Sitges Pride (Part 2)

Sitges Travel Blog

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Breakfast (French inspired) at the Cafe Paris

After several hours in the sun, we decided to take a stroll to find some tapas.  Rob had managed to find tickets for the Tea Dance which was happening that day as part of the Gay Pride festivities (from 5PM – 2AM), so we wanted to grab a bite before we went there.  We found a great little tapas bar with a view on the street, and enjoyed just a few dishes.  The waiter informed us that the table we had chosen (directly in front of the flat screen TV) was reserved at 8PM – this was the night of the final World Cup match between Spain and Holland.  Imagine that – a table in a tapas bar in a gay beach resort was reserved to watch the final game!   We were beginning to wonder what it would be like to be in Barcelona if Spain did indeed win the World Cup…

 

After the delicious tapas, we walked down the beach to catch the shuttle bus to Atlantica, the bar on the beach which was hosting tea dance.

Streets in Sitges
  After a brief ride, we arrived.  The bar (Atlantica) was incredibly reminiscent of one of the old gay bars we used to frequent in South Beach (Amnesia) – with an open dance floor surrounded by a deck.  It sat right on the Mediterranean with a spectacular view.  The tea dance was fairly busy, but not too full.  We watched a German-inspired drag show (with a Cher look-alike).  Barcelona seems to have a large number of German tourists (perhaps in the timeframe of vacations, the Germans were travelling at this time.)

 

After some time spent enjoying the music and views of the Mediterranean from the bar, we began our journey back to Barcelona.
Beach at Sitges
  We happenede to be on the RENFE train home during the last few minutes of the final World Cup game - several people were listening on the radio, and were yelling out the play-by-play so the whole train could hear.  As Spain scored it's on and only gaol in the last quarter, the entrie train went wild with shouting and yelling!  After we got off the Metro and walked to our hotel (at about 12:30PM), the streets were full of cars, motorcycles, mpoeds, and bicycles rushing by with people waving the Spanish flag (not the Catalonia flag!) in a fantastic vision of national unity and pride.  It was so much fun to witness this on our last night in Spain.
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Drag show during Sitges Pride

We awoke the next day with plans to head to Sitges, a beachside community about 30 miles from Barcelona.  Sitges is known for its beautiful beaches, shopping, eating, and of course as one of the largest gay beach resort towns in Europe.  It also happened to be Gay Pride weekend in Sitges.  We had heard it was easy to take the commuter train, so we checked out the website for RENFE, the national Spanish train operator.  We misread the website, thinking that there were only trains running at 6:50AM and 10:35PM from Barcelona to Sitges.  (It turns out these were the first and last trains, which were running every 30 minutes!)  (We should also point out that the WiFi connection in the hotel in Barcelona was very spotty, which explains both why we didn’t have time to figure out our mistake, and why these blogs posts have been so sporadic!)

After grabbing a quick bite at a local café (the Paris Café, since our hotel was on Carrer de Paris), we consulted with the hotel clerk, and found out that a one-way taxi trip to Sitges was about €60, so we decided to just take a taxi.

Corner cafe in Sitges
  (Unlike a lot of US cites, we never had any problem getting a taxi, even on a Sunday or to a remote destination – while you might expect a cab driver to refuse a 1-way trip 30 miles from the city center, this was not a problem at all.)  The ride was pretty non-picturesque; although we could see the hills surrounding Barcelona, most of the ride is through tunnels which pierce the hills.

 

We arrived in Sitges, and the cab driver was very helpful to drop us off at the train station so we could easily find our way to take the train home.  We wandered a bit through the streets, and found Sitges was very reminiscent of other beach towns in the U.S. (such as South Beach or Provincetown), with narrow pedestrian-only streets with shopping, eating, and other local establishments.

 

We worked our way to the Promenade, which is a rather grand boulevard along the shore.
Tapas (meatballs, ox carpaccio, potatoes in sauce)
  We walked a ways to find a spot to camp on the beach.  Since it was Sunday, the beach was completely packed full of people – beach towels were three or four deep along the narrow strip of sand.  After sitting for a bit, we were lucky enough to spot two empty chaises with an umbrella (parasol).  This was a great find on a very hot day in the sun – we were literally roasting, and wouldn’t have lasted very long without the umbrella.  We sat for quite a while and enjoyed a nice (but hot) day sipping a cerviza and napping for a bit.
Breakfast (French inspired) at the…
Breakfast (French inspired) at th…
Streets in Sitges
Streets in Sitges
Beach at Sitges
Beach at Sitges
Drag show during Sitges Pride
Drag show during Sitges Pride
Corner cafe in Sitges
Corner cafe in Sitges
Tapas (meatballs, ox carpaccio, po…
Tapas (meatballs, ox carpaccio, p…
View from Atlantica resort (tea da…
View from Atlantica resort (tea d…
Cars celebrating Spains Word Cup …
Cars celebrating Spain's Word Cup…
Sitges
photo by: jordirochblom