Costa Brava Music Festival

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May 272016

DSCF4439 (1024x614)The Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir of which Vernon is a member attended the Costa Brava Music Festival in Lloret del Mar in May. 23 choir members and their partners, together with the musical director and accompanist, travelled by coach and stayed  for 4 days in the Hotel Miramar on the sea front.

We were joined by 13 other choirs and 2 bands from 12 countries, including Canada, Norway, Ireland, Turkey and Sweden. Each evening in the town’s very modern theatre there was a concert at which 5 of the groups performed and it was wonderful to listen to such varied and culturally-different music. On the second day, there was a procession of all the festival participants through the town and along the seafront, culminating in a concert in the square outside the town hall.

DSCF4515 (821x1024)One of the days was completely free and so our choir arranged to travel to Barcelona and look around the city. It was our first visit and we strolled down the Rambla and looked around the old Gothic quarter. We then took a taxi across town to see Gaudi’s still-being-built Sagra de Familia. We weren’t able to go inside this ultra-modern cathedral but walked around the outside, trying to decide if we understood what Gaudi was trying to achieve and how it compared to our traditional view of what a cathedral should look like! Finally, we visited the modern shopping centre that has been built into the old bullring, an incredible piece of engineering that retains the original brick facade.


It was a very enjoyable trip, both musically and socially, with lots of late-night drinking and acappella singing in the hotel bar.

Click here to watch a slideshow of some of the photos taken on the trip, set to one of the choir’s songs.

A trip to the Land of the Templars with Chris and Georgie

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Mar 312016

Our son Chris and his wife Georgie visited us earlier this month and we decided to take them on a trip that would enable them to explore a different part of Spain and an area that provided good photo opportunities. We re-visited part of the ‘Land of the Templars’ route Celia and I followed last year in the Maestrazgo region, north of Castellon.

DSCF4357 (1024x684)We stayed one night in Morella, a medieval town situated almost 1000m above sea level, where the temperature as we explored the castle was only 4C and we had to shelter from a hailstorm!



Coves de San JosepThe following day we travelled via the medieval village of Mirambel and the town of Ares de Maestre, perched 1500m up on a mountain,  down to the coast where we spent two nights in Peniscola, finally returning via the Vall d’uixo, where we visited the wonderful flooded caverns of Coves de San Josep


IMG_20160324_213243 (768x1024)On our return home, we enjoyed several local walks in the mountains and celebrated Chris’ birthday at the local Indian restaurant.





A slideshow containing photos taken by all 4 of us can viewed here.


 Comments Off on Tapathon
Jan 032016

orba tapathon-001Celia’s dance group took part in November in the BBC TV’s Children in Need ‘Tapathon’, an event in which thousands of tap dancers throughout the UK try to beat the record for the most people dancing the same routine simultaneously the to the same piece of music.

After months of practice and with a packed audience in the Civic Centre, Orba, the event raised over €500 and just failed to beat the world record by a little over 200 dancers.


DSCF4125 (800x534)To watch a video of the dance click here.german into english translation