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036 February 2017

Fiesta Calendar – Weather wise – carnival time – Torrevieja in Madrid FITUR – Valentine Day – Derek Francis and Marie Joy Davis RIP – Tourism on the Up – Sustainable Tourism – The Condal City is Barcelona – Montserrat – Barcelona Maritime Museum & Torrevieja – Picasso Museum – Gaudi & Holy Family Basilica – Dali Museum – Cortisone & Diabetes – Friday Market – David Bowie is..in Barcelona – Stamps of David Bowie – Chinese New Year Carnival – What’s On - Carnival 2017

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FEBRUARY CALENDAR

1 - 5th February.

Sax: Moors & Christians take to the streets for the feast in honour of San Blas (Saint Blaise). 3rd February San Blas feastday. A popular fiesta held in many towns in very many different ways, sometimes celebrated before or after the date. Alicante (Mig Any in the district of San Blas), Benifallim, Finestrat, Parcent, Pedreguer, Gorga and Onil, all hold this fiesta. Most churches have a blessing of the throats service at the end of Masses. Teulada holds the Festa de la Dama. 5th - 6th Feb. Catral has a romería of Santa Agueda. 12th Feb. Feast of Santa Eulalia is celebrated in Sax. The Lenten period (Cuaresma) depends on when Easter falls and is, therefore, a moveable date. On the Thursday before Lent begins La Jira, taking place in Aspe. In Hondón de las Nieves it is known as “The Final Thursday” and the families spend the day in the countryside singing and eating. This period is also the time for the start of carnivals and in Pego there is the celebration on the Saturday before the commencement of the carnival known as “La Baixada del Ríu Bullent” when youngsters go down the river on a variety of homemade vessels using recyclable materials. Carnivals are usually held on the weekend before Ash Wednesday in Alacant, Calpe, Muro de Alcoy, Benidorm, Castalla, Pedreguer, Pego, Guardamar del Segura, aormi@icloud.com

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“La Baixada del Ríu Bullent”

Villena, San Juan de Alicante, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Xixona, Xàbia, Torrevieja and Novelda. In Planes the Flour festival is held. In the middle weekend of February Moors & Christian parades take place in Xixona. The weekend before Lent begins the Festival del Santísmo Cristo de la Salud is held, patron of Altea la Vella. The Monday prior to the start of Lent the Festa de la Cremà del Pi is held in Agres. The Medieval Mamrket in Orihuela will be held on 8, 9 and 10 February.

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An Historic January - weather wise by Dave Stewart

This winter will not be forgotten by many of us who live on the Costa Blanca because of the snow, heavy thunderstorms and terrific rainfalls we experienced. The bleakness of winter may not normally be so noticeable to us who enjoy the relatively warm Costa Blanca climate. But for those who live in many other parts of Spain wintertime is a fierce fight for survival in snow clad mountains swept by freezing winds or in cities where temperatures drop to zero. Historically people have seen the end of winter and the beginning of the warmer Spring with its promise of new life as a new beginning and in Spain this has meant a fiesta. Carnival time has arrived. Madrid residents had an early experience of Torrevieja carnival as some of the colorfully feathered clad groups were at FITUR, the leading tourist fair in January. In many carnival celebrations you can find Don Carnal leading the parade as he represents unbridled sexual desires pursuing his opposite, Doña Cuaresema, who represents the virtue and self-denial associated with the Lenten period. In Aguilas for example there is the battle between Don Carnal and Doña Cuaresma, with her final triumph. Part of this battle is the custom of “los cascarones" when empty egg shells, filled with confetti, are broken on heads. There are parades on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and over 4,000 people take part with musical bands and floats. The vice-president and delegate of Tourism promotion, Eduardo Dolon had a high profile.

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We can’t let the historic, horrific weather of January go past without mention. For the first time in 91 years it actually snowed in Torrevieja. Not just in Torrevieja, but all along the Mediterranean coast and in Mallorca. For over a week we were battered by heavy rains and snow, even if it only lasted a day. It brought people out in their droves who had never seen the white stuff before. The children of Alpe Education college were particularly delighted as so many of them react to sensory perceptions and so they were delighted with the white falling crystals despite the cold. Incidentally, the Caixa Bank social works section donated some more sensory equipment for the special room, which has been enlarged recently, that offers the youngsters new insights into enjoying life. However, the snow didn't last long, but it was notable in outlying districts where people were able to make snowmen. There were also tremendous thunderstorms and many photographers took magnificent photos of lightning as the clouds fight one another.

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It was historic as the last time it snowed in Torrevieja was in 1926. Here are some photos of the event.

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The heavy rainfall also affected production of the salt in the Torrevieja lake which rose above is normal level. This will affect the salt production for several months until the lake evaporates to enable the salt crusts to form. The tremendous and continuous rain “melted” the bases of the salt mountains. Normally the production is around 450,000 tonnes of salt, but with two batches of bad weather, almost 300 liters of rain falling per square metre it is bound to have an affect. The winds also affected the small salt barges used to take salt to be washed as they were scattered around that part of the lake. The weather was disastrous for the beaches, washing away the sand, especially in Los Locos, el Cura and Los Naufragos. Some wooden walkways were also bashed up making access difficult.

Cartagena has deep rooted carnival parades that are a joy to see. Indeed throughout the Murcian region carnival time has spread to all the surrounding towns including to Mar Menor where the towns of San Pedro del Pinatar, San Javier, Santiago de la Ribera and Los Alcazares, all join together. More than 50 groups take part in a colourful celebration that continues to pick up more kudos each year, attracting thousands of visitors.

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Calpe’s International Carnival The town has a large German community and carnival is one of the best festivals in that country. As a result there is a close link between the Germans and carnival in Calpe which means marching bands and a great deal of lusty fun on 6th February.

The Torrevieja carnival is over a three week period centred on three parades. It has already begun on 28th January with the key speech, the pregon, and the choice of queens, Eurídice Campelo Monter as adult queen and Lucía Arias Villalba as infant queen. For the British the carnival is a couple of fun parades, but it has deeper meanings as groups vie with one another at making up humorous songs that are likely to jibe local politicians. Several events are held undercover in a local theatre, including the Drag Queen night to be held on 3rd February and the Murgas competition on 11th February. Other events are the Children’s Dance on 7th February and the Pensioners Dance on 16th February. This year there will be 25 colorful comparsas or groups who are busy rehearsing and trying out carefully guarded costumes. The main parade will be on Sunday 19th February in the early evening and all include a few groups from other towns. The 25th February is when the Night Parade will be held in the town centre.

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Each is a fun parade with multicolourful characters in vibrant groups or as individuals exhibiting a great deal of good humour. This is a key word as humour is possibly the most important aspect of the carnival, combined with a great sense of imagination. Prizes are awarded for various categories of costumes. The festivities are not contained in just a couple of parades, but the various groups get together in sponsoring bars for some rowdy fun. Lola Villella receiving el Escudo de oro del Several of the groups Carnaval have reached international fame and are invited to other parades in other towns and even another countries at different times of the year. Last August we

Murgas is a theatrical event full of color and fun and competition which was won last year by Los lost one of the leading lights of the carnival when 56 year old Lola Villella died. Previously on 16th January she had received the distinction of receiving el Escudo de oro del Carnaval for her great work in promoting Torrevieja carnival in all its aspects and she is missed for her great sense of humor.

Sangochaos.

