Sunday, 11 March 2007

A Sunday when Vilanova lunched early

Sundays in Vilanova are usually quite calm. As a foreigner from northern Europe you might believe that there will be a lot of devout Catholics seen on the way to and from the churches, but that is not the case really. Although the Catalans are sometimes called Poles by evil tongues from Madrid, their behaviour is very far from real Polish Poles when it comes to religious clout. What really does pull them out into the streets, except for the frequent festas, are the store opening hours, but on Sundays shops are closed.

Last Sunday, after my wife and me had taken turns going to the gym, we decided to have lunch in one of the beachfront restaurants. Since it was not yet 2 p.m. we assumed that we would not have any problems to get a table although we had not made a reservation in advance. The whole of Spain eats lunch much later than people do in the rest of Europe, and 2 o’clock is rather on the early side for a Sunday lunch.

What we had not counted on was that people here, just like people in colder parts of Europe, look forward to the first day of spring and here it was. The Rambla leading down to the beach was packed with people. We had had warm sunny weekends already before this year, but those had not aroused the same feelings. This time we were in March so we could all enjoy the spring sun without having to at the same time give worried thoughts to global warming.

By the time we reached the beach promenade, all restaurants there had already been full for a long time. We had to make do with a place along the Rambla which, at least, had opened up its big windows so we could still have the full flavour of the special atmosphere in the city this day.

I still do not understand where all people came from since we have many months to go before the tourists start to flock the town. Can they all have been locals or did people come here all the way from Barcelona? But what a fantastic Sunday this was with the beach area suddenly full of people again, after the slow winter months. On days like that we feel very comfortable with our decision to live here in Vilanova.

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