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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sitges, Sant Joan Festival, and Half Way Mark!

by Mariam Ketner

Hey Everyone! The past three weeks have been so crazy and amazing, I am literally in shock that this experience has reached it’s half way mark… I feel like we’ve only just begun! So much has happened, this city never sleeps. This weekend was probably one of the most memorable I have had yet. After a long and stressful week at school, we were all looking forward to letting lose this weekend in true Spanish fashion: Sitges Day Trip on Friday and our very first Sant Joan Festival on Saturday. We all woke up early Friday morning and met at the train station with Inma and the rest of our group for a day trip to one of her favorite cities, and one of the most beautiful I have seen, Sitges. Sitting right on the Mediterranean Coast, this town is the epitome of beauty with its beaches and architecture. We started our day off at the Bacardi House with a tour, learning the historical origins of the Bacardi family and their passion of creating the best rum. After that we headed to the restaurant to have a traditional Spanish lunch that consisted of seafood and vermicelli noodles. Not everyone enjoyed it, especially if you don’t eat much seafood but I gave it a try and it was pretty good. After lunch we headed to the beach where we spent the  rest of our afternoon soaking up the sun, swimming, and relaxing. By the end of the day, we were all sunburnt and wiped out.

Yesterday, however, was a day to remember for sure. It marked the Summer Solstice, and in Spain known as Sant Joan Festival. Basically, a reason to party, play with fireworks, and go to the beach! It was so fun. We decided to do a big lunch/dinner at our place before heading out. About 10 of us made pasta, chicken, and watermelon punch and we finished it off with Cava and Coca de Fruita (traditional Sant Joan food: Champagne and a fruit glazed cake). We then headed to an Irish pub in La Rambla to watch Spain beat France in futbol and we were lucky enough to get awesome footage of the parade that just so happened to be right outside the pub before the game started. Basically, all of Barcelona was out and about in the streets- it was so fun and energetic! After the glorious win, we headed to Port Olimpic in Barceloneta to catch some great fireworks and do a traditional Midnight Run into the ocean, basically a way of ‘wiping the slate clean’ for the next chapter of life. I’ll admit it, I only went into my knees, but someone had to keep a watch on our stuff from pick pocketing! All in all, words cannot describe the weekend and all it entailed. I think being fully immersed in the Spanish culture is the best way to experience life here. I am excited to see what other amazing things will happen in the next few weeks!

Until next time,



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