This is a member‘s impression of our #RotaryEClubWestofEngland Weekend in sunny Barcelona from February 8th until February 10th, 2019!
Since I live in the UK, I started my journey on Thursday evening in an Ibis budget hotel at Birmingham Airport, where I met a nice woman from Northern Ireland. On Friday morning, I took the airplane to Barcelona in Spain. The first thing that I noticed upon arrival was the fantastic winter sun on my face. It immediately changed the ambiance.
I followed the instructions which our Rotarian host Esther had prepared for all Rotarians coming to Barcelona and I quickly found our small welcoming hotel upon arrival. In total 8 E-Club members and 3 honorary members joined me in Barcelona from all over Europe including Germany, Belgium, UK, Spain and Luxembourg.
We started off the weekend in style with a small welcome party with tapas and drinks, relaxing from our travels and taking in the Latin ambiance of this wonderful city. We continued the evening with a delightful supper at a rooftop restaurant with a splendid view of Barcelona at the old bullring, which is now called Arenas shopping centre, in the city center.
The next day, after a delightful breakfast, our group of Rotarians had its formal Rotary meeting in morning. We have this official meeting every six months with our E-Club. Since we normally meet online every 2 weeks via Zoom, the formal in-person meetings are always something special. We discussed various topics during our meeting, including fundraising, new causes to support, our club’s public and online image and digital strategy. We also got a training on the club’s digitalisation from one of our team members.
In the afternoon, we had a walking tour in the old town of Barcelona under a blue sky and winter sun by our very own local Rotaract guide. We finished the afternoon with free time, which some of us used to go back to the hotel to freshen up, while others stayed to enjoy more tapas, cava and sangria.
The evening started off with an eventful traditional firework show – called the Correfoc fire run – with fictive creatures breathing fire and showering the crowd with sparklers. You had to see it to believe it! It was spectacular, really.
The eventful evening continued with an amazing 4-course supper in a fish restaurant at Port Olympic, the harbour in the party district of Barcelona. The ambiance was fantastic. During our supper, #RotaryEClubWestofEngland also strengthened its contacts with local Rotary clubs, since several local Rotarians were joining us to share our meal.
On Sunday, more events were scheduled. We had more fun with the amazing ‘Castellers human towers’ followed by the spectacular ‘The Laias dancing giants’. Truly amazing in the fantastic winter sun of Barcelona, you had to be there. At this point, the official trip was over at this point and several members returned home already.
However, for me personally, I stayed until Monday to get the most out of Barcelona. I wandered about this splendid city using the hop-on-hop-off bus, which is great for solo travellers like me. And on Tuesday, I finally had a good journey home, tired but satisfied. I enjoyed myself very much and it was good to be part of an excellent group of people with an even more excellent host.