El Jardinet dels Gats

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Wandering around the Raval, especially when coming from the famous Boqueria Market, we passed this half open patio, that belongs to a huge house with no entrances, like a million times. It’s surrounded by a high and protecting fence – protecting something on the inside: a cat colony! There’s cats stretching on carpets, holding their noses and whiskers up into the warm sun of spring, playing with their mates and dozing away peacefully.

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I don’t know how often I was wondering who takes care of all those beautiful, rather rough looking felines – seeing all the blankets, the cat houses and cushions, the food and water bowls, and some wooden sheds in the back. But I never saw anyone inside. So I investigated a bit more and came upon their website and their Facebook page.

The project ‘El Jardinet dels Gats’ (The Cats’ Garden) founded by Mari Borràs and Paco Salvador in the end of 2004, officially became a nonprofit organisation back in 2008 – being run solely by volunteers. The ‘garden’ that you can see by peeking through the fence is the place where once various abandoned cats lived under very poor circumstances. Today the Jardinet dels Gats rescues, neuters, microchips, tests, deworms and vaccinates abandoned cats in the Ciutat Vella (the old historic part of Barcelona) and finds them foster and adoptive homes. The more unfortunate ones that are unable to live with humans, mostly due to horrendous encounters with those cruel ‘persons’ that tortured them, or the ones that need a lot of special attention (medication, special care) and which makes it harder – but not impossible – to find them a forever home, are permanently living in the Jardinet and its volunteers take care of them on a daily basis by feeding them, keeping their litter and their whole space clean, checking up on them (and helping them if they need medical attention) and playing with them – giving them the love they deserve so much and never experienced, before living in the cat colony. Furthermore the city of Barcelona currently funds 60 sterilisations per year.

Tigre

Mari and Paco sadly passed away in 2013 and the volunteers keep up their amazing work as a homage to them and their love for Barcelona’s feral street cats. Àlex – their daughter – says that it is due to them that she’s learned and experienced the love for life, and the respect this deserves, and that whatever you can do to help another creature – be it a dog, a cat, another human being, be it whatever it is in need – you shouldn’t hesitate and just help – even if it requires some effort. Her goal and the one of all the Jardinet’s volunteers is to get the feral cats of Barcelona off the streets and into a safe environment – preferably a forever home.

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Cris (left) and Àlex, the daughter of the founders of El Jardinet dels Gats: Mari Borràs & Paco Salvador

All volunteers of the Jardinet have their normal, all day life works and routines, and they usually have cats, of course. Àlex, as a matter of fact has 5 at home. I myself signed up as a volunteer (foster home) last year. I’m already sharing my life with one beautiful cat (Bisou), that was found on the motorway when she was a kitten: she rolled herself up into a ball and the cars passed over her until people stopped and risked their lives to get her out of there. And then this beautiful soul came into our life and became our baby. She’s the most amazing creature and the most loving soul, I’ve ever had the luck to meet and I am so deeply grateful to have her in my life. So we decided to foster and are currently fostering our second cat from the Jardinet – Daisy. Daisy is a street cat. She’s had horrible experiences with humans and hates us dearly – but we want to give her all the time she needs in order to find peace and harmony, and rehabilitate. She made some very big steps – she’s not hissing at us anymore, demands her food when it’s time for food, lets me touch her head, plays with Bisou, even decided to stay in the same room at night. That’s a big reward and personally I can only recommend working with traumatised animals – it’s so satisfying when they finally come around and you feel how happy they are that they were able to experience other things from humans than bad ones.