There is a set pattern each year with first a Pre-Carnival Parade in which people dress up in costumes used in previous carnivals; this is just to get everyone in the right spirit to let their hair down and in the party mood. Then there is the official opening speech (pregon) of the carnival with a stage performance of la Murga; the presentation of the Carnival Queen and her entourage, and the appearance aormi@icloud.com

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and approval of the latest designs. After that there are two main parades: the first on the Sunday afternoon 19th February from the plaza de Asunciรณn around 16.00 with over 1,500 people taking part. This wends its way to the town centre with a great deal of music, dancing and throwing confetti. For m o n t h s groups have been planning and making t h e i r costumes and here you will s e e extravagant feathered beauties dancing to the rhythm of lively music, clowns throwing confetti in your face or people in ordinary everyday clothes wearing a gaudy mask. It is possible to buy simple adult fancy dress costumes for around 20 euros although the small shop in the town centre has had to close down

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because of the mass produced stuff in the bigger stores and the immense market on the internet.

Children have a large part to play in this parade and you can see them in groups and as individuals suitably dressed up in imaginative costumes following the beat of the samba, salsa and merengue. The other large parade is on the following Saturday night, 25th February, around 21.00 which is a more adult affair and begins from the plaza de Oriente. The carnival is an explosion of imaginative colour, plus dance routines set to loud Latin music. Should you miss it then during July some of the groups take part in the Summer Fiestas in La Mata or the August parade in San Roque district of Torrevieja. The fun also spills into the schools where competitions are often held for the best in fancy dresses among the children. It is a sight to cheer up any bleak winter morning to see little ones dressed up as fairies, clowns, cartoon heroes or whatever, firmly clutching their proud mother’s arm on their way to school. aormi@icloud.com

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Carnival comparsas and the queens of the hogueras of Torrevieja were accompanied by members of Los Salerosos band as they paraded through the streets of Madrid advertising some of the fiestas of the Costa Blanca.

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Torrevieja was well represented in Madrid FITUR with groups supported by Eduardo Dolon, delegate and Costa Blanca Tourist department.

Saint Valentine In the late 1990’s Saint Valentine Day gained more popularity, probably because of the foreign influence. As such there is no real fiesta for this day. It is another Roman festival commemorating young men’s rite of passage to the god Lupercus that was adjusted to Christian ideology in the fifth century. The Roman celebration included a lottery whereby the young men could draw the names of young girls from a box and this would be a sexual pair for the next year. Of course the Church could not have this promiscuity and the lottery was of saint’s names instead of lovers.

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Valentine became the patron saint of lovers because of legends associated with him. He was a Roman soldier who refused to pay allegiance to the Roman gods and was beheaded. During his time in prison, Valentine fell in love with the gaoler’s daughter who was blind. Their love and faith helped her to recover her sight and as he was being marched off to the chopping block she read his farewell message which was signed, “from your Valentine.” As this feast was held in mid February it has come to be associated with the carnival. In Teruel there is a medieval festival on the weekend nearest to the 14th February. This is based on another romantic legend of Isabel and Diego. Isabel was the daughter of a rich and influential man of the town and Diego was poor, but the couple loved each other. The father agreed that Diego should go off to seek his fortune and return within a stipulated time and on a specific date, otherwise Isabel would be given in marriage to someone else. When the date arrived there was no sign of Diego so Isabel was married off. Diego came the following day, a rich man, but just too late. He pined for his Isabel and begged just one kiss, but too late again. Poor Diego languished and died and as he lay there awaiting burial Isabel heard the news and rushed to him to kiss his forehead, again too late. She herself died of a broken heart and the pair were buried together. You can see their marble statues lying side by side in Teruel. This festival in the town includes a re-enactment of the story by two youngsters, dressed in typical costumes.Many other people take part and there is a market, dancing, and open fires in the street where suckling pig and other delicacies are cooked. It goes on late into the night, often broken up by sword fighting between chainmail clad ‘soldiers’ who are supposed to have fallen out with each other.

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Dedicated to Troupers by Andy Ormiston

This early in the year we have lost two great troupers in Torrevieja; both professionals in their own fields and both have raised thousands of euros for many charitable associations. Marie Joy Davis and Derek Francis were both prominent members of the Torrevieja cultural scene over the years and both died in January. We wrote about Marie Joy and her exuberant career in last August edition of Torrevieja Outlook when she and her husband Mike were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. She was a bubbling personality who died peacefully in her sleep in early January. I had been with her a couple of weeks before on her 85th birthday. She enjoyed company and loved talking about her days on the stage, first as a child star singing and dancing, then later doubling up with her crooning

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compere husband Mike Davis. Although she never had children of her own she was devoted to helping the APANEE and ALPE associations. Her other great love was dogs as she had several pets in her lifetime. She was a founder member of the SAT organization, which was the first animal rescue group in the Vega Baja area and she adopted a couple of strays herself.

One of her last delighted moments was when she heard that her friend Ken Dodd had been mentioned in the New Year’s lists. “If anyone deserves to be recognized it is Ken Dodd”. She kept in touch with many familiar and famous British performers with whom she had appeared on stage and sent copies of a booklet I was fortunate to present to her, which was based on her and Mike’s lives in show-business. She admitted that she missed the buzz of adrenaline when she was on stage after she retired, but realized that her strength was not up to the arduous rehearsals that, as professionals, she and Mike demanded before putting on a show. A memorial service was held for her in the tanatorium and I would like to thank Graham Knight for his time and efforts in not only organizing the service, but looking after Mike as he faced life alone without his beloved Marie. Mike has moved into a residence where he will be well looked after. I am sure Marie Joy will be surrounded by many show personalities and cracking jokes as she swaggers through the Pearly Gates. aormi@icloud.com

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The other sad loss for us is that of Derek Francis. Derek Francis met his dream girl at a dance over 45 years ago in a Plymouth hotel. She was Ellie, his future wife who swept him off his feet, as he was won’t to say, as she was a professional tap and ballet dancer in a local dance troupe. Derek was already well established in his singing career appearing in large professional choirs and also in shows such as Carousel or My Fair Lady. They married in June 1974 and almost 25 years ago decided to retire to Spain. At first they stayed in an urbanisation, but soon decided to live “amongst the Spanish” in the town centre where they had a lovely apartment. They have a daughter who lives in Crevillente. Derek loved singing and was soon involved in many concerts, usually raising funds for some good cause. He was never abash about being able to speak Spanish, as he told me over a coffee, ”If I can communicate and they know what I’m talking about, that’s fine.” He had no problem tackling the town hall cultural department for the use of premises to organise a concert for some charity whether it was Contra Cancer, the children or the church organ. He was very involved with the Casino, which is a cultural centre of Torrevieja, and every year was part of the Winter Cultural Programme organised there. He sang with choirs such as Lyica Nostra and in soirees with pianist, violinist and a soprano. He loved the music of Phantom of the Opera and would don a mask and cape and bring the music alive in the Palace of Music or other venue. aormi@icloud.com

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When his beloved wife died in May 2014, just a month prior to their 40th wedding anniversary, he was heartbroken. She had been ill for several years and he enjoyed looking after her saying, “She has looked after me all these years and now it’s my turn to look after her.“ He organised a couple of January concerts in memory of Ellie and would put a rose on a front row empty seat for her. I last saw Derek in hospital after he had a fall and damaged his hip and he was grateful to be looked after by his daughter and her husband and was looking forward to getting up and about to sing again. Many Spanish consider him as a caballero a real gentleman and there was no problem for other professional artistes to gather around to organise a concert in homage to Derek that was held on Friday 20th January in the Casino where he loved to perform. Prior to Christmas he had performed in another concert in the Casino. He was an Englishman who was able to integrate easily into the Spanish community, in fact into the international community as so many of his friends were professional Eastern European artistes. He will certainly be missed by many in the Casino. A homage concert on 20th January was well attended and his daughter was overwhelmed by the obvious sympathy and respect offered to her father and she possibly realized for the first time the great esteem in which he was held in by local people who presented a photo of Derek Francis.

