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Moving To A New Site

As from June 2013, we will be moving to our own custom site.

http://www.barcelonasights.com

The blog will restart and there is loads more content about Barcelona and Catalonia.

PLEASE COME AND SEE US SOON.

Many Thanks

 

 BARCELONA OPEN BANC SABADELL 2011

(official site)

 

             ATP Logo     Barcelona Tennis 2011     ATP 500 Logo

A little preview of this years Barcelona Tennis Open Tournament that hits the city next month. Based at the historic Real Club de Tenis Barcelona which was founded in 1899 and is Spain’s oldest club, this years competition is the 59th edition.

 Barcelona Open Barcelona Open Barcelona Open

Famous past winners of the large ‘Trofeo Conde de Godó’ have included Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Carlos Costa and current tournament director Albert Costa.  The last few years have been dominated by Spanish players, Tommy Robredo, Rafa Nadal and 2010 champ Fernando Verdasco.

Rafa Nadal  Any Murray  David Ferrer  Tomas Berdych

Although ranked a 500 event, second tier, by the ATP, the 2011 line-up will boast 6 of the top ten ranked players in the world and a total prize money of just over 1.5 million Euros.

The tournament runs from 18th to the 24th of April, but of you find yourself in Barcelona before then and like tennis, then there is an excellent photographic exhibition about the history of the event currently running at the Olympic Museum next to the Olympic Stadium up on Montjuic.

However if you fancy seeing the likes of Nadal, Murray, Soderling, Ferrer, Berdych and Melzer sliding around on the clay in the Catalan sunshine, the tickets went on sale to the public yesterday.  For such a great line-up of talent they are reasonably priced (first round from just 24€) and can be purchased by following the link below.

Tennis Tickets

 

I’m sure that the runners would have preferred a slightly cooler Sunday morning to run around Barcelona, but for the thousands lining the streets to cheer on the athletes, it was perfect.

With over 15,000 taking part this year, it was impressive to watch them go by some of the iconic sights of the city. We first caught up with the runners as they passed the Sagrada Familia at 16kms then again at the Arc de Triomf at 36kms, needless to say there were a few more smiles and waves at the Gaudi cathedral than later as they headed for the finish!

Some photos for you . . .

Lead Group Runners001 Runners006

AT003 Crowd RunnersYeah

AT Long PushChair Runners002

Official Result

MENS

1. Matebo Levi Omari (Kenya)        2h.07:31

2. Josep Kimeli (Kenya)                  2h.10:05

3. Josepath Yego (Kenya)              2h.10:44

WOMENS

1. Josephine Ambjörnsson (Sweden)    2h:45.31

2. Nuria Prieto (Spain)                           2h:56.59

3. Martha Hall (Great Britain)                 2h:57.51

RedRunners Runners004 Runners006

WC002 Banana Puff

Tibet GirlWatch PhotoTake SF

If you would like to take part next year registration is open for 2012 and you can access the form direct from here:

Barcelona Marathon 2012 – Registration Form

Congratulations to all who took part, if you see yourself in any of our photos please get in touch at info@kmatourism.com and we will be happy to send you a copy.

 

Technorati Tags: Barcelona Marathon 2011,Barcelona,Marathon,Athletics,Running,Event,Sport,Sagrada Familia,Arc de Triomf,Runners,kmatourism

Well it wasn’t the best weather we have ever seen in Barcelona. As the various Colles gathered around the streets of Gracia yesterday morning they were doing so under grey skies and a steady drizzle. But for these hardy sweet throwers a little rain wasn’t about to dampen the spirits, just the confectionary.

Band Colla Dolca Gracia

Colla Good Day To Visit! Band

The people waiting in the rain however had a small dilemma to solve. Keep your brolly upright and stay dry or turn it upside down and increase your sweet gathering capacity!

The Old Fashioned Method Umbrella Technique Collecting

Thanks! Trumpet Sweets

During the morning, the various Colles picked random routes to follow around the streets of Gracia, being led by one of the local constabulary on a moped. They criss-crossed the barrio flinging their sweets to people and generally causing chaos to the delivery lorries and unsuspecting drivers who had no option than to sit in long lines waving their arms about and beeping their horns.

Horses Crossing Gracia Crossing Gracia

A Bean For Every Year Off To Mass The Oldest Colla

At one o’clock each group made for their ‘parking space’, handily situated outside a local restaurant and disappeared inside for a well earned lunch. It is also the time for selected members to either make the journey up to the little hermitage in the Collserola park or to the San Juan church for a mass dedicated to Sant Medir.

Off To Mass Medals n Beans Flags002

With the weather still misbehaving, the evening parade started at 8pm. The Colles had gathered along Carrer de Sant Salvador and L’Escoriala in preparation to follow the route along Carrer de Nil Fabra and then down Gran de Gracia. The streets were packed with people, armed with an array of plastic bags and umbrellas and  some serious sweet collecting began!

Band Colla Victoria Sweet Collecting

Crowd Sweet Collecting Horse

It took about an hour for all the horses, carriages, lorries and bands to go past, but despite the cold, the enthusiasm and excitement of the crowd was infectious and for sure a few children were squashed in the clamour to bag a sweetie!