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Making friends

So there’s always urgent cases: young, abandoned baby kitten being found constantly, abandoned cats that are not used to living outside on the streets, injured cats being brought in, old and / ill cats that need urgent, continuous attention and medical care, etc. The list is long and so is the list of beautiful felines that are waiting for someone to give them a chance and the love they so much deserve – be it in form of a temporary foster home (if you can’t make the longterm commitment) or their forever home. The Jardinet is always in need of foster and adoptive homes, and even if you know, that due to a cat allergy or the fact that you’re not allowed to have pets (by your landlord), or simply don’t have time for pets / don’t want to have pets, you can still help by becoming a teamer donating 1€/ month or sponsoring and donating money or cat food, etc. (see the Jardinet’s link for more info). Or you can become a volunteer and help them rescuing cats (if you like adventures during nighttime especially), you can help them feed the cats and clean their litters, donate blankets, cat food, your cat’s abandoned old cat toys – anything that makes a cat life worth living! All donations are directly destined to the rescued cats. And the volunteers are struggling everyday to keep this nonprofit organisation, that made and still makes so many differences in a lot of cats’ lives, alive and running. And if you consider having a pet, please, consider adopting a feral cat. There’s the right cat for everyone – if you need a cuddly one, or a distant one, one that makes you feel that there’s someone else around and you’re not alone – there’s a cat for every need. And there’s a million positive effects about having a cat and it makes you an even better human if you responsibly adopt a street cat. Don’t hesitate to make a difference – be the difference!

Craving attention

I need you & will love you unconditionally – don’t hesitate to adopt a street cat!

cat toys

Donations in all forms and shapes are highly appreciated!

Finally I want to say that I am writing this blog post in English because there are so many English speakers living in Barcelona – and I know from my own experience that sometimes it is hard to get involved in community work because you doubt your Spanish or Catalan skills. But don’t let this come between you and the good you could be doing. Plus there’s volunteers working in the Jardinet dels Gats that speak a lot of different languages, apart from Spanish and Catalan: English, French, Italian & German! So what are you waiting for? Get up and help the ones that can’t defend and help themselves!

A Forever Home

Become a feral cat’s forever home!

ON the way up

On the way up to Blau’s Kingdom

Blau's Kingdom

Blau’s Kingdom – the Rooftop

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The Most Special Day back in July 2014

Usually I wouldn’t write about my private life but there was one event so special & beautiful that I just have to write about it. I am talking about my media naranja’s & my wedding last year, on the 18th of July 2014 to be precise. I don’t want to bore you with yet another wedding day story – I just want to share some short inputs & impressions with you regarding the preps for the big day & the celebration itself. I found reading such descriptions quite useful when it came to getting everything planned. In the end every couple is different and has a different approach to how their special day should be like, but it’s still nice to get some input from people that ‘survived it’ successfully. 😉

Before sending out invitations / save the date cards, (that we ordered via Minted.com which offers an amazing wide range of designs, that please all different tastes out there, plus ships to Europe, as well – another great fact about Minted is that you support individual designers with your choice!), we set up a wedding website including all necessary information for our guests (like the wedding day agenda, wedding dinner options, wish list, public transport options, city maps, accommodation / restaurant / cafe / club & bar recommendations, basically whatever kind of information you consider necessary for your guests) via Zankyou.com. This free of charge website offers a variety of helpful applications such as designing a seating plan or sending out update / notification emails to your guests. This saves you some money & time as you won’t need a wedding planner for these things and can centralise all the information via a website.

Speaking about wedding planners, I am sure they make sense if you don’t have much time and can’t be bothered in your spare time to prepare a huge wedding, but in our case – planning a smaller event – we didn’t need a wedding planner in the end. Luckily we both knew what we wanted and it wasn’t too difficult to find the right partners for that purpose after researching a bit on the www.

In Carme Trias we encountered a very talented Barcelona designer. She designed both our stunning wedding dresses according to our personal preferences (and in my case drawings). Check out her small shop in Gràcia, Barcelona by going to Modart or their Facebook account.