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Fanny Serrano and Eduardo Dolon at FITUR

Foto; Joaquin Carrion

FITUR is the first largest tourist fair in the world and is held in January in Madrid and launchd Sustainable Tourism Year. 2017 is an occasion of 12 months to celebrate and promote the contribution of the tourism sector to building a better world. This is the major goal of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute effectively to the SDGs. Accounting for 7% of worldwide exports, one in eleven jobs and 10% of the world’s GDP, the tourism sector if well managed can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusiveness and the protection of cultural and natural assets. The Costa Blanca had a large stall there in this international marketplace of tourism. Torrevieja was represented and new logo had been revealed by the local Tourist councillor Fanny Serrana. It is a faded rainbow with 365 indicating that the town is open for tourist business 365 days of the year, largely thanks to the benign climate. The logo includes the sun and moon, the blue tones suggest the sea and calmness, the yellow offers heat and fun. Also on offer are packets of salt from the Torrevieja lake. However, it seems a tragedy that the various offers of salt in containers that have been offered as fund raising by the Alzheimers association in conjunction with the Rotary Club has been completely rejected by the local tourist office. These include salt with herbal flavors for cooking, ceramic boat salt holder and a ceramic tower representing Torrevieja, as a useful salt container. aormi@icloud.com

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Talks are underway to offer disabled persons tourist routes including visiting the salt workings and the submarine. In a few months our present deputy mayor, Fanny Serrano, will be taking on the position of mayor. In the meantime she is still deputy mayor and councillor for tourism so if anyone wants to see her they have to make an appointment. This can be done by email at citasconcejalaserrano@gmail.com She is in charge of three main departments - tourism, town planning and the environment. So if anyone has a problem they wish discussed they should email Fanny Serrano outlining briefly the points they would like to discuss. If it is an ongoing matter then the case number should also be quoted. So you don't have a computer? Then go to the reception area of the planning department in calle Maldonado which is close to the town hall and ask for an appointment.

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Tourism on the up and up by Dave Stewart

For the seventh consecutive year Spain has beaten its previous tourist figures in 2016. 75.3 million foreign visitors enjoyed their holidays in various parts of Spain, mostly from UK, France and Germany. This mans an important figure in euros as this tourism generated 77 billion euros. The average daily amount was 137 euros. This year has been designated by UNESCO as Sustainable Tourism Year. So a look at some definitions related to sustainable tourism as all the tourists leave their own carbon imprint on the place they visit. Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and is a major source of income for many countries. Being a people-oriented industry, tourism also provides many jobs, which have helped revitalize local economies. No one

knows what the future will be, except that it will be very different from what life

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is today and that decisions about whether the future is a sustainable one or not will depend upon changes in human culture. Tourism operators construct images based, in part, on the physical appearance of the destination, but they also tailor the image to what they think consumers want. On many occasions, this desired image becomes the model for the construction of the physical facilities, and the kinds of services and activities provided. Thus, in a sense, the images also help to construct the reality. Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that respects both local people and the traveller, cultural heritage and the environment�. It seeks to provide people with an exciting and educational holiday that is also of benefit to the people of the host country.

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Transport Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy. Tourism can involve primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, nourishment and shopping. It can be related to travel for leisure, business and visiting friends and relatives.There is now broad consensus that tourism development should be sustainable; however, the question of how to achieve this remains open to debate. Without travel there is no tourism, so the concept of sustainable tourism is closely linked to a concept of sustainable mobility and the reliance on fossil fuels with its effect on the global climate. Flying accounts for 55% of travel usage. "Sustainable transportation is now established as the critical issue confronting a global tourism industry that is palpably unsustainable, and aviation lies at the heart of this issue (Gossling et al., 2010)." “Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary. Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them.� aormi@icloud.com

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When the experts are talking about saturable tourism they a usually have in mind emerging places like nature parks in Africa where tourism can have an incredible impact for good and evil. With that definition we are probably better off talking about responsible tourism “Responsible tourism is tourism which: ¥ minimizes negative social, economic and environmental impacts ¥ generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the wellbeing of host communities ¥ improves working conditions and access to the industry ¥ involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances. It is more than a form of tourism as it represents an approach to engaging with tourism, be that as a tourist, a business, locals at a destination or any other tourism stakeholder. ¥ makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity ¥ provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues aormi@icloud.com

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One of the biggest attractions for tourists is the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona.

ÂĽ provides access for physically challenged people Y is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and builds local pride and confidence. An example of responsible and sustainable tourism is Ecotourism most common forms of sustainable tourism is ecotourism, the commonly used to describe any form of holiday or recreation aormi@icloud.com

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surroundings. The Ecotourism Society also adds the concept of social responsibility in its definition of ecotourism as:“Ecotourism is environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy, study and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features – both past and present), that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations” That seems rather limited n La Mata Park falls into this category. Humane tourism is part of the movement of responsible tourism. The idea is to empower local communities through travel related businesses around the world, first and foremost in developing countries.

The World Tourism Organisation argues that, with care and proper policies, the cultural and environmental heritage of an area can be protected. One requirement is that tourists themselves act in ways which will sustain rather than damage host cultures and environments and follow an appropriate code of ethics. ‘Tourists’ who follow such a code of ethics often prefer to call themselves ‘travellers’. The distinction is between the ‘traveller’ who visits in order to learn and experience the cultures and environments of the places visited, and the ‘tourist’ who visits to be entertained by images and experiences created especially for the tourist market. Being a traveller involves six general principles: ¥ Preparing in advance ¥ Choosing the right tour operator aormi@icloud.com

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¥ Respecting local customs, cultures and lifestyles ¥ Considering the impact of your presence ¥ Presenting yourself realistically Continuing the experience when you return home. Levies can be imposed on the tourist industry to fund the teaching and development of traditional skills and art forms.

www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_c/mod16.html

Barcelona is the most visited city of Spain and the number of tourists has raised the alarm as in many districts local residents feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tourists and the impact they make on the local environment. There is talk of placing a tourist levy on tourists, which would be collected by hotels and other places where tourists lodge and there is a moratorium on building more hotels in the city centre aormi@icloud.com

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The Condal City - Barcelona by Dave Stewart

One of my favourite cities to visit is undoubtedly Barcelona. And not just for me as Barcelona’s popularity with international visitors made it the fifth top European destination in 2014, and the interest continues to grow. Barcelona is the capital of Cataluña and thanks to a good transport network it is easy to take in places outside the city such as Sitges, with a variety of festivals during the year, Port Aventura theme park near Salou or in the other direction the holiday resorts along the rugged Costa Blanca coastline and even Andorra. aormi@icloud.com

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The Province of Barcelona is full of interesting visits - beach towns, wine regions, mountains and more - all with the added advantage of being within easy reach of the capital either by hiring a car or using the Barcelona local train service. To the north, you'll find the under-rated Costa del Maresme with its charming ports and long sandy beaches. The rugged Costa de Garraf and Sitges, to the south, are definitely worth a visit, as is the Penedès wine region inland from here. The emblematic mountain of Montserrat with its historic monastery and towering rocks is an almost obligatory visit for anyone coming to Catalonia. The mountains of Montseny in El Vallès, though, are just as impressive and the inland comarques of Osona and El Berguedà both reach into the foothills of the Pyrenees.

