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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Becoming a Pubilla, An Ancestral Tradition in Catalonia

Pubillas


Every year pubilles and hereus from all over Catalonia participate in a contest summoned by organizations that promote traditions of the past in the region. As was described in a previous post in Barcelona Photoblog, a pubilla is the heiress in a family where there is no son. She is the eldest daughter, must be between 16 and 21 years old and inherits the home and the estate. The hereu, is the heir, in those cases when there is a son. Families with pubilles were supposed to receive a contribution from the family of the groom, that unlike dowries, were voluntary. This contribution was called aixovar, from Arabic, assovár.

Being elected as the pubilla or the hereu of their municipality or in a final national contest, the representatives of all Catalonia, is a privilege for these youngsters who feel proud of defending the traditions of their ancestors. They will be honor guests in all minor festivities concerning these matters around Catalonia and will be received by the president of the Catalan parliament. A visit to Montserrat Monastery will be a must in their schedule.

Check also this post about Pubilles and Hereus or this one featuring a dancer in traditional dress.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Where to Have Real Italian Ice Cream in Barcelona

Gelaaati Di Marco Italian Ice Cream Barcelona

Although real good Italian ice cream you have to try in Italy, there are some good parlors in Barcelona that keep up with customer expectations.

As with everything in this life, you have genuine things and bad copies, like JFK and Trump for example. There are the touristic spots, the local shops and then there are the authentic venues selling the real thing. Not that I want to harm the well doing of our ice cream vendors, but quality should always be a must for everyone.

Today I will mention my two favorite ice cream parlors offering the real stuff in the city, la creme de la creme. I prefer not to mention which is my second best.

Gelaaati! Di Marco at Carrer de la Llibreteria, 7 near Plaça Sant Jaume Metro Line 4 Yellow

In spite of being located in a well known touristic area, the Gothic quarter or Barri Gotic, this place manages to offer high quality, homemade ice cream in a way that is really appealing to the eye and the stomach. The staff is efficient and friendly and always dressed up for the occasion.

DelaCrem at Carrer d'Enric Granados, 15

In this case, we are talking about a shop in a very quiet street, not too frequented by tourists, that in spite of the small space could be a winner in any prestigious list of ice cream specialists. DelaCrem has a terrace that in summer really makes a difference. Offering less flavors than Gelaaati! Di Marco,  they are always original and offer extremely delicious ice creams. 

You would say I'm crazy because I am talking about ice cream in winter but with this global warming it really does not matter anymore.  

Here is a list of the best ice cream shops in Barcelona via @TimeOutBCN



Ice cream sticks

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mass Tourism in Barcelona and Catalan Crisis According to the Media

Mass Tourism in Barcelona


According to several sources, both local and international, tourism in Barcelona, Catalonia has dropped about 15 percent with respect to the same period last year during the referendum, the violent police repression crisis and the pacific demonstrations of Catalans.

It is evident that figures will not skyrocket in this situation but it must be stressed that this is low season so there is no place for pessimism.

Whoever reads newspaper headlines these days must be aware of one thing that is not perceived from outside this country, the media are always under controlled of certain political groups. After the events of the past days, there are different points of view to evaluate Catalan crisis. Some Catalans have declared a Republic and do not want to follow Spain and its constitution anymore, some other Catalans do believe in the Spanish constitution although they might back up the Republic. There are the ones that are against the Republic, the independence movement but feel more Catalan than Spanish or the ones that feel Spanish but Catalan at the same time. As you see, this is not easy to understand sometimes.

It is not strange then that the media take sides and are biased. Some leftist newspapers have blatantly drifted to more centrist positions or directly flirted with the conservative right. A few are only defending the constitutional rights of Spaniards and thus according to their opinion, of Catalans but there are many who have decided to sell their professional ethic in favor of higher interests who pay their wages.

So summing up, you will hear the word crisis too often, you will hear that Catalan stability is worsening and that economy is breaking up in pieces. Bearing all this in mind, knowing all the pros and cons, I think you are prepared to judge what is really happening in Catalonia and Spain.

Do not be afraid of coming to Barcelona just because of a bunch of headlines written by manipulated newspapers.
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