Sitges Carnival!!!

 

CARNIVAL DAY!

Its that time of year again, yes thats right Sitges Carnival!!. The only time of the year where a man can get away with wearing a nurse outfit in public and not be judged…. not that I have tried to. 2015 was a year a to remember as the people of Sitges did not disappoint as always, this year carnival goers went THEE extra mile. Never had I seen such original costumers from the very creative to the absolute ridiculous this carnival had it all. It was my first time experiencing a carnival outside of the UK so I was well excited to see what I was in for. Fortunately an erasmus group helped organise the trip and for only 10€ and was also a great way of meeting new people. I made the mistake of going to buy the costumer the day before. Turned out the whole of Barcelona also had the same idea. It was mental I had never seen a costume store so busy before! I was left with the very unoriginal idea of going as a cowboy… well it beats going as someone with drawn on kitten whiskers right?? Well at least my friends had as little imagination as myself, a guy with a vendetta mask, a dutch girl trying to be french and a girl who I think was trying to be a character from Great Gatsby.

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When someone first mentioned Sitges Carnival!! to me I was like a dog salivating and asking a 100 questions WHEN?? WHERE??? HOW MUCH??? I saw a quick glimpse of last years carnival on Youtube and knew I had to go even if I did have work the next morning. In retrospect it was worth the hangover! The carnival lasted a week starting on the Monday and finishing on the Sunday however the last day was when the parade took place. So that Sunday morning I woke late as always and rushed everything including sticking my moustache on the wrong way, as if I didn’t look silly enough. All anyone saw that morning in my area was a cowboy running for his life with a plastic gun tucked in his pants, quite the site for people awake that time. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough I got on to the metro to Catalunya expecting loads of people to be in costumes…. I couldn’t have been more mistaken, I was the only one dressed up! So there was only one thing I could do and that was to pretend to be a cowboy by saying ‘Howdy Partner!’ to people passing by. Hey it was carnival who cares right!!

 

ERASMUS MEET UP!


I had never been so happy to see a clown in my life! It was a sign, I was close to the meeting point. One clown became two, then out of nowhere a group of 90s styled characters followed by a group of native americans. Finally a place where it was socially acceptable to dress as a cowboy with an upside down moustache. I remember a child walking pass shouting ‘hey look its a cowboy’… I felt vindicated!!! Few people even asked if they could take pictures with us which was just awesome… I felt like a celeb!! We finally got on the coach that took us to the Sitges Carnival!! which took us just over half an hour, it was also a good time to meet other people who were either studying, working, traveling or just felt like dressing like an idiot for one day.

 

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KIDS TIME TO SHINE!


We got there just in time for the kids parade. It was surprisingly good! Only problem was that we didn’t have the greatest view so I was more or less tip toeing the whole parade…Not happy! Despite that the kids didn’t disappoint they came out in the most adorable costumes you just felt like snatching one of them they were that cute… not that I would of course. There were although some awkward moments which I found well lets just say inappropriate for example when a float consists of girls dancing rather provocatively next to poles…. weird huh? Luckily the rest of the floats and kids acted like kids!! it was a great taster for what we were to expect from the adult parade later that day. I was worried about one thing, something I only ever worried about back in England… Im sure you guessed it.. the WEATHER!!! It looked very bleak and wasn’t the warmest day either. But it was still early so I was optimistic things would pick up, it had to right?? I mean it was Sitges Carnival!

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IS IT JUST A CARNIVAL CITY?

