By Mikko Keski-Laturi
Boom Boom Boom – what an adventure Catalan Experience 2.0 (04.-08.03.2017) by EGEA Barcelona was! During five days in Catalonia, we participants got to live like Catalans, see Catalonia’s beautiful landscapes and meet EGEAns from all over Europe.
Before heading to the event location, Pineda de Mar, we had a walking tour in downtown Barcelona. After the Finnish winter, it really felt like summer in this sunny capital of Catalonia!
After the Barcelona tour, we took a train to Pineda de Mar, a coastal town by the Mediterranean, and headed to our accomodation, Sant Pere de Riu.
The beautiful atmosphere of this place and the legend of Santa Marina de Pineda de Mar really mesmerized us. The absolute highlight of the first day was the salsa master class during which our international EGEA group was engrossed by the Latin rhythms.
The next day, we headed for a hiking excursion to the peak of Turó de l’Home in Montseny. The views from the snowy mountains were breathtaking – you could see even the Pyrenees, Montserrat and Barcelona from Turó de l’Home.
One part of exploring Catalonia during the excursions was getting lost but we always made it back to Pineda de Mar J After spending the day in fresh mountain air, we were ready to become true Catalans during the Catalan Night. Porron, Caga Tío and sardanas – just to name a few fascinating aspects of the Catalan culture we got introduced to.
On the third day, we went for an excursion to the towns of Girona and L’Escala. Girona is an amazing old city in the Northern Catalonia and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the old town and the views over the roofs of Girona! From Girona, we continued to Punta Montgó and L’Escala on the coast. Again amazing views to the Pyrenees and to the Mediterranean!
Back home in Pineda de Mar, we were ready for an EGEA tradition – the Cultural Fair. This time, we got to enjoy the bounties of Catalonia, Czechia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy/Veneto, Latvia, Lithuania (aka Andalucía), the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.
The last full day of Catalan Experience 2.0 we spent in Pineda de Mar. During the day we were exploring the town in varies activities, including searching for a Roman acqueduct and chilling on the beach.
In the evening, we got to release our inner master chefs as the organisers taught us how to cook fideuá, a typical Catalan dish. Such fun and so delicious!
The last day I left Pineda de Mar quite early and visited Barcelona. On the flight back to Finland, it was quite a coincidence to meet some of the organisers from EGEA Barcelona who were going to have an exchange with EGEA Joensuu! Hopefully their trip to Finland was as good as mine was to Catalonia! Catalan Experience 2.0 was a very good event – I feel so happy of being Catalan for five days and definately want to visit Catalonia again! I really recommend EGEAns to participate to the next Catalan Experience! 🙂