Charmingly Calm Calafell, Travel Spain

Calafell, Spain – a popular European travel destination for people from all over the world. Statistics show that the yearly number of tourists is around 45 million. Calafell, situated in the Catalonian province of Tarragona, is a quiet town perfect for a calm relaxing vacation.

Calafell, Spain – a popular European travel destination for people from all over the world. Statistics show that the yearly number of tourists is around 45 million. But where do all these tourists go? Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia are among the most popular, especially during the summer.

Unfortunately, the crowds of tourists attract street vendors who will nag you until you buy something, and as soon as you get rid of one, another will pop right up. Plus half of these tourists are students looking to get drunk and make some noise all through the night. So this is why, when choosing a city in Spain, a group of friends and I opted for Calafell, a little town about 25 miles south of big and boisterous Barcelona.

Calafell, situated in the Catalonian province of Tarragona, is a quiet town perfect for a calm relaxing vacation. Being used to crowded beaches where you have to step over people to get to the sea which has more sun screen than salt water, I was surprised by how few people there were. Our first there day, June 1st 2011, we only saw a few dozen families, quite a few runners and a bunch of children from a class trip.

The atmosphere was really peaceful and we couldn’t resist spending the whole day working on our tans and enjoying the many waves from a sand bank about 40 meters into the sea. As the week progressed there were a couple of busier days, where people rented speed-boats and sailboats from a dock about 2 miles from our hotel, but there was always a relaxed air about the beach.

Our apartment-style hotel, Costa d’Or, very reasonably priced at 700 euros for a room with two double-bed rooms, a living area, a bathroom with a bathtub, a kitchen with a spacious fridge and gas stove and a balcony for a whole week. The staff was friendly and helpful but had poor English, though they were patient when communicating with and aiding us.

Additionally, the reception is open 24/7 so you can come and go as you want and you can always leave the keys there if you don’t want to risk losing them. There is also a beautiful outdoor pool that unfortunately gets little sunlight: but this shouldn’t bother you too much since the hotel is less than 55 yards from the beach. It is also walking distance from many stores, small supermarkets and even the train station.

Although there is a kitchen in the hotel, it’s still nice to eat out every once in a while. Near the breathtaking Esglesia de la Santa Creu, Calafell’s most famous landmark, I found a modest little restaurant where I got a tuna sandwich and sangria. The cheap sangria was only average-tasting yet still refreshing and ridiculously simple sandwich containing only bread with the best tuna that I’ve ever tasted. I also had dinner at a tapas bar, whose name I don’t remember, near Costa d’Or; the food and sangria were amazing and the prices were good, but we were unfortunate with a mean-spirited waiter.

Calafell is a nice town filled with friendly locals (one even let my friend come inside his apartment on the top floor of a nearby building and showed her a unique view of the town and told her the entire history). There are things to do other than swimming, like nordic walking and other group activities. No street vendors will disturb your peace on your way to the store or on the beach. But best of all, if you get bored of the tranquility of the town, you can buy cheap train tickets from the centrally-located station and go to one of the neighbor towns like Tarragona and Sitges. There’s Barcelona too of course, just 40 minutes away. I will definitely return to Calafell again someday, and who knows, I might even run into you there!

This post was updated on June 14th, 2018: the text, as well as title and headline, may have been edited, proofread and optimized for search engines. The featured image may have been changed due to copyright or quality issues.
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Adolf Wölfli’s Controversial Crazy Art

Adolf Wölfli (1864 – 1930) a self-proclaimed Swiss artist, composer, writer, farm-laborer, soldier and much more was orphaned at the age of 10 after being both physically and sexually abused. He was sentenced after attempting to commit a pedophilic act and was eventually hospitalized in the Waldau Mental Asylum near Bern, Germany, where he spent nearly half his life. The Asylum was also the place where he developed his passion for creating art.

Adolf Wölfli (1864 – 1930) a self-proclaimed Swiss artist, composer, writer, farm-laborer, soldier and much more was orphaned at the age of 10 after being both physically and sexually abused. He was sentenced after attempting to commit a pedophilic act and was eventually hospitalized in the Waldau Mental Asylum near Bern, Germany, where he spent nearly half his life. The Asylum was also the place where he developed his passion for creating art, composing music and writing stories and so he combined all of these by writing books which he illustrated and wrote soundtracks to. He created art and wrote stories until he died of intestinal cancer in 1930.

This type of art is known as brut art, or raw art, which is a term used to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture. Some artists, like Jean Debuffet, focused particularly on the art by insane-asylum inmates when regarding this particular style. Interest in this type of art grew mainly in the 1920s and Adolf Wölfli became known for his art after the publishing of his psychiatrists, Dr. Walter Morgenthaler’s book. Andre Breton, a surrealist was also very impressed with Wölfli’s art and even referred to the entire body of his work as being one of the three or four most important works of the twentieth century.

One of his best-known works is 45 volume illustrated book in which he narrates an imaginary story of his life. This 25,000 page story contains 1,600 illustrations and 1,500 collages. Wölfli also had many smaller books where he would tell stories of his imaginary travels and inventions. There are paintings in the exhibition of his interpretations of places in the world, like the Gulf of Mexico, and a list of all the things that he supposedly invented. He also produced bread-art or single-sheet drawings which were painted with the purpose to sell them, and he began painting them in 1916 and continued painting them until he died in 1930.

A majority all of his pictures have one thing in common: they are full of color and the pages are filled completely with lines, shapes, lists of numbers, words and sentences, musical notes and in some cases cut outs from newspapers. Mostly drawn in color pencil, the pictures are very chaotic and intense, and there are so many details that one could observe the pictures for hours and still not see everything that’s there. His music, which is played in the background of the exhibition, is also very intense and creates a feeling of unease and builds tension in the listener. The pictures in the exhibition will easily grab one’s attention and the uniqueness of the art and the story of the artist will truly make this an exceptional experience.

You can see some of Adolf’s works in the Adolf Wölfli Foundation in the Museum of Fine Arts Bern in Switzerland along with regular exhibitions in various art galleries all over Europe – none of which are open at the moment but keep an eye out for them. The Museum of Fine Arts Bern is definitely a place that you shouldn’t miss out on. It has over 3,000 paintings and sculptures and 48,000 drawings, lithographs, photographs, videos and films. The art in the museum varies greatly and includes both international art from all over the world as well as old Swiss art – with a multitude of genres including the unique Brut art of Adolf Wölfli.

This post was updated on June 14th, 2018: the text, as well as title and headline, may have been edited, proofread and optimized for search engines. The featured image may have been changed due to copyright or quality issues.
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Adolf Wölfli, a Swiss artist created art in a prison asylum.
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