In between the children parade and the adults we had about 8 hours to kill!! 2 hours of which were burned at a restaurant with ridiculous service. It literally took us 2 hours to order our food!!! 2 fricking hours!!!!! If your ever in Sitges stay away from ‘The American’ I think I need to remember I am a blogger and not a critic otherwise I will rant for hours about this god forsaken restaurant!!! Okay I shall calm down, where was I.. oh right the Sitges Carnival!!. So we now had 6 hours to kill which was perfect because we were next to beach which was a great way to just sit back, relax and watch the whacky costumes that walked by. There were chickens, cops & robbers, divas, the guy from Saw, Scooby Doo, Slutty Nurses, Cats, People with tights on their heads and even Mr T!!! The list goes on and on!!! The city itself was actually really nice, I mean except for all the diversions the parade caused it seemed like a really nice place to live with loads of shops and open spaces. Shame I didn’t get to explore Sitges as much as I would have liked.

 

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THE BIG FINALE


It was finally what everyone was waiting for the adults parade!!! …. and once again we didn’t get a good spot. The floats came down after some delay so expectations were high. They were awesome as expected!!!! The first float was just a group of devils dancing followed by a group a team of american footballers. Then the one all men were waiting for.. well the main reason I went, a float filled with hot latino, tinsel wearing, barely clothed women erotically dancing! This for me is what the Sitges Carnival is about… yes I am that shallow, can you blame me??? Have you seen the women??? I was actually really impressed at the different themes they incorporated in the parade, we had scary floats such as Freddy Kruger to cultured floats such as Romans and Iconic British people, although the British float was a huge disappointment! So there I was seeing the United Kingdom flag in the far distance getting all excited.. only to witness an awful costumer of Prince Charles and Mr Bean and a guy playing rugby. I guess the Brits doesn’t have as much imagination as I thought but oh well maybe it was just my perspective, I’m sure the spanish loved seeing Prince Charles.

 

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VERDICT

To sum up I had such a great time and a fantastic night!! I heard so much about carnivals in the rest of Europe and now I know what the big deal is. If i was to nit pick I’d say the music could have been a bit more well different, The songs were good but just so repetitive and also the weather but thats just down to luck. Other than that there really is just something special about Sitges Carnival and glad I had the opportunity to experience it. To those visiting Barcelona in the coming years remember to make your self available for this Carnival, it is not to be missed!!! Put it in your Calendars… Now!!! …. Do it!!!! …..Oh wait I didn’t give you the date did I. Well I dont know the exact date but its going to be around February time so GOOGLE IT!!!!

Anyway guys I must dash. Hope you guys enjoyed the blog and if you already been just share your comments below, what did you wear?? what did i miss?? Absolutely anything !!!!

Stay tuned :)

Hasan – (Senior Blogging Executive Assistant Intern Specialist)

 

 

Volunteering in Barcelona – giving back to the community!

Volunteering in Barcelona

Volunteering in Barcelona

If you’re looking to do some volunteering in Barcelona then congrats on being such a magnificent and selfless person! Did you know that Barcelona was named the European Capital of Volunteering for 2014?  In case you didn’t, you can find some info about that by clicking here! This blog will tell you about the three best volunteering agencies in Barcelona. They each have tons of varied opportunities so getting in touch with them is the perfect start to your altruistic adventure.

 

CONNECT123

Volunteering in Barcelona

Connect 123 is one of Barcelona’s volunteering programmes with great connections with local organisations, such as Animal Science and Wildlife, Community Service, Economic Development, Education and Teaching, Environment, Human Rights, Medical and Public Health, or Youth Development and Sport. Take a look here at their website!

 

BCA BARCELONA

Volunteering in Barcelona

With a very wide range of volunteering programmes such as Terral,  Bank of Time, Tot Raval, or Colegio Gornal, in which they address topics like immigration, talent harvesting, event planning or gender equality, BCA Barcelona provides multiple chances especially for students that want to enhance their CVs (or resumes, if you come from America!). Click here to get the latest updates from them!

 

CHARITY VAULT

Volunteering in Barcelona

Charity Vault is a website dedicated to providing volunteering opportunities for people worldwide. Obviously they couldn’t miss Barcelona, now, could they? That’s why they’ve got a huge volunteering portfolio just for you. To give you some examples – from research, hunger and poverty alleviation, environment, till education and disaster management. Interested much? Take a peek here at their website!