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In number of overnight stays, Barcelona ranked only behind London, Paris, Berlin and Rome, and ahead of Madrid and Istanbul, according to the study. A chief characteristic of Barcelona tourism is that 80 percent of visitors are foreign, whereas in Madrid it’s the other way around: 60 percent of tourists come from other parts of Spain. Most Barcelonese don’t see their city as a tourist destination, but for others it is a Damned nuisance and there is a move underway to increase the so-called tourist tax and put limits on the tourist industry due to complaints from residents who often find it difficult to move around on public transport because of the Lumber of tourists. Just like every major city, Barcelona has trains, buses, an excellent metro system and taxis, as well as but also an excellent tram system; then there is the Funicular railway and Cable Cars, both of which provide access to the local mountains of Montjuïc and Tibidabo, which can also be reached by road. The popular Barcelona Card is a must for visitors to the Catalan capital and it can be booked in advance. aormi@icloud.com

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The travel card provides almost unlimited travel on the Barcelona public transport network, including the metro, buses, local trains and trams. There are various cards - two, three, four and five-day passes, so it really is a great way to get the best out of your time in the Catalan capital. You also get discounts and free offers at many museums, cultural venues, leisure facilities, shops, restaurants and entertainments. The Barcelona Card comes with a special tourist guide with recommendations on what to visit, where to eat and drink and how to take advantage of all the special offers. The Barcelona City Card has become such a great deal because local businesses are keen to promote themselves to foreign tourists meaning that everybody wins. France, Britain and the United States continue to be the main countries of origin for visitors to Barcelona, but there is a growing Japanese market as touring Europe has become popular and Spain is always on their itinerary. There were 17.1 million overnight stays in the Catalan capital in 2014 but the socialist mayor has put a moratorium on new licenses for tourist accommodation that has placed several hotel projects on hold. In an interview on Catalunya Ràdio, the mayor said the moratorium was “provisional and precautionary, because tourism is an asset that we need to take care of and make sustainable, and has created tension.” Apart from hotels there are also an undetermined number of unlicensed apartments that are being rented out to tourists through specialized websites. aormi@icloud.com

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Barcelona has a long history, as one legend has it that it takes its name from the Carthaginian monarch Hamilcar Barca, but others have it that an Iberian village named Barkeno was the original settlement by Iberians.

You can get an idea of this historical wealth of Barcelona at various places such as the Museu d'Historia de Barcelona (MUHBA) where the historical heritage of the city is preserved and put on display in the MUHBA's various locations such as the Plaça del Rei, the Call, the Temple d'August, and Refugi 307. Then there is the brand-new Born Centre Cultural, the Columnas de Adrian (Pillars of Hadrian), the royal shipyards of the Museu Maritím, the various shelters that were built to survive the Civil War, the modernist Illa de la Discòrdia (Block of Discord, noted for its four modernist buildings on Passeig de Gràcia), and the Fossar de les Moreres, which was once one of the historical cemeteries near the Santa Maria del Mar church and is a war memorial for those who lost their lives during the siege of Barcelona (1713-1714). As such the city has been under various regimens - Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, Aragon and today’s monarch and democracy at the end of the Franco dictatorship. The development of Barcelona was promoted by three events: Spanish accession to the European Community, and the millions of visitors attending the

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Barcelona has a long tradition of chocolate masters and a visit to one of the may shops or even the Chocolate Museum will enrich your life.

World Fair in Seville and Barcelona as host city of the 1992 Summer Olympics.The process of urban regeneration has been rapid, and accompanied by a greatly increased international reputation of the city as a tourist destination. Barcelona is much more than a single entity but rather the sum of 10 Districts made up of 73 neighbourhoods each with its own personality, history, customs and festivals as well as symbolic buildings, parks and gardens and cultural organisations.
 
 Each district not only has its major icons, such as Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, El Palau de la Música or El Monestir de Pedralbes, but also lesser-known buildings and spaces that are jewels waiting to be discovered.

Cataluña is a region that in the past lay at the heart of the kingdom of Aragon with links into Sicily, Naples and Sardinia. As a result it has drawn its citizens from these areas as well as French, Italians and from Andalusia. It was a strong trading sector in the Mediterranean and has always been constantly open to the world that has exerted its own influence, especially in the commercial areas. aormi@icloud.com

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Its geography has harsh mountains; fairly dry plains in the southern area, and lapping the shining Mediterranean. All this reflects the cuisine of mar i muntanya – sea and mountain, with r e m a r k a b l e combinations of meat and fish. The people are noted for their thriftiness and their ambition is to be recognised as a separate nation from Spain, complete with own language and flag. In the past it was governed by the count of Barcelona but when the last of the family died in the 15th century and it passed to the crown of Castile. The first Spanish cookbooks were written in Catalan and a famous manuscript of 1324 is Libre de Sent Seví with an extensive list of Catalan recipes and techniques. Although there are large supermarkets in Cataluña most local people shop for fresh products at the innumerable indoor markets in districts. The Boqueria off the Ramblas (or mercat de San Josep) and close to the opera house Lycee, is not only the most famous, but a tourist attraction because of its architecture and atmosphere. When the former river bed became the famous paseo of la Rambla, the market continued in existence. In the 19th century the ironwork covered market was created. In Barcelona, the window displays of bakeries and bread shops are delightful with cakes and pastries that change depending on the season.

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Barcelona is the perfect place to indulge in sweet treats. One of the most memorable things to see is a chocolateur making a whole city out of chocolate. For upmarket chocolates in fancy packaging, the place to go is Escribà; for cooked candies try Papabubble, where you can see the sweets being rolled in front of your eyes; and Bubó is where every bonbon is a work of art. There is no point in recommending restaurants because there are so many, with almost every building having its own bar/café at ground level. What about places of interest? It is possible if you are fit to walk around many of the sights of Barcelona, but there are plenty of organised tours that whiz visitors around the main places, although at a price. Even getting into museums and buildings can be expensive, especially if you have a family. Possibly the most popular building is that of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) basilica, still as yet unfinished, but still a marvel of architecture and art. Each morning there is an early Mass, but the rest of the day seems to be occupied by tourists pouring out of buses, being chaperoned by flag waving guides. Some people jibe about having to pay to see inside a church, but in the case of this magnificent building the money raised goes towards the completion of one of the wonders of architecture in the world. Antonio Gaudi worked for 23 years on the building and when one wonders at the dimensions it is useful to know that he based the width and length on what he read in the Bible about the Temple in Jerusalem. In several of his works you wonder at the curves of pillars and he calculated these with string and weights to get the various strengths of the pillars. The basis of the church is Gothic, but Gaudi modified it to bring in a new type of architecture. The three facades represent three culminating events in the life of Jesus Christ – his birth in calle Marina, his death and resurrection in calle Sardeny and his glory present and future in calle Mallorca. Gaudi planned 12 towers representing each of the Apostles. The highest point is 172.5 metres, just a few metres below the level of the Montjuich hill where some of the original stones came from. Gaudi was inspired by nature and the Christian message. One of the outstanding features of the Sagrada Familia is light as Gaudi used the sun

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shining through coloured glass to provide the illusion of eternal life that Christ offers. By 2020 the final six central towers should be completed to coincide with the death of Antonio Gaudi. Even if religion does not interest you then Barcelona will still astound you with some of the magnificent architecture and art found in churches such as that of Sant Pau del Camp, a rare example of Romanesque architecture with an extraordinary cloister and fantastic façade. Probably the best surviving example of Catalan Gothic is the graceful basilica of Santa Maria del Mar which provides a great atmosphere and acoustics for a classical concert. Possibly the most gothic building visited is the cathedral itself dedicated to Saint Eulalia, patron saint of Barcelona. It is noted for its 13 white geese – one for every year of the saint’s life before she died as a martyr. Another church declared a National Heritage Site in 1931 is Santa Maria del Pi also hosting classical concerts.