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My design

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The Outcome

One thing that gave us a lot of headache were the shoes. We thought so much about that topic and changed our minds that often that we did almost go crazy. And then it occurred to us: do something different and walk through your wedding day in plain & simply stylish comfort. Yes, we ordered custom-made Converse according to our designs and our friends from England luckily got them for us since you can’t place orders except for when you’re located in the UK or the USA (so make sure you know someone in one of those places in order to design your own Converse).

CustomizedConverse

So we also had to get around during our big day – from our stunning prep place (that we found via Airbnb and which is just a perfect option if you need a lot of space in order to get ready separately and to hang out with friends & family before & after the wedding, instead of opting for the rather typical & much more expensive wedding night at a hotel) to the wedding ceremony at the town hall in Gràcia, from there to the photo shoot in the Raval & on Montjuic and then up to the restaurant for reception & dinner.

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One room of our stunningly beautiful & decadent Modernisme style wedding apartment booked via Airbnb

Regarding our means of transport, we were lucky to find Conducir Clásicos, which is a great local company that hooked us up with a super trendy & restored T2 Caravelle van plus driver.

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Our very original T2 Caravelle Wedding Van

We loved being driven around in the Caravelle and it was such a big surprise for our wedding guests – everyone marvelled at it – and it also made a stunning model during the wedding photo shoot which has been provided by our great professional photographers Anna & Gustavo from Nice Tales : Photography – also check out their Facebook page.

Being from a Northern European country, our families expected to greet us with a glass of Cava after the wedding ceremony in Gràcia’s town hall, but one really important fact to know about Spain in general is that it is illegal to drink alcohol publicly on the street. So we needed a convenient solution which consisted in crossing the plaza in front of the town hall and doing an afternoon Pica Pica (which is made of different salty snacks) combined with a glass of Cava in order to keep everyone going (note that temperatures around July can go up to 40ºC here, so people from colder countries really appreciate to get some sugar & drinks in-between ). We found the tasty & vibrant restaurant Amélie which offered just what we needed, and their lovely & talented chef Carlos even did our wedding bouquets & the floral table decoration at the restaurant we had booked for our dinner. The Pica Pica & Cava we had chosen together with enchanting & professional Yasmine and creative chef Carlos was just delicious and I recommend going to Amélie for lunch or dinner – they also host small concerts.

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Delicious Pica Pica at Amélie

We negotiated reception, a dinner menu (which has been put together by us according to our taste) with vegan options, and dance (they provide you with a DJ that will play your choice of music) with the magical & super good restaurant Can Travi Nou (also see their Facebook for updates). We’ve had lunch and dinner there before and owners as well as staff are just incredibly professional & attentive. I highly recommend Can Travi Nou for whatever kind of celebration with friends & family or for official company dinners / events. The food is supreme and meets the expectations of a Catalonian gourmet as well as it provides a delicious insight into fine Catalonian dining to the foreigner.

CanTraviNou

Can Travi Nou is a charming & magical old Catalonian Masia (farm house) converted into a supreme restaurant specialised in Catalonian & Mediterranean cuisine

A very special moment for us was when our stunning & delicious wedding cake was delivered by Sibarum cakes & catering (check their Facebook or website for further information and contact). We chose the design and taste together with the amazing mother & daughter team from the Sitges’ based pastry shop and they have been so lovely & professional, so creative & supportive throughout the whole pre-wedding process, that apart from receiving the best wedding cake ever plus some vegan cupcakes (which they all personally delivered!), a friendship has formed, and we highly recommend them whenever you need a cake, other baked treats or catering for your celebrations & events.

Sibarum Wedding Cake

That is one tasty & beautifully stunning wedding cake

Something that is not to be forgotten regarding all the planning for a wedding day are all the other creative preps and decoration tasks that you need to confront & undertake: we translated the wedding ceremony for our no Spanish speaking guests; looked for some personal wedding guest favours (that we found at Del Pot Petit while strolling over the weekend artisan market down at Passeig Joan de Borbó, and which consisted in a beautifully wrapped mini marmalade jar and a miniature bottle of ecological Virgin Olive Oil); got the artistically & beautifully arranged flower bouquets & rustic floral table decoration (that was a perfect fit for the rustic Masia) from Amélie’s chef Carlos; designed, bought and crafted all the other table, candy bar and photo booth deco; chose the music for the DJ set; etc.

