewelery creations were sold on the market. The intention of the immaginae group was the free developement of art and creativity and the visitors were asked to interact.

Working behind the bar.

However, the daily programm was only the calm before the storm. Shortly after sunset, cars suddenly wound their way up the road to Portlligat and a colorful and bizarre-looking crowd with hats flow into the Villa Ses Vistes. They accepted the invitation to the actual Gala of Surrealism, where the prominent and art-loving audience showed creativity – costumes were explicitly welcomed. Already at the beginning of the party, became the terrace of the Villa scene for a Défilé that reminded of Vivenne Westwoods craziest collections. The women appeared in pompous dresses with giant hats made of color palettes or eggs, butterflies were caught in hair, a real lobster sat on one of the heads.

Creatures.

The barrel of Surrealism seemed finally to be overflowed and had poured over everybody. After the first Gin Tonics, the culinary experience started – just as colorful, creative and surprising as the costumes of the guest. The party could start after this delightful entry. The terrace was transformed into a stage on which not only dancers, but also singers and artistes entertained and animated the audience with a fascinating as well as shocking programm.

Dancers at the Grand Gala of Surrealism.

The mix of artistic, culinary and interactive acts created an electrifying atmosphere that lasted all night. This event proved that Dalí-like parties in today‘s time are as spectacular as they were in the past and that Surrealism can be more than just an art movement. Some will be woken up the next day wondering whether they‘ve just dreamed. The best is, that the Sensorium Grand Gala of Surrealism was just the first escapade of the immaginae group. They‘ll return to Cadaqués next summer to liberate the fantasy for a second time from its gilded cage.

Catwoman.

Medieval Besalú – Among Lances, Lords and Ladies

During the last weekend of August the historical center of Besalú again made its journey to the Middle Ages.
In the midst of the mountanious volcanic area of Garratoxa and close to a marvelous nature park, the panorama of one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Catalonia spread to our feet in a theatrical manner.

Besalú-Medieval-Rundblick-Stadt

As we had been part of zivilisation before, a fabulous romanesque bridge from the 12th century took us to the historical center of the city a little later , which still reminds of its fortress built during the 10th century.

Countless small shops and boutiques with all kinds of ceramic, leather bags and jewelry were hiding in between those meterhigh stone walls and were accompanied by an impressive amount of booths and stands, that -due to the motto- were offering medieval costumes as well as food.

Besalú-Steinfassaden-Medieval-Mittelalterfest-Läden

Locals as well as showmen dressed in lovingly sewn costumes created the image of an authentic medieval city. There were those rural women, preparing their breads in a stone oven, flag wavers in their colorful robe, noble damsels accompanied by those cheeky squires as well as knights in their heavy chain mails.

Besalú-Medieval-Mittelaltermarkt-Bäckerei

Along those lovely decorated stands, which let any gourmet’s heart beat faster with those roasted almonds, freshly baked bread, arabic specialities, local wine and oil as well as typical Spanish sausages and cheese, we reached the Plaza de la Iglesia, that turned out to be central meeting point of the festive games.

In the middle of wildly tilted banners, loud drum music and authentic sword fights we were wondering who would be the next squire getting his accolade or pretty damsel being asked for a dance in the ballroom…

bedalú-Mittelaltermarkt-Eule

Celebrate Life

One time or another, we all want to forget about our busy everyday life and want to celebrate life as being a party. This is what you can do from the mid-June to mid-September at the Beach Club called “El Pirata“ of the hotel Vistabella in Roses. Every Sunday, young and old are able to pop the corks at the Champagne-Party and enjoy the sea view from 4 to 8pm. Here, the motto “Champaign or Water“ applies. Caution: One or another bottle will definitely be sprayed among the crowd.

Peer-Roses-TJ-Marie

Our way to the Beach Bar leads along the beach and stone stairs, via the cliffs to the perfect location above the sea including a fantastic view across the bays and the sea. Here, it is enjoyable to let the sun warm up your body and to drink the exquisit champaign in an relaxed atmosphere. The bars are crowded, the bar tables and lounges fully occupied.

pirata-champanger-party

This is how the Beach Bar attracts inhabitants and visitors to a joyful togetherness beneath the white sun awnings. You can observe young, suntanned girls who are dancing to the beat of the DJ, a group of funny men who are trying to sing, as well as families who are enjoying the view at the mountains, the sea and the yachts. The vibes of electronic music are accompanied by a saxophonist. The crowd is dancing and clapping enthusiastically.

Beach-Bar-El-Pirata

Only few stairs to the beach, the clear, turquoise sea invites the visitors for a cooling.
Actually, the party ends at 8pm, but the DJ is open to addition if the crowd demands it. Nevertheless, every party has its end. Suntanned, infatuated by the vibes and a bit tipsy from the champaign, we made our way back. Having a satisfied smile on our face and a good feeling, we are now able to face new adventures of our everyday life. Life is a party, at least on weekends!