Santa Maria del Mar interior is a gem to visit even for a concert

Visitors undoubtedly will have to visit the central Las Ramblas – Barcelona's most famous walking street with its street entertainers and artists, its flower and bird kiosks providing glorious colour and music. It begins at the famous plaza Catalunya. Originally the Ramblas was a river but it has been covered over to make this splendid walkway in the centre of the wide street with traffic on either side, with department stores and hotels as well as innumerable good restaurants and fast food places. Off the Ramblas there are numerous small streets that thrive with their own life full of antique and souvenir shops. Of especial interest is the Gothic district with the cathedral the central point. On the Ramblas you find the wonderful Lycée Theatre where there is an underground metro stop with the same name.

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Barcelona also has a literary flavour that was to be found in the lower end of the Ramblas where there is a high monument of Christopher Columbus pointing seawards to the Americas. Many a writer has been inspired by the lower Raval, which was once called the 'Barrio Chino', a name coined by an American journalist due to its underworld atmosphere in the 1920s, rather like London’s Soho now taken over by the Chinese. The Raval is also where you need to go to get some of the city's essential culture nourishment, including the CCCB (Barcelona's contemporary culture centre, which hosts exhibitions, conferences and more), the MACBA (the city's contemporary art museum), the Biblioteca de Catalunya (library) and the wax museum.

At the bottom of the Ramblas is the sea, with a replica of Santa Maria used by Columbus. The maritime museum has a ship related to Pascual Flores and also built in Torrevieja and is still in sea use. Further out is the beach reclaimed for the 1992 Olympics with an oceanic natural museum nearby. Eating Out Frankly there is no point in even trying to write about the restaurants available in Barcelona as there are so many – from fast food outlets to bistros, to restaurants cum art gallery, traditional to auvante garde. But one special place that has to be booked in advance is that of the Opera Samfaina, which aormi@icloud.com

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offers a complete art and cuisine experience. It offers local Catalan produce and recipes and is considered an experience of gastronomic leisure. This gastronomic - cultural "surrealistic" space is sheltered in the Great Teatre del Liceu and led by the company Tast Barcelona. It consists of 950 square meters distributed in five thematic areas that aspire to entertain: Rocambolesc, Vermuteria, Odissea, Prima donna and Mercat created by the artist Franc Aleu. The chef Joan Roca has made clear that they had creating a project 'prêt-àporter' ", that is available to most of public, and that it was very creative, with Catalonia in the centre and also with much humor. You are looking to spend at least 25 euros for this experimental gastronomical and art experience.

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Modernist buildings in Barcelona. Modernisme was a Catalan cultural movement centred in Barcelona and Catalonia from 1888 to 1911. It is most famous for its architectural expression in particular the many works of Antoni Gaudí. There are a handful of modernist buildings in Barcelona that are outstanding. Three of them are in the one Barcelona city block called the “Illa de la Discòrdia” - the "Block of Discord" on the street Passeig de Gracia. They are "Casa Amatller" designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, the magical "Casa Batlló" by Antoni Gaudi and the "Casa Lleó-Morera." A little further up the street Passeig de Gracia on the opposite site is one of Gaudi's most famous buildings in Barcelona named "Casa Mila" - and nicknamed "La Pedrera" (the Quarry). In the summer months you can enjoy rooftop terrace jazz concerta at La Pedrera. At Casa Batllo you can tour the building and also enjoy summer concerts in the modernist courtyard. Another modernist treasure is the beautiful Palau Guell town house near Las Ramblas, also by Antoni Gaudi. For modernist art and furniture visit to the Barcelona Modernist museum. A popular way to see top modernist buildings is on foot on Passeig de Gracia or by taking hopon-hop-off tourist buses. Nearest Metro stations Passeig de Gracia or Diagonal.

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FC Barcelona Camp Nou Stadium and Barรงa museum are a must visit for any football fans. Enjoy the excitement of discovering the different spaces in the Camp Nou and the Museum, and which reveal so much about the values of effort, respect, ambition, team-work and humility that both now and in the historical past have been displayed by the Barรงa footballers, as well the players of a variety of other sports, the club members and its fans. It is advisable to look it up on Internet and prebook an Entrance ticket for 25 euros with reductions for pensioners and youths.

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Another hill to visit is that of Montjuic, which takes its name from a medieval cemetery of the Jews. A bonus is the Poble Espanyol Spanish Village which is one of the city's most popular visitor attractions: a unique combination of a r c h i t e c t u r e , contemporary art, traditional crafts, shops and gastronomy, in a pleasant setting free of traffic which is perfect for all the family. Situated in one of Barcelona's most iconic areas, just a short distance away from the Montjuïc Fountains, the Poble Espanyol was built in 1929 for the International Exhibition and resembles an actual village with replicas of 117 buildings from different Spanish regions. You'll find a typical Andalusian quarter, a section of the Way of Saint James and examples of Romanesque monastic architecture, among others. Aside from the natural surroundings and spectacular vistas, you'll find buildings from the 1992 Olympic Games, including the Palau Sant Jordi and the telecommunications tower designed by Santiago Calatrava. If you're feeling full of beans and you get to the top of the hill, you can check out the Olympic stadium and the Jardi Botànic. Plaça Espanya, at the foot of Montjuïc, is the most common access aormi@icloud.com

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point to the mountain, and where you can also visit the Pavelló Mies van der Rohe and the CaixaForum cultural centre. If you're in the mood for visiting some of the most impressive buildings and parks, you'll want to see all the Parc de la Ciutadella has to offer as well as the Parc de Joan Miró, and the Montjuïc castle, Get up and get out for a walk around the lush gardens of the Teatre Grec and then head over to the Fundació Joan Miró, one of the largest museums in the world and home to a collection of over 225 paintings, 150 sculptures and graphic pieces by the Spanish surrealist painter, along with a number of works by his contemporaries.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuic music and light show The magic fountain of Montjuïc's (Font màgica de Montjuïc in Catalan) first performance was on May 19, 1929 during the Great Universal Exhibition. The designer Carles Buigas submitted his plans one year before the exhibition and many thought that the project was too ambitious to be created, let alone completed on time. Over 3000 workers were commissioned to work on the project and less than 1 year later the magic fountain was born. The magic fountain is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics - if you mix these elements together in just the right combinations, you end up with pure magic! The magic fountain is a "must see" when you come to aormi@icloud.com

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Barcelona and highly recommended. In the background is the Sacred Heart basilica which is lit up with moving searchlights and adds another dimension to the magic of the night sky. Schedule: 2017 Closed: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 06 January - 18 February: Closed 19 February - 31 March, Friday and Saturday: 19:00 - 20:30 01 April - 31 May, Friday and Saturday: 21:00 - 22:30 01 June - 30 September, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 21:30 - 23:00 01 October - 31 October, Friday and Saturday: 21:00 - 22:30 01 November - 05 January, Friday and Saturday Except 30 December: 19:00 - 20:30

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Park Guell – Gaudi's modernist park on Carmel hill overlooking Barcelona One of Barcelona's most famous attractions is Parc Guell by Catalan and Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. Antoni Gaudi's Park Guell is on El Carmel hill in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. Park Guell started as a project to create a residential garden city and finally became a public park in 1922. Park Guell today is part of the UNESCO World Heritage "Works of Antoni Gaudí." The original idea of Park Guell was not to make a park or a tourist attraction. It was to create a private residential garden city for wealthy Barcelona residents, who could live in Park Guell on the hill El Carmel far from the smoke and noise of Barcelona's city centre and with lovely city views. The idea did not work, perhaps due to the remote location, or to the strange ideas and designs that Gaudi created.The most famous feature of Parc Guell is the the famous mythical curving serpentine bench snaking its way around the perimeter of the main plaza. This is considered one of Gaudi's most original and famous works.The unique curved shape of the serpentine bench lets the people sitting on it talk privately and easily. The serpentine bench in Park Guell is decorated in a technique using broken shards of tiles and pottery to make a colourful mosaic. This is called "trencadis" in Catalan, or also called "pique assiette." At the time the park was created -  around 1900 - there were many factories in Barcelona - and Barcelona's air was quite polluted. Guell bought the land on Carmel hill to build a housing project where rich residents could escape the dirty air and noise of the city. aormi@icloud.com

