If there was such a thing as a street protest for the best city to travel to, I would be there with all my picket signs and face paint yelling ‘Barcelona!’ It seriously has the best of everything and though I am incredibly biased, it is the kind of place that keeps on giving every time I go back. And yet, I always feel the need to explore outside the city. My love for Barcelona started to grow into a love for Catalunya as a whole. And since then, I continue to explore medieval towns and the beautiful Costa Brava. My last trip to Barcelona brought me to another wonderful town of Catalunya: Sitges.
I was over the moon when I found out I could fit it into my trip. Victor has always talked about Sitges and the few times he went to the Sitges Film Festival. It is one of the world’s foremost international festivals specialising in fantasy and horror films. In 2016, many great movies participated like and Swiss Army Man and The Handmaiden. While it’ll take me a few years to muster up the courage to attend the festival, I did explore beautiful Sitges and everything it has to offer.
On the way to Sitges, Victor’s family and I stopped at Celler Güell. Yes, halfway between Barcelona and Sitges, there lies a Gaudí masterpiece casually off the main road. The place has actually been turned into a restaurant, but it was closed when we arrived. I may risk getting in trouble saying this, but we sneaked past the gate to admire the building up close (I just couldn’t resist).
Eusebi Güell, Gaudí’s patron, commissioned a number of projects including famous works such as the Palau Güell, the Pabellones Güell de Pedralbes, the Park Güell and the crypt of the Church of Colònia Güell in Santa Coloma de Cervelló. These requests were made in the year 1882, and it truly was a productive year. Celler Güell was almost commissioned that year.
Originally, Celler Güell was, well, a winery! Compared to other Gaudí works, Bodegas looks slightly different. It has been debated over the years whether the complex was actually created by Gaudí. However, if you look closely, iconic Gaudí design drapes the complex of buildings. Details like the chimney, wrought iron, and typography are all convincing signs.
After spending an hour or so exploring the complex, we continued our journey to Sitges. The town is famous for its role in the modernisme movement. Many artists visited Sitges and even Picasso summered here. As a major modernisme fan, I was thrilled to see even more! Sitges also contains a lot of history, and you will see plenty of it just walking the streets.
The seaside is truly magical as well. While April was just a tad too chilly to swim, we took advantage of the sun by sitting at a bar’s patio.
Besides a beautiful coastal town, Sitges is famous for its LGBTQ community and friendliness. People from all over the world come to Sitges to relax, party, and whatever else comes to mind when you think of ‘vacation’. It has a beautiful beach, great restaurants, numerous bars, and is just an hour train ride by bustling Barcelona!