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Barcelonas and Beyond #5 - Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th October
October 01, 2016
Welcome to Issue Five of Barcelonas and Beyond for Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th October. This week we feature Festa Majors of Sarrià and Les Corts and the General Policy Debate in the Catalan Parliament.
I send the newsletter every Saturday with information for the coming week starting the following Monday mixture of what to do information, including festivals, concerts and of course football so please feel free to pass this email on to your friends and contacts.
Festa Majors of Sarriá and Les CortsOne of the great things about Catalonia in general and Barcelona in particular , which can be is that it seems the party never stops. This week, from September 30th to October 9th actually, we have the Festa Majors of Sarrià, which can be reached on the Ferrocarrils of the Generalitat, and also of the District of Les Corts.
These are slightly more low-key local festas than something like La Mercè or Sant Tecla but they're still very much worth attending. There are concerts and performances, exhibitions and workshops as well as free food in the streets, correfocs, processions and all manner of fun things. If you really want to get an idea of what life is like in Barcelona both are highly recommended.
General Policy Debate in the Catalan ParliamentAfter having got through the vote of confidence in the Catalan Parliament last Wednesday September 28th, President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont has definitely strengthened his position. He announced that a referendum on Catalan Independence will be held in the second half of September as long as the far left CUP party pass his proposed budget. If not, he'll call elections and everyone will blame the CUP for scuppering the Catalan Independence process.
In this week's General Policy debate, Puigdemont is expected to outline his plans for the coming year. This will include the three key "disconnection" laws of the Catalan Treasury, Social Security and the Transitory Legality. Mr Puigdemont's authority and leadership capacity is looking stronger by the day.
This Week in Catalonia Radio Show
Every Wednesday at 12 0'clock midday, I host a radio show on Barcelona City FM 107.3 with my colleague Jordi Vilanova.
This week hopefully we'll be talking to political scientist Ellis Palmer Babe, who has written extensively about the far left CUP party. I'm looking forward to Ellis giving us insights into the CUP's position in the run up to the crucial General Policy Debate.
If you miss the show, I generally post the podcast of the show to our website late on Wednesday. Click here to vist the This Week in Catalonia website
This Week's Football
As I'm writing this newsletter on the morning of Saturday 24th September, this weekend's results are still a mystery. As I'm writing this newsletter on the morning of Saturday 1st, this weekend's results are still a mystery. Both Barcelona clubs play on Sunday October 2nd, FC Barcelona play Celta de Vigo at 8.45 pm away in Balaidos at 8.45 pm and Espanyol are home to Villarreal at 6.30 pm.
The two clubs had very different weeks with Barça beating Sporting 5-nil last weekend and coming back from 1-nil down to beat Borrussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday. Whereas two late goals from Celta left Espanyol empty-handed and with only 1 point, the club are in the midst of their first crisis under coach Quique Sánchez Flores.
This Week's Historical and Cultural Highlights
Monday October 3rd
On October 3rd 1867, the Barcelona theatre Teatre Romea opened with the drama La Rosa Blanca by celebrated local playwright Serafí Pitarra. Located on Carrer de l'Hospital in El Raval, the Romea is one of Barcelona's classic theatres.
October 4th 1833, there was a Carlist uprising in favour of brother of King Fernando VII and pretender to the throne, Carlos Maria Isidre de Borbón, in Prats de Lluçanès in the comarca of Osona. This led to the start of the first of three Carlist wars that would affect mainly Catalonia and the Basque Country for the next 50 or so years.
On October 5th 1966, the primatologist Jordi Sabater Pi bought the albino gorilla Floquet de Neu in Equatorial Guinea for 20,000 pesetas. The gorilla known as Copito de Nieve in Spanish, which translates as Snowflake in English, was to become the indisputed star of Barcelona Zoo until his death in 2003.
October 6th 1934, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Lluís Companys proclaimed the Estat Català or Catalan State. This act, and Companys' subsequent arrest, became known as the Events of October 6th and shows that Catalonia's calls for independence have been going on for some time.
October 7th is the Saints' Day of La Mare de Déu del Roser, who is one of the many Madonna and child figures and acts as an excuse for Festa Majors around Catalonia. In Barcelona, it's the main day of the Festa Major de Sarrià and there are also festas on La Rambla.
On October 8th 1998, the tourist boat Oca sinks on the lake in Banyoles in the comarca of El Pla de l'Estany and caused the death of 21 people.
October 9th 2016 is the Saints' Day of La Mare de Déu del Remei, which is celebrated in Catalonia on the second Sunday in October. In Barcelona. it's the main day of the Festa Major de Les Corts and also the birthday of Catalan playwright, Frederic Soler i Hubert aka Serafí Pitarra, who was born on October 9th 1839.
Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical PerspectiveYou can find out much more about the historical background to Catalonia's claims for independence in my 2014 book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective
Find out more about the book here
If you want a particularly authentic Barcelona experience, I can highly recommend taking in some flamenco. There are plenty of options, including the Palau de la Música and the Tablao de Carmen, but I really like the shows at Palua Dalmases myself.
Another great option is to catch one of the summer classical music, mainly guitar, concerts at one of the city centre Gothic churches, such as Santa Anna or Santa Maria del Pi, before the programme closes for the winter. The acoustics are marvellous and the surroundings are breathtaking so if you like classical music, it's a very special experience.
Also be sure to check out the jazz gigs at Jamboree Jazz & Dance Club in Plaça Reial just off La Rambla.
The rooms and suites at the Majestic are beautifully decorated and furnished in a classical style and offer all the comforts one would expect from a hotel of this calibre and the hotel also offers a number of luxury self-catering apartments.
Under the world famous chef Nando Jubany, the Restaurant del Majestic offers the Majestic Hotel Experience in the morning and the gastronomic delights continue with Jubany's inventive fusion cuisine throughout the day.
Anyway, that's about it for this week, if you want to keep up to date with all the new information I'm creating, make sure you visit Barcelonas.com regularly.
All the best
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