Bright lights, small city


The most expensive bar in Spain, a past filled with artists such as Hemmingway and Dali, the birthplace of Facundo Bacardi who later started a small rum producing company on Cuba, residencial town of many Barcelonian well off families, thirty five percent foreigners and as gay friendly as Amsterdam or San Francisco, the “Saint-Tropez of Spain”, “Ibiza in miniature”. There are many ways to look at Sitges, many perspectives, but in the end one its most striking feature is that it hasen’t changed in the last twenty years like most Spanish towns on the east coast have. There are no skyscrapers here, no copy paste appartment blocks, and in winter time it doesn’t get overrun by elderly people from northern Europe.

In total I spent almost two weeks in Sitges. My catalunyan and Dutch hosts Esteban and Esther are hard to say goodbye to. Not only was there a click from the first moment we met, but they turned out to be the right people that you want and need to run into on a trip like mine. Of course, ‘make yourself at home’ is easily said, often meant also, but that doesn’t always mean you are able to. Not every man’s house can be your castle. But in the case of Esteban and Esther I didn’t even have to ‘make’ it my home. It just naturally felt that way.

Of course, when that home is an historical building on a pitoresk little plaza on the sea front, that helps. But Esteban’s cooking, the easy and endless conversations during lunch and dinner, the dropping by of dozens of interesting people at any time of day, Linda the cat that only drinks water from the bathtub with the tap running in a thin steady flow, a room with great accoustics to play and sing in and with walls covered with beautiful paintings of Amsterdam, made by Fernando Gaya who works in the same building, if all this was located in the outskirts of town it wouldn’t have made a difference. A house is a house, it is the people in it that make it a home.

Esteban and Esther are both entrepreneurs and professional networkers. So from the moment I arrived they got me connected with people in Sitges who might be interested in or could help me on my journey. Mediation and co-creation, that is their area of expertise, which fits perfectly with what my mission is all about. And with three capricorns around the table, the trick was to slow down the flow of ideas more than try to come up with something. Whatever may come of those ideas, seeds have definitely been sowed. Inspiration galore!

Trying to explain to the internet generation what the Queen of the Netherlands thinks of the internet. 

Signing autographs. Not famous yet, kids, not famous yet...

Walking back after school with Esteban and Esther.

Talking with the hands and everyone at the same time, that is Spain. Ideas were flying across the table with three capricorns fueled by some vino tinto.

The accoustics of the meeting room were amazing. On the walls you see the paintings Fernando Gaya made in Amsterdam.

People dropping by all the time. On this occassion Esteban and Esther invited some people to hear my presentation on Twalk with me and MasterPeace.

Daniela, the blond girl on the right, is an American who hosted me near Calpe. She was thinking about walking the camino de Santiago, but decided to do a test run with me for two weeks. As we were both welcomed by Esteban and Esther in Sitges we joined forces one evening to cook for them. The kids around the table are two of Esther's sons and two friends.

The beach of Sitges with the Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla church in the background.

Wijnand Boon