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There was already had a manor house on the site of Park Guell - called Larrard House or Muntaner de Dalt House - and the land was close to a residential neighbourhood of houses called "La Salut," which means "health." So the idea of a garden city with views seemed solid. Park Guell was built in the years from 1900 to 1914 on a plot of land that measures 17.18 ha (0.1718 km²) in total. Parc Guell is an public park designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. It is on the Carmel hill in the upper part of the Gracia district of Barcelona. The ticket price to the monumental area of Park Guell is €7 if you buy a ticket in advance, or €8 at the park Guell entrance. Buy skip-the-line tickets to Park Guell. It's a good idea to book in advance because only 800 visitors an hour are allowed in the park. Park Guell tickets can be bought up to three months before the visit. Maximum number of 9 tickets per person. Local residents have free access to the park.

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Tibadabo hill, Sagrat Cor church & Tibidabo amusement park Tibidabo is another hill that overlooks Barcelona with magnificent views across the city and spotting some of the larger monuments, such as the church of la Familia Sagrada. It can be reached by several means of transport or even by walking up to it. On the tram's journey up the mountain you will pass through Barcelona's most affluent residential area. Take in the leafy surroundings and sneak a peek at the houses of the city's rich and famous. Mind you not all are well off and famous as I had a lovely lady friend who had a house there but was a live-in domestic in London. The journey lasts around seven minutes and as you alight you are half way up Mount Tibidabo and can take in some breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The Plaรงa Dr Andreu is a picturesque platform looking down over the city. There are pretty restaurants with terraces to while away the hours in tranquil surroundings. The hill is a bit strange to Anglo-Saxon eyes as there is a mamgnificient church overlooking a small funfair.It was built in 1889 and a lot of the rides date back to this time, giving the park a whimsical feel. Don't expect any bare-knuckle rides, but the views and friendly atmosphere, with people in fancy dress parading through the park and interacting with the visitors, make for an enjoyable day out. There is also a beautiful church to view- the Temple de Sagrat Cor. Built in 1806 and renovated in 1902, it is a Neo-Gothic structure with a bronze statue of the Sacred Heart at the top. You can take a lift to the top of the church and check out the city at 575 meters above sea level. I have seen four weddings taking place in different parts of this church at the same time. aormi@icloud.com

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How To Get To Tibidabo Mountain Top Bus: Tibibus This special bus service runs from Plaça Catalunya square to Tibidabo amusement park. The bus stop can be found in front of Caja Madrid Bank in Plaça

Catalunya square. Tibibus timetable: Monday - Sunday: 10:15 then bus runs every 20 minutes when Tibidabo amusement park is open. Tibibus single ticket:  €2.95 City Bus: Plaça Tibidabo: 111 Train: Take (Brown Line, L7) from Plaza de Catalunya Metro. Note, this is a train rather than the Metro, so follow signs for RENFE. Alight at Avenida Tibidabo. From the Avenida Tibidabo stop you need to walk over to the Tramvia Blau stop which is across the road from the metro stop. The Tramvia Blau will take you half way up the mountain. You can stop here at a Caféteria to enjoy the view. Once you have reached the half way point however you will then need to continue your journey to the very top of Tibidabo mountain by taking the Funicular mountain train.

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Barcelona has its fair share of live music venues, such as Razzmatazz and Apolo, but the city boasts some wonderful concert halls as well. The Gran Teatre del Liceu is a survivor in splendour, decorated with gold leaf, plush red carpets and ornate carvings. There's L'Auditori, a sleek space with a capacity for 2,400 concert-goers, and not just fans of classical - they also host jazz and world music performances, among others. The Palau de la Música Catalana is celebrated for its modernist architecture and for the sheer number of concerts it hosts. Barcelona is also home to s e v e r a l international m u s i c festivals, including Primavera Sound, the F e s t i v a l Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona, Sónar and C r u ï l l a , a m o n g others.

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Montserrat

Barcelona is a great centre for exploring places further afield such as the famous Montserrat mountains and monastery and is just one hour from Barcelona and is visited by 3 million travellers and pilgrims every year. Montserrat is a mountain that astonishes you the moment you see it, for it is so different from all others. Seen from the distance, looming up alone out of the landscape, it is bound to attract your attention. Depending on where you see it from, its silhouette is reminiscent of the toothed blade of a saw. And here you have the clue to its name, for the Catalan word Montserrat means "sawn mountain". But you will find this name even more felicitous as you approach the mountain and start climbing. The shape of the rocks might make you imagine that Montserrat had been carved, wrought or sawn by some prodigious hand. In fact the poet Verdaguer, one of the great epic writers in our literary history, envisaged the mountain as something sawn by the angels. The present day community of Montserrat, together with the communities of the Miracle amnd Sant Miquel de CuixĂ , is made up of a hundred monks who are governed according to the Rule of San Benedict ( 6th century).The rugged outline of Mount Montserrat means that the construction of the Sanctuary is not uniform. Its

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structure is made up of two large blocks of buildings: the Basilica, together with Monastery buildings, and the buildings for tourists and pilgrims. The Basilica Architecturally speaking, the Basilica falls between the Gothic and Renaissance traditions, the latter of which began to spread through Catalonia in the 16th century. The Basilica was greatly damaged during the War with the Frech (1808-1814), and could not be reconstructed until the end of the 19th century . The Holy Cave The path which leads to the Santa Cova (Holy Cave) starts near the cable car and continues for about one and a half kilometres along a route established in the seventeenth century. Financial support from the faithful contributed to the fifteen sculptural groups corresponding to the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary set up along the route. GaudĂ­, Puig i Cadafalch, Josep LLimona, the aormi@icloud.com

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Va l l m i t j a n a brothers and others all worked on these pieces of sculpture. A centre of devotion is that of the image of Our L a d y o f Montserrat, popularly known as La Moreneta (the Dark One), due to the dark colour of her skin, is a truly beautiful 12th-century Romanesque polychrome carving. In his early search for spiirituality Igantius of Loyola hung his soldier’s sword at the feet of the image vowing to become a soldier of Christ instad of a military one. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed Our Lady of Montserrat Patron Saint of Catalonia in 1881. In 1947, the image was enthroned in a silver altarpiece, paid for by popular subscription and installed in the upper section of the basilica apse. Montserrat lost most of its heritage during the Napoleonic Wars. However, since the Monastery was restored in 1844, the museum has formed a valuable collection of artistic works. Private donations, from the artists themselves, and the sensitivity of the monks have made this possible. The Museum is divided into different sections organised in an instructive way. Guided tours are available. aormi@icloud.com

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Maritime Museum and Torrevieja The Maritime Museum of Barcelona (MMB) ( Maritime Museum of Barcelona ) is located in the building of Drassanes Reials de Barcelona , the royal arsenal of Barcelona, dedicated to shipbuilding between the thirteenth century and eighteenth century. The first mention of these arsenals date from 1243 in a document indicating the boundaries of the city of Barcelona where it mentions its shipyard.It shows the history of the navigation from the early days together with the history of the Spanish Navy since the Catholic Monarchs, in the 15th century, up to the present. It also hosts several navigation instruments, weapons, portolans and paintings. The museum was declared Museum of National Interest by the Government of Catalonia and has many interesting exhibits. One of the museums principal attractions has its origins in Torrevieja. aormi@icloud.com