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Our personally designed & crafted table decoration

So, of course, in order to be able to come up with all of this you need time, motivation, negotiation skills, a certain amount of creativity and very, very good friends & family members that are willing to go the extra mile with & for you (a big THANK YOU goes out to all our family members & friends that by helping us decorate the tables, doing our hair & make-up [I recommend getting your wedding make-up trial done for free at Sephora] just like the most professional hair & make-up artists do, helping us get dressed, shopping for & making our dinner the night before, guiding guests to the restaurant, helping us transporting back the decoration afterwards in the middle of the night, etc., made our day so much easier – but there’s a lot of input out there and people are generally willing to help, especially when it comes down to a personalised event as a wedding. As I said, I don’t think a wedding planner is always necessary – who knows best what you as a couple want if not you and who could describe what makes your day special better than you!? In the end you’ll have roamed a lot of websites and will have found your personal preferences regarding all what makes your wedding day and you make the decision to get help from outside in form of a wedding planner or to go ahead yourself. It may sometimes seem to you that you’re stuck in the process and in so many things to do that you are about to lose yourself and give in to complete, disastrous pre-wedding despair… In those moments just sit down, have a good tea or latte and enjoy the day – do something completely different. That will help you relax and you’ll be able to focus on the wedding planning at a later moment. As someone who ‘survived’ all the craziness, I am available to provide some further insight into the organisation of our wedding and the according details, and can be contacted through eMail to laravalerablog@gmail.com .

chök: Where dreams of Chocoholics (and Homer S.) come true

Since we moved to Barcelona’s city centre, and especially the Raval district, we have always enjoyed roaming the streets and discovering new curiosities and special cafés, restaurants, shops, etc. whenever possible. One of those discoveries was made a long time ago – around their first opening actually – and we have been going back for more ever since.

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Step into another century combined with an exclusive modern design while visiting chök located just off La Rambla

‘chök the chocolate kitchen’ (http://www.chokbarcelona.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ChokBcn) is located just off La Rambla at the beginning of Calle del Carme, and therefore super easy to find & reach (Green L3 Metro Line stop is Liceu) when in need of a delicious chocolate fix for a 2nd breakfast or the Spanish merienda (afternoon tea time), or whenever really. ‘chök’ is what makes the heart of every chocoholic jump with infinite joy: choose between the grand variety of their always changing chöks (a gourmet doughnut with less sugar, less fat & fried for less time), krönuts (the love story between the classical croissant & the well-known doughnut), chocolate glazed marshmallows, chocolate truffles, chocolate muffins, cookies, etc. and have your chocolate fix inside the beautiful old shop that used to be an antique bonbonería (candy and chocolate shop, that also roasted & sold coffee), dating back to 1850, or get your chök & coffee to go while strolling down La Rambla towards the port.

chök selection

A current special is the Apfelstrudel chök (on the left side)

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My fave chök: the dark chocolate glazed, Fleur-de-Sel chök

Marvel at the wooden shelfs and ceiling and it’s beautiful carved ornaments typical of Barcelona’s Modernisme movement, while discovering other chocolate products such as chocolate pasta or chocolate porter.

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chök porter

Most important: take your time and enjoy the friendly atmosphere and beautiful space that owner Débora & staff created. They will do their very best to make your visit a delicious experience, and their expertise and loving attention towards customers, products and detail won’t fail your expectations. All their products are being prepared on a daily basis in the visible chocolate kitchen in the back of the shop. Watch how Débora and Marcia fill their berliners or create such delicacies as chocolate chili truffles with the utmost respect for the product, emphasing on quality, detail and supreme ingredients.