Volunteering in Barcelona is a very rewarding experience. Do you know of any other great opportunities that we missed here? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

Muchisimas gracias,

Dragosh (El Dragon)

Places To Go In Barcelona! Montserrat

Montserrat is one of the Best Places to go in Barcelona

Are you looking for some cool places to go in Barcelona? Before I begin let me tell you one thing you need to know about me, I am not an early bird what so ever!! I am the type of guy along with thousands of others who keeps pressing snooze on their alarm until you have 5mins before you need to get to somewhere (Yes you the reader, I know you have done it too). In fact when I was told I needed to be up for around 8 to get the early train, so me being me I inevitably woke up 7.45 and I even contemplated not going, however thank god I managed to somehow force myself out of the bed that morning.

To get there we had to get a train from Plaza Espanya and looked for the R5 Line heading towards Manresa, we also had to purchase a ticket for the train however it is better if you buy a combined ticket which includes the train ticket return as well as the cable car journey which was €20. I would advice you bring food too as its really cool to be eating things like sandwiches on the edge of mountain. If you ever get peckish along the way there is an awesome cheese market!! Just help yourself to free samples and keep going back and forth, not saying that I did that….

The train ride from Plaza Espanya took us around an hour to get there which was perfect for me to make up for some of the sleep I had lost. We then arrived at the station where we then had to take a cable car that took us beyond the clouds. Be warned it was really cold when i got to the top but then again that was my own fault for wearing a skirt that day… I kid of course. If your afraid of heights you could join many who do hiking up the mountain which is a great way to explore as well as keep fit. However we still could not anticipate what kind of view we were in for as all we could see is mist.

Once the clouds disappeared we knew we had got our moneys worth. The second the view became visible I remember saying out loud ‘I need to snapchat this!!!’ This stunning mountain region is a a must see destination for anyone who appreciates breath taking sights. If your searching for a new Facebook profile picture this is the place to be (I should know I used mine below). Whether your with your family, friends, your girlfriend, boyfriend or even walking your dog Montserrat should be on your list of places to go in Barcelona.

 

Places To Go In Barcelona Montserrat

Views From The Top Of Montserrat

 

 

If you’re into spiritual environments then Montserrat is one of the best places to go in in Barcelona. As you make your way to the top you will come across a spectacular Benedictine Monk monastery. Whether your religious or not you can’t help but admire the historical significance of this region and the architectural beauty the monastery possesses. But if that is not your thing then you can always pop in for a quick prayer and maybe confess a few sins (in my case quite a few).

 

Places To Go In Barcelona Montserrat

Benedictine Monastery

What they Don’t Tell you About Montserrat

If that wasn’t enough we happened to stumble across a rather interesting stack of cubes,I still to this day do not have the faintest clue as to what the name is of this place but for now i’m calling it stacked cubes which are epic for any photography enthusiasts. There was a bit of a queue for the photos but i suppose that emphasised its appeal or maybe some people were just taking one too many selfies. Yes it may look scary but it honestly was not…. I only screamed for less then a minute. This is most certainly one of the most interesting places to go in Barcelona and one you most certainly will recommend to others just as I have. Who knew a stack of cubes could be so interesting right?

Barcelona, Bcn, Tourism In Barcelona, Places To Go In Barcelona, Things To Do In Barcelona, Montserrat

Stacked Cubes At Montserrat

Do you have any advice to share about Montserrat and what people should see there? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

~ Stay tuned!!

Hasan (Deluded Blogging Extraordinaire)

L’ AQUARIUM FOR A FAMILY DAY OUT

 

Aquarium in Barcelona

While having a holiday in Barcelona, visiting an aquarium is not the first choice for most people. However, L’Aquarium is definitely worth seeing, especially if you come with your kids. Located in Port Vell, L’Aquarium features a fantastic harbor and sea view, which gives you a chance to explore the port area, the Maremagnum Mall and the L’Aquarium. All in all, they offer a great family day out and a break from the heat of the day as well as letting your children have fun and explore the undersea world. So, let’s discover the largest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world: L’Aquarium Barcelona.