Sweets Sweet Throw Umbrella

A big thank you to everyone who helped organise this fabulous event and for the record we at the kmatourism office managed an all time collecting best this year, thanks to the efforts of Gracia local, Carmen, 8 kilos of sweets!

I bet the patron saint of Dentists and Diets is rubbing his hands.

BM Logo

This Sunday morning the streets of our fair city will be a little busier than normal. At 08.30 in Placa Espanya, 15,075 people wearing stretchy lycra and smothered in Vaseline, will head off around Barcelona to see the sights. Quite why they can’t dress normally and hop on the tourist bus is a bit of a mystery, but if you insist in running 26 miles around a city, Barcelona, it has to be said, is a good one to pick.

Marathon start Barcelona Marathon 2010 Passeig de Gracia

It is the 33rd edition this year and according to the organisers, participation is up 23% on last time, presumably due to the increase in sightseeing bus ticket prices and this rise makes the Barcelona marathon the 7th most popular race in Europe.

The bookies’ favourite is the Ethiopian Teshome Etanat Gelana. The 27yr old has a best time of 2:07.37 which he set in winning the Houston marathon last year.

CwL  Barcelona Marathon 2010 Marathon 002 Marathon 001 Torre Acbar

We will of course sacrifice a big Saturday night out, to get up early and bring you the result and some photos of the action and if all this inspires you to rush out and buy some trainers and a tub of lubricant, kmatourism will be happy to arrange your accommodation, transport and a good list of massage parlours for 2012!

Official Web Page

Finally a quick ‘good luck mate’ to our Belgian friend from Sant Marti d’Empuries, who is attempting to run the whole thing sober this year.

This Thursday in the barrio Gracia of Barcelona, is the festival of Sant Medir. Groups of locals ride around on horses and lorries, accompanied bands of wondering minstrels, throwing literally tonnes of sweets to people in the streets. All jolly good fun, especially if you are a five year old, but it does beg the question, why?

Well the story comes in two parts, the first definitely falls firmly in the legend category, whilst the second is recorded as fact.

Jump back to about 303A.D. and we find the then Bishop of Barcelona, Severus being chased out of the city by a bunch of Roman soldiers. It was the start of the Diocletian Persecution, a rather dangerous 10 year period in Roman history that involved the capturing of Christians and either murdering them on the spot or if you had a coliseum nearby, feeding them to the lions and making a few quid on ticket sales.

Sant Medir Hermitage of St Medir Sardanas

Escaping towards Sant Cugat up in the Collserola Hills north of Barcelona, Severus came upon a farmer called Emeterius (Medi in Catalan) planting fava beans in his field. Presumably surprised to see a bishop running past in the middle of the day, Emeterius stopped working to watch. A panting Severus explained his situation and surprisingly requested that if the Romans came by Emeterius should tell the truth and point them in the right direction. As the Bishop dashed off miraculously all the beans Emeterius had just been planting suddenly began to grow.

Sure enough the soldiers arrived and Emeterius did as he was told and explained that he had been planting his beans when the Bishop had run past and helpfully pointed out where he had gone. The soldiers seeing all the green shoots in the field thought that the farmer was taking the mickey out of them and promptly arrested the poor fellow and carried on with their chase. In true Roman efficiency both Severus and Emeterius were later killed in Sant Cugat, the bishop firstly being flogged and then having nails hit into his head.

Severus & Emeterius    Sant Medir    Shrine to Sant Medir    Sant Medir

Fast forward a few centuries and the story had passed into legend and both Severus and Emeterius had become saints.

In 1828, a Baker from Gracia, who was gravely ill and coincidently a devotee to Saint Medir, (yes him of the fava beans) made a last ditch pact with his saint. If he was cured he would make a pilgrimage to the hermitage dedicated to the saint in the hills behind the city every 3rd of March, the saint’s official day.

Well two years later and the baker was totally cured. And so on March 3rd 1830 he mounted his horse and rode around Gracia handing out sweets telling everyone he was going to keep his promise. At one o’clock he set off into the hills.

Festival of Sant Medir Sweets  Poo & Sweets

Now the baker has long since departed this earth but his yearly ritual struck a chord with the locals and that is why this Thursday the streets of Gracia will be awash with children, sweets and horse poo!

Now if you happen to be in the neighbourhood grab a plastic bag and come join in the fun. But if you cant, don’t worry, we will be in amongst the manure and confectionary to take a few pics.

Apart from bringing you a light-hearted and informative look at Catalonia, kmapostcards is happy to announce that we have launched two new pages on our blog.

The FEATURES page has guides to some of the best places to visit and things to do in the region. At the moment it is highlighting our first article, a guide to one of Barcelona’s most famous sites, Gaudi’s Parc Guëll. But over the coming weeks additional articles are planned, the next one being the Masella Ski Station.

Parc Guëll kmatourism logo Masella Ski Station

Our second new page is called COMING EVENTS and it is a list with links, to some of the big events and festivals in the area. We have covered March, April and May for now and we will update it every month to keep you informed of what you can do in Catalonia.

Barcelona Marathon Baecelona Open Tennis Pirmavera Sound -  Pulp

We hope you like the latest additions to the site and rest assured that we will continue to bring you our regular posts about this fantastic region of Spain.

Best wishes from

 

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