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Crema Catalana Krönut in the making

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Pick your chök from a great variety

One thing that startled me from the beginning was the rather untypical & creative name ‘chök’. It is actually derived from the Norwegian word ‘kök’ which stands for ‘kitchen’ and combined with ‘chocolate’ it became ‘chök the chocolate kitchen’. Débora & her staff also offer chocolate cooking classes, combining chocolate with typically savoury dishes (see website). You can also challenge your chocolate cooking skills at home with the help of their cookbook ‘Gourmet Chocolate – Reinventing sweet and savoury’, which also makes for a great Barcelona souvenir or gift for the cook/ gourmet in your life.

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One thing is for sure: if you are a chocoholic, an American cop or Homer Simpson, you will definitely love chök and will always come back for more – and honestly, who could resist such a sweet paradise:

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Owner Débora presenting the daily mouth-watering, beautiful selection of chöks & krönuts

La Granja M. Viader

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When living in or going to Barcelona you definitely shouldn’t miss out on this especially delicious & historically very important landmark. Its history began in 1870 when Señora Rafaela Coma first opened the doors to her little dairy shop in Calle Xuclà, 6. Since then one can find the best dairy products, cold cuts & cheeses (which can also be vacuum-packed for you to take home), cakes, desserts and the best and typical thick, hot Spanish Chocolate in Barcelona, Catalonia, I even dare to say in all of Spain, at the small Granja M. Viader (Website: http://granjaviader.cat.mialias.net/?p=201&lang=en – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GranjaViader/timeline)!

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Watch the staff handle the freshest dairy products

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The supreme cheeses and cold cuts selection for you to purchase

The young Señor Marc Viader started working there in 1895 and since 1910 the Viader family is the rightful and proud owner of this charismatic Granja, that maintained its charm and historic look throughout the centuries. When entering the little shop that is located in the historical part (Ciutat Vella) on one of the Raval’s very small streets, one feels like being transported into another time, far far away from our modern, hectic world. Go in, mix with locals and tourists alike, and marvel at all the awards and medals Mr Viader won during the last century and follow the history of the most important milestones for the little family run business – be it the important invention of the tasty Catalonian drinking chocolate ‘Cacaolat’ (the Catalonian equivalent to the Spanish ColaCao) or the pictures of their most valueable dairy cows displayed on the wall just hanging next to old, antique adverts for their dairy products – you won’t get bored and you can make sure to make the most of a rainy or cold afternoon in Barcelona.

Cacaolat

The Catalonian drinking chocolate ‘Cacaolat’ has been invented at the Granja M. Viader

The most typical thing to order would be a Xocolata Calenta (the thick, hot chocolate) but in order to make it a bit more luscious, I recommend going for the ‘Suis’ which is the thick, hot chocolate topped off with the most delicious freshly whipped cream I have ever tasted (and I come from a Northern country where people know how to treat dairy products!).

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Have your ‘Suis’ with some freshly baked ‘Xurros’

Apart from being able to take the best, typical cold cuts and cheeses home, you can also give their typical thick, hot chocolate as a present. It comes in different sized bags, accompanied by the instructions in Catalan, Spanish, English or French.

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The perfect & most tasty souvenir from the Catalonian Capital

So keep calm and have some hot chocolate!

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Edge Brewing or the Joining the Craft Beer Revolution in Spain

A few months back in sunny August, me and my media naranja went to the weekly scheduled open-door event of local craft beer brewery Edge Brewing (http://edgebrewing.com/). What I didn’t know was that business partners Alan and Scott not only brew original craft beer but that they also brought all their equipment (tanks, etc.) from the States in order to brew original American Ale in the industrial but nevertheless charming Poblenou district of Barcelona. They even get some of their key ingredients imported from the States!