Bay-Roses-Sunset

More information on: http://www.hotelvistabella.com/en/restaurants-roses-costa-brava/el-pirata

A Place Like Ibiza

White Summer, a market that takes between 8pm and 1am, and is located nearby the sea of Serres de Pals, awaits its customers to go for open-air-shopping. Self-made jewelry, art, furniture and some beach bars attract many people to come to the small village, even on a Monday evening. The red full moon lights up the old golf club romantically, half dark, half covered by candlelight, and the air is full of love.
True to the motto, we are all dressed in white, leaving behind the crowded parking area and stopping with our VIP tickets nearby the entrance where we went in quite quick and got a free welcome drink. We sat down on wooden pallets which were covered with white pillows and placed upon the sand, and breathed in the pleasant smell that came from those little VW-Busses.

White-Summer-Lounge-Welcome-Drink

We smelled freshly-baked chocolate cupcakes, decorated with pink sugar toppings that were curled like cream. The seller wore a laced apron, smiled at the queue that became longer and longer, and didn’t get tired of selling her bakery produce to the customers.

White-Summer-Cupcakes

We broke lose, followed the crowd and strolled along jewelry for the old as well as for the young. The stalls lay there, decorated with candles, chains of light, scarfs, and figures to attract the customers’ attention.

White-Summer-Jewelry

A DJ was playing his songs enthusiastically, to which some visitors were dancing on the grass. Happy children were running around, taking longing looks at sweets that were sold. The youth was sitting cool at chillout lounges and the rest seemed to be so filled with happiness that catching the atmosphere in a picture became difficult for me.

White-Summer-Cill-Lounge

In the old golf building, we came along with art. We saw colourful picture frames to put a memo or an old cinema ticket into them, small bag with little mirrors on it, waiting for be taken out, and self-painted dishes that longed to be used for a Sunday cake.

White-Summer-Art-Joe-TJ

The exhibitors were happy to get feedback and clients knew about the extraordinary articles so that they payed a fair price for them. We went upstairs the old golf building and hit a room full of fashion. Long, white dresses and vests made out of lace gave us the feeling of being on Ibiza. 
Long after midnight, we left White Summer, amazed by all those impressions that we got.

White-Summer-Lounge-Midnight

 

 

4-meter-high giant pair of plaster

Festes del Tura in Olot

Olot – Garrotxa

The Festivals of Tura in September are the main festival of Olot to honor the patron saint of the city. They are considered one of the most important traditional festivals of Catalonia and are declared of national interest by the Department of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Since the mid-19th century people celebrate the patron saint of Olot for five days around the 8th of September with a huge city festival full of events and activities together with traditional culture.

The Mother of God of Tura is a Romanic black madonna from the 12th century. According to a legend, she was discovered by an ox. This was pawing repeatedly on the floor until the owner began to dig at that point and so discovered the figure. Tura was the regional old catalan word for ox, so that the patron saint actually is called Mother of God of Ox.

Processions and traditions

Not be missed in this town festival in honor of the Mother of God of Tura is the 4-meter-high giant pair of plaster. Dancing they draw everyone´s attention and are accompanied by the „Cap de Lligamosques“ – the head of the fly catcher – and ten animal figurines, each representing their district.

The main festival of Olot to honor the patron saint of the city

People in horse costumes gallop behind the drums and chapels.5 days Olot is celebrating the patron saint and besides the procession, there are many more traditional Catalan activities, such as the „Correfoc“ (fire run), the „Sardanas“ (folk dance), the „Correbou“ (bull run) and the „Castellers“ (human towers).
Attention: The „Turinada“ is one of the highlights of the festivities. During the nightly parade through the town, water is sprayed from the balconies. Also buckets and hoses are used. Drummers are creating a lively atmosphere. The enthusiastic crowd is dancing in a wet shower of confetti. Be warned and grab yourself a change of clothing.

Festival to honor the Mother of God of Tura

Fishing for the fish auction

Fish auction in Roses

Roses

Mediterranean specialties

5:00 p.m. at the fishing port Roses: The first fishing boats have already arrived and there is a hive of activity. The sun is still burning hot from the sky, so the fishermen have to hurry to unload their ice-covered catch. The carts with the fish boxes are quickly transported into the cool auction hall.

The scoreboard in the hall lists which boat is presenting its catch, how many kilos of what sort of fish it has to offer and the price the fishermen would like to obtain. Of course, it is the demand that determines the real selling price. Those who are well versed in the business know exactly where each boat is fishing. The areas and fishing depths are quality characteristics of fish and marine animals. Generally speaking, the stronger the currents and the colder the water, the fuller flavoured and firmer the fishes’ flesh. That’s why catches from the Cap de Creus achieve higher prices than those caught just offshore in the Gulf of Roses. The Gambas of Roses are widely regarded as particularly delicious.Sea cucumbers are a rarity and very expensive. Although they might not look very appealingly, they are considered a real gourmet marine delicacy. We turn back to the bustle of the harbor. The gamba fishermen just returned and unload their boats. The expensive product is covered with ice. An old fisherman is mending nets on the quay.

The return of the fishing boats, the unloading and the fish auction are a picturesque spectacle, taking place every afternoon at 5 p.m. in Roses.

Fishing port in Roses and fish auction