We are Sitges. We got here last week and we’ll be here for another eleven days or so. We are using it as a homebase while I write and we take a variety of day trips around Catalonia.

Sitges is one of those places that’s been described as “the crown jewel of the Mediterranean.” It is a beautiful beach town about 40 minutes South of the center of Barcelona by train (the train leaves every 15 minutes). It is known as a great place for family vacations, a cosmopolitan city for the arts, and a haven for Europe’s LGBTQ+ community. Like Perugia, much of the old part of town is a maze of mediaeval streets (though most of the buildings are nineteenth or twentieth century). There’s a huge number of restaurants, bars, and shops.

It has quite a different vibe that the tourist beach resorts, such as Topsail Island in North Carolina or Corpus Christi, that I’ve been to in the United States. I don’t think I could find a place selling mountains of plastic toys to save my life. There’s no miniature golf or weird shark based tourist traps. Instead, there’s a lovely market, and numerous green grocer shops and places selling charcuterie and cheese.

We have been enjoying the food a great deal. A couple of our friends were here recently. They recommended Casa Hidalgo, which serves classic Galician food. We had a variety of small plates. I had what was possibly the best arroz negro that I’ve ever had. Other folks greatly enjoyed their goat legs and hamburgers.

We have also been enjoying the beaches. There are seventeen of them in total, ranging from the very family friendly to adults only nude beaches. I haven’t been to all of them but the ones that I have visited are beautiful, sandy with clear warm water.

Despite the beauty of the beaches, I have been completing a lot of the work I had hoped to finish on sabbatical. I have approved the proofs for a forthcoming article in Politics, Religion, and Ideology titled “Populism as Political Ontology: The Varieties of Populism in the United States,” submitted an article on “The Liberalism of the (Second) Ku Klux Klan” to a major scholarly journal, and made progress on my book on contemporary Unitarian Universalist theologies. I haven’t quite gotten enough done on my blog as I had hoped. I have a couple of weeks of pure writing time scheduled for when I get back to Houston and intend to continue to working on it then (finishing my sabbatical blog and catching up on posting my sermons).

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