Come Explore

Not being a big beer drinker myself for several reasons, but most of all because I am the person that most likely orders a smooth red wine, preferably a Rioja, going with a delicious mediterranean dinner, I was not sure what to expect. I’ve tasted some craft beers in the past and generally liked them but I wouldn’t order them specifically. Actually I never liked beer before I moved to Spain, but once here I developed a taste for the light Spanish Estrella or Cruzcampo (most likely mixed into a Clara – or as most English speakers call it, a Shandy) which is just so tasty and refreshing sitting in one of the Chiringuitos at the beach in the middle of a hot Spanish summer.

So when we entered the brewery one Friday afternoon, I was more than surprised to find a vibrant and beautifully equipped brewery space laid out in front of me. Strolling through the big entrance we stumbled upon a local food truck offering their delicacies (different food trucks join the Edge Brewing Free Guided Tours of the Brewery & Tasting Events each Friday so make sure to check their Facebook page for the next events: https://www.facebook.com/EdgeBrewingBarcelona?fref=ts). We immediately went for the tasting offer which includes 4 small pints of craft beer of your choice for 5€. Later on you can also go for the usual sized pints but I definitely recommend tasting as many Edge beers as you can.

Blackboard

Alan and his lovely staff will happily explain tastes and types of beers, and will make you feel like home, being amongst people from all different cultures, finding new friends, meeting old ones and exploring craft beer – because this is what it’s all about: explore something new that is not the typical Spanish light beer that you get in every usual bar around here. Make up your mind and taste craft beer and come to a conclusion meaning: like it or dislike it – but try it! So if you like what you drink and as soon as you determined your favourite craft beer you might also want to purchase a re-usable growler and get it filled up for you to take home.

Beer on tab

As said before, I am not a big beer drinker myself but I tried almost all of Edge Brewing’s Craft Beers and even determined my favourite one which is – against all odds since I used to prefer the light Spanish beers – not ‘Aigua de Canaletes’ (the craft beer most similar to a light Spanish beer being an American blonde ale) but the orange Stiletto instead, which is a hearty, earthy warm, mild but strong Saison beer (7.6%).

Edge Beers

For this year’s Halloween, Edge Brewing is offering ‘Buried Alive’ on tap.  So make sure you pass by on Friday, the 31st of Oct. 2014, in order to enjoy this Halloween Special Edition Pumpkin Spiced Ale – I will be there.

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Head Brewer Alan Sheppard carefully incorporates the Roasted Pumpkin into the future pumpkin spiced ale ‘Buried Alive’

A Tu Bola

A Tu Bola (https://www.facebook.com/Atubolabcn?fref=ts) – let’s freely translate this into English as ‘The Way You Want It’: This little gem refers to a cosy and beautiful street food restaurant in the Raval and its idea wraps itself around the ‘Bola’ – the ball – which originally got its inspiration from the well-established Falafel.

You will be able to order from a wide range of different bolas – whether you like fish, meat or vegetarian, you won’t be disappointed! – that are prepared just in front of you from fresh & healthy ingedients that have been chosen carefully by chef and owner Shira. Whether you are looking for a new menú del día option while on your lunchbreak, you stumble upon this cute restaurant while roaming the streets of the Raval as a tourist or you are meeting friends before a big night out and want to start the evening healthy, Shira’s creativity, love for good gourmet street food and high standards will ensure a perfectly healthy and delicious meal for you.

Have your bolas inside the restaurant and enjoy some craft beer with them while happily munching away to good tunes or take your bolas with you down La Rambla del Raval, sit in the sunshine and marvel at the Raval’s diversity.

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Watch chef Shira prepare the freshest & yummiest Bolas just in front of you

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Sweet Potato Balls in Pita Bread with Apple Coleslaw

The Story of ‘Le Cül’ – A Wedding Raffle Prize

Once upon a time, in sunny June, on a bright Saturday afternoon (actually the one that should latter also be referred to as the bachelorette party day of Stephanie), I, Le Cül, was born. I emerged from the fantasy of my previous owner and creator Lydia while she was talking about such deep matters as the universe, life and love with Jamie, the master of mosaics.