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D. Pascual Flores Benavente was a businessman who lived in Valencia in the 19th Century. He had large farms dedicated to oranges and their exportation. He also owned the fabulous plaza de toros in Valencia. In n effort to expand his activities he visited Torrevieja, specifically because of its reputation for building sailing ships. He contracted the skilled boatbuilder, Antonio Marí Aguirre , to build two three-masted ships in 1917 and 1918 in the dockyard of the beach at Arenal de Cala Cornuda. The wood was obtained locally, mostly pine.The brother of the boatbuilder, Francisco Marí , was appointed as administrator of both vessels. The ships were baptized after the owners two children, Pascual Flores and Carmen Flores. Initially the Carmen Flores sailed between diverse Mediterranean ports but also to Cuba. In was in these transatlantic voyages aormi@icloud.com

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that the ship became nicknamed El Chulo because of her speed. In 1928 a motor replaced one of the masts. Then she was renamed Puerto de Palma in 1931 mostly Shipping flour between Barcelona and the the Balearic Islands until she was decommissioned for smuggling. Then in 1936 she was taken over by the Navieria Mallorquina with another name change Cala San Vicent with a variety of cargoes. In 1975 another name change Sayremar I when she was used as an auxiliary ship for submariners. She was acquired by the Barcelona Maritime Museum in 1998 and restored to her original three masts. She is normally docked at the Fusta Quay in Barcleona. Today Carmen Flores ship is named Santa Eulalia and is part of the Barcelona Maritime Museum. She has a crew that take her sailing and competing in various regattas such as that from Barcelona to Baleares. In her career the ship has had several names “Carmen Flores”, “Puerto de Palma”, “Cala San Vicent”, “Sayremar I” and finally “Santa Eulalia. The sister ship, Pascual Flores remains unused and requiring maintenance in Torrevieja harbour, a political victim of misplaced power.

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Picasso Museum is a permanent collection of Picasso's early years in Barcelona. Picasso Museum located in Barcelona, houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. With 4,251 works exhibited by the painter, the museum has one of the most complete permanent collections of works. The museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces in Barcelona's La Ribera and is located on Montcada Street in the (Bank District) of Barcelona. It opened to the public on 9 March 1963, becoming the first museum dedicated to Picasso's work and the only one created during the artist's life. It has since been declared a (museum of national interest) by the Government of Catalonia. Highlights of the collection include two of his first major works, The First Communion (1896), and Science and Charity (1897). In particular, the Museu Picasso reveals Picasso's relationship with the city of Barcelona, a relationship that was shaped in his youth and adolescence, and continued until his death.

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Antoni Gaudí was born on 25 June 1852 in Reus, in the Baix Camp, which was then the second city in Catalonia. Antoni Gaudí was born on 25 June 1852 in Reus, in the Baix Camp, which was then the second city in Catalonia. In 1906, Antoni Gaudí moved into what is now known as the Gaudí House Museum, the model home at Park Güell designed by Francesc d’Assís Berenguer i Mestres, the architect’s friend and right-hand man, where he lived for nearly 20 years. He worked for 43 years on the temple until 1926. In 1914 he left all other work to concentrate exclusively on this sole project until his death on 10 June 1926, the result of a tragic accident three days earlier. His funeral cortege, which went through much of Barcelona and finished in the Sagrada Familia, was a grand event in the city in recognition of his status as the greatest architect Barcelona has ever seen. Gaudí was buried in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia. As of today, 70% of the work on the temple has been executed, and the goal is to complete all of the architectural work by 2026. The goal for 2020 is to finish all six central towers. Work on the temple will finish with the construction of the main façade, the Glory façade. One of the most striking features in the building is the use of light. Gaudí made great use of light to endow his architecture with expressivity and grandeur. Sunlight glistens on the pinnacles of the towers and windows. The rising sun lights up the portals of the Nativity facade, accentuating the joy for life that is the birth of Jesus. Opening Hours - March, 9 am to 7 pm

April to September, 9 am to 8 pm

October, 9 am to 7 pm

December 25, 26, January 1 and 6, 9 am to 2 pm

Sale of tickets finishes 30 minutes before closing time. The times and days when the Sagrada Familia is open to the public may occasionally be modified by the management due to special events taking place inside the basilica.

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Salvador Dali Museum Salvador Dalí was the genius of the surrealism art movement. Dalí was a Spanish Catalan artist, illustrator, sculptor, author and film maker. Dalí is of one of most famous artists of the 20th century and he changed the world with his fabulous surrealist imagery and flamboyant personality. Barcelona does not have a Dalí   museum. There are three Dali museums near Barcelona. The main Dalí   museum is called the Dalí Theatre-Museum and is   in Figueres which is two hours north of Barcelona. You can get to the Dali museum by train or bus or there are several group tour or small group tour.   Figueres is the town where Dali was born and died. The Dali Theatre museum was created by Salvador Dalí himself in his home town. It is the biggest surrealist work of art in the world. You can also visit his home which is near Cadaques on the Costa Brava coast - and his wife's home called Castell Gala. On the Internet you will find a myriad of guided tours to these places and other towns where Dali has a memory.

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Because Barcelona is divided into numerous districts there are as many fiestas throughout the year as there are districts. One of the most famous is that of La Festa Major de Gracia 2017 Festes de Gràcia 2016 - calendar and guide Fiesta mayor de Gràcia festival 15th August to 21st August 2017

The Gracia Festival is considered by many to be Barcelona's best, nicest, most festive and most welcoming street festival. The Gracia neighbourhood is located 20 minutes on foot north west of the city centre of Barcelona in the direction of the hills to the west of Barcelona.  The Gracia festival is a very colourful local street festival that fills many streets and plazas in the Gracia area of Barcelona. Gracia was once a separate village from the city of Barcelona. It was only in 1897 fully incorporated into the city and the Gracia neighbourhood still has narrow village streets and a village feel which gives it a special atmosphere.

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Cortisone and Diabetes by Pat Hynd

Cortisone Injections are harmful to your body,

and may raise your blood glucose level if you have diabetes! Short-term complications are uncommon but include shrinkage (atrophy) and lightening of the color (depigmentation) of the skin at the injection site, introduction of bacterial infection into the body, local bleeding from broken blood vessels in the skin or muscle, soreness at the injection site, and aggravation of inflammation in the area injected because of reactions to the corticosteroid medication (post-injection flare). Increased pain after the injection is typically due to a post-injection flare as a true allergic reaction to cortisone is very rare. Tendons can be weakened by corticosteroid injections in or near tendons. Tendon ruptures as a result have been reported. Facial flushing may occur in up to 40% of cases but lasts only briefly. Sweating and insomnia are uncommon. In people who have diabetes, cortisone injections can elevate the blood sugar. In patients with underlying infections, cortisone injections can suppress somewhat the body's ability to fight the infection and possibly worsen the infection or may mask the infection by suppressing the symptoms and signs of inflammation. Generally, cortisone injections are used with caution in people with diabetes and avoided in people with active infections. Cortisone injections are used cautiously in people with a bleeding disorder. Long-term risks of corticosteroid injections depend on the dose and frequency of the injections. With higher doses and frequent administration, potential side effects include thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face, acne (steroid acne), elevation of blood pressure, cataract formation, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), and a rare but serious type of damage to the bones of the large joints (avascular necrosis).