L’Aquarium has a total of 35 aquariums representing the sea life of the Mediterranean Sea, tropical waters and other unique species, which makes you feel as if you are having a journey around the world! Although there are a lot of big tanks, it is easy to follow the instructions. You just need to follow the sign-posted path and you will not miss anything.

OCEANARIUM

The one that everyone looks forward to while visiting any aquarium are the walk-through tunnels. The spectacular Oceanarium is a transparent 80-metre-long walk-through tunnel letting you experience the most amazing Mediterranean species from all angles. Through a underwater walkway in the Oceanarium, I had an exhilarating feeling and the closest look at beautiful and unique species than ever before. The real stars of L’Aquarium are two types of sharks: the sand tiger shark (Carcharias Taurus) and the sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus). The Oceanarium is a microcosm and a house of many of the treasures of the Mediterranean Sea such as: ocean sunfish, rays, guitar fish, etc.

TROPICAL AQUARIUMS

Let the avalanche of colors begin by enjoying fascinating tropical fish and corals from the Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea,… These tropical aquariums will bring endless fascination for your children, as they can easily recognize Nemo, Dory and Sebastian from Finding Nemo in real life.

Tropical fish

PLANETA AQUA

In Planeta Aqua, I am sure you will have a lot of fun by discovering many creatures which can adapt quickly to diverse conditions. Piranhas, tropical turtles, jelly fish and especially penguins will amaze you! If you are penguin lovers, you cannot miss this place as Planeta Aqua contains a tank full of penguins that are ready to play with you.

Penguins tank

EXPLORA ZONES!

Explora Zones are designed especially for children to learn about underwater life by joining many interactive activities. The space has 50 interactivities covering all senses: seeing, hearing, touching and smelling. Besides, the pre-booked activity “Sleeping with sharks” offers the chance for children (aged 8-12) to spend a night with sharks.

There are several restaurants, cafes inside and outside L’Aquarium. After you discover all the corners of L’Aquarium, I recommend that you to have a drink or a meal here and enjoy the stunning view of the harbor, the sea and the sun.

Children's area

HOW TO GET HERE

L’Aquarium is quite near the center and can be easily reached by different modes of transport.

  • By car: B-10 motorway (Ronda Litoral), junctions 21,22 or 23
  • By metro: you can use the L3 metro and stop at Drassanes station or L4 to Barceloneta station. If you stop at Drassanes station, you will be at the bottom of the Ramblas. At this point, there is a wooden bridge, just cross the bridge; then you can see Maremagnum mall. From here, you need to turn left and you will get to L’Aquarium.
  • By bike: At the entrance of L’aquarium, there is a bicing bike station.

 

Harbour in Barcelona

Port Vell

 

OPENING TIMES:

  • Opening time: 9:30AM
  • Closing time:

- Monday-Friday: 9:00PM
- Weekends and bank holidays: 9:30PM
- June and September: 9:30PM
- July and August: 11:00PM

PRICES

  • Less than 0.90m: Free admission
  • 0.90m to 1.10m: 5 € (“Mini”)
  • 1.10m to 1.40m: 15 € (Child)
  • Taller than 1.40m: 20 € (Adult ticket)

 

So, let’s prepare and have an amazing underwater adventure in L’ Aquarium !

Trang

What to do in Barcelona on Sunday

There are many activities to do on Sunday in Barcelona, you just have to pick!

In such a busy, lively city like Barcelona, there is something happening every day. Especially on Sunday, when you have many, many things planned for during the week. Sometimes it can get overwhelming; you cannot choose what to do and you end up lazing on your couch the whole day (I know it happens, don’t deny it). So we have made a list of available things to do on Sunday in Barcelona for you. Pick one and waste no more beautiful sunny days, cause winter is coming!?

