This is the companion class weblog for 'An Introduction to Catalan Culture'

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Oystein Oostergren
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Catalan Culture 2004 Class Blog

martes, octubre 07, 2003

First assignment. Catalan Culture.

For this assignment I have decided to write about a small fabulous town in the south of Spain called Tarifa. a place I visited in the week before this class started. It’s Spain’s most southern point and is only 10 km from Morocco.

The old parts of the city, which is surrounded by the city walls, origins from the early 12-century. It was for centuries controlled by the Arabs, and this influence is visible even today.

However nowadays Tarifa is most known because of its wind, which is normally present every day. Because of this Tarifa grew up in the 80`s to be Europe’s windsurfing capital.

The fact that the city is only 10 km from the African coast attracts many illegal immigrants. The officials estimate the number of illegal immigrants reaching the shores of southern Spain to be around 25 every day. So while walking at the beach to get back to the camp ground at night you might spot a few who have managed to fool the coastguard, or jumped the ferry and swum ashore.

However now days this town is popular to tourists because of the great possibilities to windsurf and kite surf. On a windy day, you can easily see around 200 kites in the air on this 6 km long beach. Quite a sight. These sports seem to have a great impact on the city, when most of the shops are surf related and there are several fabrics making Surf/kite equipment.

A great place to visit, especially if you are interested in water sports. The old part of the town is a worth a visit itself. There are ferry connections to Morocco, who runs several times a day. However it takes a while to get there from Barcelona. A good 12 hours bus drive or so, but you could be lucky and get a cheap flight to Malaga.

by Oystein Oostergren (click here to see full size photos)

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