Case in Point Allan has a prothesis in his left knee and there is talk of repeating the same operation in the right knee. For a number of months he has had injections in his right knee to alleviate aormi@icloud.com

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the pain. These are known in Spain as infiltraciones and are cortisone based. Physiotherapists do not recommend massages for at least 24 hours after an infiltracion. For over forty years Allan has had diabetes which has meant using insulin injections for the past twenty years or so. In the past he has had cortisone injections for a frozen shoulder in London by a specialist who treated sports injuries with famous boxers and footballers: the doctor intended buying two houses in the early stages of Lago Jardin for his patients' use when it was planned to have a health spa there. So overall Allan reckons he has about 14 cortisone style injections. At no time has anyone mentioned that there are often secondary effects and danger to diabetics. But normally cortisone has a tendency to push glucose levels up. The last injection Allan had was in November which was prepared and injected by a new traumatologist doctor. Allan was not happy about it as the procedure was different to previous infiltraciones. He felt that his skin was hot and he could not sleep all night. In the morning he had his breakfast and insulin injection without checking his glucose level and went back to bed. Fortunately his wife was not satisfied and phoned their daughter for advice which was to waken him up and do a sugar blood test. In the meantime the daughter phoned the GP and explained the problem and was told to get Allan round to the emergency section at La Loma Clinic and the doctor would warn the medical staff. The daughter told her mum and drove to pick her groggy dad up and took him to the clinic where he was immediately seen to by the nurses on duty. But they could not get a reading as it was so high it was off the scale of the glucometer. The doctor came down and Allan was given an injection of a rapid action insulin that is used only in hospitals and medical centres. There was no obvious result. The normal glucose reading is 100 and Allan's number was over 600, which as the doctor explained later could have exploded his pancreas. aormi@icloud.com

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The decision was made to send the patient to Torrevieja Hospital and he was put in an ambulance. The ambulance driver asked for papers to accompany the patient but the

doctor said that she would send an informe (report) by electronic email. The result was that on arrival Allan was immediately accepted into Urgencias and seen by a doctor. After various tests including X-rays he was put into the Observation unit of Accident and Emergencies where he was carefully monitored. As soon as the team realized that Allan had had a cortisone injection they started injecting rapid insulin into the patient's arm with regular monitoring blood tests and very slowly the glucose levels came down. Allan was in Observation, which is an open style ward with differing sections depending on each patient's original diagnosis, for about 30 hours before he was released and recommended to see the diabetic specialist and his own GP. His doctor decided to increase the mixed insulin dosage he was already using, but after a couple of weeks a small dose of rapid insulin was added dependent on blood reasons. So far this has only been used a few times and slowly the readings have gone down but need to be checked three times a day prior to each insulin jab. Readings can also be done two hours after meals and during the night if the patient thinks it is necessary. Another thing Allan noticed was that his skin was bruising easily and his doctor admitted that it was yet another secondary effect of the cortisone. Evidently the skin becomes thinner.

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Friday Outdoor Market to Move by Andy Ormiston

Friday market was located around the main church aormi@icloud.com

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Around Holy Week the outdoor market in Torrevieja will move once again to a preprepared location near the Aquapark. This has been on the cards for several years, the idea of the former Partido Popular mayor Pedro Hernandez Mateo. Extra buses will be laid on from the town centre to the new market site, which can also be used for openair concerts and other events. The early people of Torrevieja at the end of the 18th century had to do some of their basic shopping at Guardamar, which would have been troublesome to say the least, as there was little in the way of roads, so

The Friday market in the town centre sold household goods, fruit and vegetables from Murcia, souvenirs and even live chickens and rabbits for the pot.

some would have sailed along the coast to the Guardamar market. In 1770, on the 19th March, an official letter authorized the opening of a combined bakery/grocery shop and tavern in Torrevieja, as well as permitting people to set up houses and sink wells. At the first council meeting in July 1830, it was decided to have two market places, the first at the Isabel II plaza which continues today as an indoor market: the second was a weekly street market in the plaza de Constitución, which stayed there until the late 1980’s before moving to other areas of the town and is today one of the largest street markets on the Costa Blanca, held on Fridays. It is interesting, that the original fruit and vegetable market that was located in the town centre is still known as the plaza de Isabel II. It is aormi@icloud.com

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probably the only plaza in town that has kept the same name over the past two centuries. The indoor market was temporarily moved to the funfair area in a temporary building that was air-conditioned and it proved a great success as people could park almost alongside and do some shopping. So there was reluctance on the part of the stall keepers to move when the new premises were built. A new multi-purpose building was constructed in the Isabel II plaza in 1995 with the market stalls on the ground floor and shops on the second floor and a cinema on the top floor, but these never proved successful. The outdoor market around the main plaza and the la Inmaculada church grew larger and larger as the residential tourism of the last three decades of the 20th century took hold and thousands of people visited the outdoor market seen as a tourist attraction. So the whole market was moved a bit further away in 1990 and took up the whole of the dual carriageway of the avenida de Habaneras, which worked well until stalls gradually crept into the surrounding streets. It was easy to arrive at the bus station and walk down one side of the street to the sea at la Palangre, then walk back up in the opposite side of the street back to the bus station area. It meant that traffic was diverted. At the turn of the century it was then decided to move the market close to Nueva Torrevieja in scrub land that had streets laid out; and this soon was developed as constructors saw a ready source of buyers every Friday. Now that has led to congestion and the market will once again move to a new home. Many see this as the end of the local commerce as less people will bother going into the town centre or even visit the promenade and have a drink or meal on the sea front. Only time will tell if this new position will lead to greater or lesser prosperity.

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David Bowie is…in Barcelona by Dave Stewart

In over fifty years from his very first recordings right through to his last album Blackstar, David Bowie was at the vanguard of contemporary culture as a musician, artist, icon and a constant influence on generations of writers, artists and designers. He was, and remains to be, a unique presence in contemporary culture. The exhibition David Bowie is will take place at Museu del Disseny de Barcelona (Barcelona Design Museum) starting May 25, 2017. The show, produced by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, has already been seen by a 1.5 million visitors during its world tour to cities including Berlin, Paris and Chicago. One of the most successful exhibitions in the long-standing history of the   Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) finally comes to Barcelona David Bowie is, is the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie – one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times. Over 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork and rare performance material from the past five decades are brought together from the David Bowie Archive for the very first time. The exhibition demonstrates how Bowie’s work has both influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design, theatre and contemporary culture and focusses on his creative

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processes, shifting style and collaborative work with diverse designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre and film.

The Royal Mail Group for their next installment of their Music Giants Special Stamp series offers a tribute to David Bowie, one of the most influential music and cultural figures of all time. This Special issue will be released on 14 March 2017. Alongside the Special Stamps, First Day Covers and Presentation Pack, this exciting issue will feature several limited edition David Bowie souvenirs, some of which have an edition limit of just 950. Presentation Pack •  Includes all six Special Stamps plus the Stamp Sheet. •  Authoritatively written, the pack charts the career of David Bowie. £11.30 Framed Stamps •  Features all six Special Stamps, individually mounted in a black frame. •  Handmade for Royal Mail in the UK. •  Dimensions W 27cm x H 23cm £29.99 To Buy or for more information go to their website:

www.royalmail.com/davidbowiestamps aormi@icloud.com

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Happy New Year, Chinese Style with the Sal de Torrevieja Carnival Group in China in January.

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Carnival Infant Queen 2017 , Lucía Arias Villalba, with a Never Ending Story foto: Alfonso Pascual Ruiz

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Adult Carnival Queen 2017, Eurídice Campelo Monter is Out of Africa foto: Alfonso Pascual Ruiz

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036 torrevieja outlook february 1  

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