Things to do in Barcelona on Sunday

 

What to do in Barcelona on Sunday

Go Shopping

Groceries stores and Shops are closed on Sunday, I know I know; but there are still some options available. So if you are shopaholic don’t freak out, we have listed the shops that are open on Sunday for you here.

 

 

Go to a restaurant

After a hard-working week, you deserve a treat. How about dining in a fancy restaurant with your family or friends? Thanks to its coastal location, Barcelona can offer you many type of seafood with superb freshness. Moreover, Barcelona surpasses Madrid by the number of Michelin-starred restaurants (29 compared to 13 in Spain’s capital city) making it a gastronomy heaven. Have a look at oursuggestion here, from traditional Catalanseafood to vegan restaurants and so on.

Free museums!!!

Many museums in Barcelona open for free in Sunday and that’s why many people put this on their to-do list on Sunday in Barcelona. I mean, good way to enjoy the finest pieces of art on a budget. One thing to keep in mind though, I have seen long line of visitors waiting outside Museu Picasso during its free entrance hours. So be prepared to wait for an hour or more to get inside.

picasso-museum-What to do on Sunday in Barcelona

Below is the list of them.

  • MNAC: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
    Parc de Montjuïc, Sants-Montjuïc, 08038
    Free admission on first Sunday of every month

 

  • MUHBA Museu d’Història de Barcelona
    Pl. del Rei, Ciutat Vella, 08002
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm and the whole day on first Sunday of every month.

 

  • Museu d’Història de Catalunya
    Plaça de Pau Vila, 3, Ciutat Vella, 08039
    Free admission on first Sunday of every month

 

  • Museu de la Música
    Padilla 155, Eixample, 08013
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm and the whole day on first Sunday of every month

 

  • Museu Frederic Marès
    Plaça de Sant Iu, 5, Ciutat Vella, 08002
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm and the whole day on first Sunday of every month

 

  • Virreina Centre de la Imatge
    La Rambla, 99, El Raval, 08001
    Always free

 

  • Museu Picasso
    Montcada, 15-23, Ciutat Vella, 08003
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm to 7pm and the whole day on first Sunday of every month

 

  • Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
    Montalegre, 5, Raval, 08001
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm to 8pm

 

  • Museu Marítim de Barcelona
    Av. de les Drassanes, Raval, 08001
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm

 

  • Jardí Botànic
  • Doctor Font i Quer, Sants-Montjuïc, 08038
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm and the whole day on first Sunday of every month

 

  • Museu Blau
    Pl. de Leonardo da Vinci, 4-5, Sant Martí, 08019
    Free admission on every Sunday from 3pm and the whole day on first Sunday of every month

Party & festival

In this festiv city, there are always some parties or festivals, especially during the weekend. You can find them in our frequently updated blogs about bars or incoming events in Barcelona.

Things to do in Barcelona on Sunday: sardana

You want to try something local? Ever heard of Sardana dancing? It is a type of circle dancing, typical in Cataluña. This dance shows the unity and pride of Catalan people. There is a chance you might randomly catch on Sardana in Barcelona. If you are in Barcelona during the summer months, head to plaza Jaume I where you can admire this dance every Sunday from around 18:00.

Beaches and day trips

If you really run out of idea on what to do in Barcelona on Sunday then why not take a day trip. Really, you have the whole day available, take my advice and go to some beaches further than the tourist-cramped Barceloneta or Icària. The choices are diverse: Sitges, Tossa de Mar, Sant Pol de Mar, Castelldefels etc.

You don’t want beach? Don’t worry, there are beautiful town just an hour or two driving from Barcelona, take a look at some of our suggestion here. Hey, have we told you already about the secret waterfall in Barcelona? Shhhhh, between us only, ok ;)

What to do on Sunday in Barcelona: Foradada Cantonigros

Made up your mind yet? If you need more info with the options above, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.

Enjoy!

T.Vu

 

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