After gaining the skill of cutting tiles, piles of blue, wine red and black little shiny stones were covering the table. Jamie, still being sceptical about the colour choice, advised Lydia various times not to use that type of darker blue stones and tried to convince her to consider lighter blue ones but I, being a very cunning and clever kind of creature, had already infiltrated her creative consciousness and made very clear to her that I wanted to be born! And that’s how a long and hour consuming process of selecting the right little stones in the right, precise way in order to stick them to a wooden template, began.

The template, well, that was my choice all along! It was the one, as you will see or already have seen, because you are the impatient kind of person that opens the presents before reading the card / letter attached, of a cat. Not just any cat, no! It was the template of ‘El gat del Raval’ (for those who are not acquainted with the Catalan language and Barcelona, it means ‘The Cat of the Raval’ which is the symbol for the Raval district and its local artisan market).

Hours passed and ‘El Gat’, later named ‘Le Cül’ (I am not sure yet if I like that sort of internationalisation of my name!), took form and shape. Sharp, cunning eyes, shiny dark blue and wine red stripes began colouring one by one my shiny, precious fur.

It was a slow birth and we all took our time, because I had to be perfect for you, my new owner. You probably (or maybe not, because you’re either the sporty or the couch potato type of person) ask yourself why it had to be that colouring. In the end they ain’t the most brightest colours which, on the other hand, you expect to see in a mosaic, that should always reflect the sunlight in many colourful ways. No, I wanted to be something typical from Barcelona for you – and not only from Barcelona – I wanted to be something special, representing not only Stephanie’s and Lydia’s district and on a larger scale, Barcelona, but also my name (for the Catalan and French speaking easy to divert and translate from ‘cul’ meaning, well, bum) stands for a special and historically formed expression for the fans of the F. C. Barcelona, which is very important for the city and its inhabitants. Its players are known worldwide. What is not known is why the Catalan term ‘Culés’ describes its fans. So here I will quote some history for you.

In earlier times, the F. C. Barcelona stadium was very small. Before 1909, Barcelona played in various stadiums, none of which were owned by the club. On 14th of March 1909, the club moved to the Camp de la Indústria which had a capacity of 6,000, and was the first ground owned by the club. The supporters sitting on the top-row of what was observed by passers-by from behind as a row of men sitting on the top of a wall while walking through Calle Indústria, was the origin of the nickname ‘cules’ as literally the only thing they could see was a row of bums.

Cules

So for me, Le Cül, this is nothing to be ashamed of – even if you might try to hide your telling smile now! In the end I am not your typical Barcelona souvenir. I am not the Gaudi Dragon or a set of coasters with the image of the Sagrada Familia or other famous places of interest in Barcelona. I am something that comes with a story – a personal souvenir that chose you to be its rightful owner (and believe me, I have my own will power!) – I am something from here. Something that wandered the streets without being discovered, something that lingered in the dark corners or doors in form of street art paintings or posters, something well-known in its Barrio and beyond its borders. Yet I am nothing to be afraid of: I represent the beauty and the diversity of the Raval and Barcelona! And in order to show you that we all mean well, I come with something special from my district: some instant chocolate from the Granja Viader, which since 1910 is located in Calle Xùcla 6 and quite an important landmark to my previous owners Stephanie and Lydia. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as they do and if you have time to visit the Granja, they’d highly recommend you having a ‘Suís petit amb Xurros’ or (as it is probably very hot for you outside) a Lemon or Coffee Granissat.

So as I am most likely leaving my habitat with you, the only thing I ask from you in return, is to cherish me as what I am: ‘Le Cül’ – ‘El Gat del Raval’!

Le Cül

Visit the local Mercat Raval BCN (https://www.facebook.com/MercatRavalBcn) in order to create your own mosaic