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What's going on in Spain/Catalonia?


Original Post
kck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 85

Wife and I have our tickets to Barcelona and we were aware of this referendum before we decided to go. Now that the referendum has passed we're definitely a bit worried about the possibility of violence and disruptions while there. Anyone currently in Barcelona or Spain have any first hand account of what's going on around climbing towns and crags? That is, is the politics spilling over to the crags and is it still a safe place to visit for climbing?

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Hi, kck. My wife and I are in the process of moving to Barcelona this month and have no plans to change anything. She is Catalana and that is her hometown and where her family is, thus the move. (I'm pretty excited about all the climbing!) We would be surprised if you were to have any issues as the Catalans are trying very hard to move their independence desires along in a peaceful way. I'm not sure what their next move will be after this referendum since it was severely disrupted by the Spanish national government. Their overall strategy is to keep the pressure on Madrid (again, peacefully) and get support from other EU countries until Rajoy and Company finally relent and let them have a Scottish-style legal and binding referendum. Who knows when or if that will happen. (Seems like the only way to really put the issue to bed.)  As long as you stay away from police dressed in riot gear on protest days I think you'll be fine--especially out on the crags.

Keatan · · AZ · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 50

I don't know personally, but here is a post from Colin Haley yesterday. Seems their climbing hasn't been affected at all by the current political climate. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZuAFlsHzo5/?taken-by=colinhaley1

kck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 85

Thanks Daniel and Keatan for putting our minds at ease!

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460

As an outsider looking in, my gut instinct is that as an American tourist, you're probably going to be fine. From a geopolitical standpoint, Spain is on very thin ice currently, and I don't see them as being foolish enough to antagonize other nations by condoning violence or harrasment of any kind to a foreign national. That being said, local authorities often don't see such a big picture (assuming their central government does in the first place). That's just my $0.02 as an observer of foreign affairs... but really, this post is mostly just a bump to get you more informed eyeballs on your question.

Xavi Coll · · Barcelona · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

Hi KCK, 


I am from Barcelona and I live here. Don't worry about that. The news are often too bad for travellers. Everything is good over here. No changes at all.

kck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 85

Well, it is escalating. Catalina just declared independence. We're leaving in two weeks and I wonder how that is going to work.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/world/europe/spain-catalonia-puigdemont.html?emc=edit_na_20171027&nl=breaking-news&nlid=62020920&ref=cta&_r=0

Chad Laflamme · · North Conway, NH · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 50

I'm curious as well; My Wife and I are heading over in a few weeks.  I've been reading Spain may try to impose direct rule on Friday?  I'm hoping this is just media hysteria, but curious if anyone has feedback and is actually in the region.  

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460
Chad Laflamme wrote:

I'm curious as well; My Wife and I are heading over in a few weeks.  I've been reading Spain may try to impose direct rule on Friday?  I'm hoping this is just media hysteria, but curious if anyone has feedback and is actually in the region.  

There isn't any media "hysteria" involved, that shit is going down. Not sure how that impacts precious US climbers though

(It's going to get you more instagram likes if it's kinda dangerous tbh)

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460

Do you have kids? If not, then why not just go have an adventure. Document what you see, be a voice for that, tak a risk, be in the arena and experience it all, raw and unfiltered.

 

Chad Laflamme · · North Conway, NH · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 50
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:

There isn't any media "hysteria" involved, that shit is going down. Not sure how that impacts precious US climbers though

(It's going to get you more instagram likes if it's kinda dangerous tbh)

Hahaha.  I love how a majority of threads in the forums here turn into personal attacks.  Yes, I do consider the safety of my family precious!  I'm trying to get an idea of what to expect, and if it is still reasonable to travel to the area.  A friend of mine has family in the region and he is going to try and get a sense of the scene for me.  I can send a message to those that may be interested.  

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

No message! Post up on here what you find out.  

liveit P · · Mammoth Lakes, Ca · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 330

Just got back from 10 days in Barcelona/Lleida/Margelef/Benidorm/CostaBlanca. We arrived in Barcelona around the 12 of October and the airport bus dropped off in a different than normal spot because of "protests?" We walked the extra 2km to our hotel and saw lots of people with spain/catalonia flags on their backs like capes. We spent a few days in Barcelona and more flag capes. We came back to Barcelona the end of our trip right after Spain suspended Catalonia's autonomy and it was business as usual.
 So ask yourself this, Which is more terrifying? 1. Speed cameras all over the highways 2. People wearing flags on their back 3. Tourists with selfie sticks 4. Snakes that climb rocks and hang out in holds in Costa Blanca?
Because I saw all of those and by far the least scary thing I saw were peaceful people wearing flags as capes.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

We just moved from Boulder to Barcelona (from one divided country to another). I plan on climbing tomorrow at Montserrat and I rather doubt I'll see any police in riot gear there. Like liveit P said, it is pretty much business as usual for now and its likely to stay that way as Madrid takes over the Catalan government. The Catalans are determined for this to be peaceful--any other way goes against their interests. Perhaps they will have to bodily carry the Catalan President and officials out of their offices next week, who knows. But that won't affect folks lining up for the Gorro Frigi at Montserrat.

Xavi Coll · · Barcelona · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

Guys of course changes are happening but nothing's going on on the streets. It's all media paranoia... I am a Catalan living in Barcelona and there are lots of Americans living over here too who totally love this place, really. 

Good climbs!

kck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 85

Thought I give an update now that I am in Spain. There were some peaceful demonstrations in Barcelona but out where the climbing is there doesn't seem to be any difference. But either in Barcelona or elsewhere, I'd wager that it is no more dangerous than before this whole thing started.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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