dimarts, 5 de novembre de 2013

Over 3,000 people plant starred flags on 300 peaks all over Europe

Last August, a friend of mine –my trekking mate- told me about the project “Estelades al cim” (“Starred flags on the summit”), and I naturally joined in. It was a perfect opportunity to combine two things we like a lot: mountaineering (although we are “small mountaineers”) and the struggle for Catalonia’s independence.
Since we hadn’t been very active in August, we decided to climb a low peak –the Puig Estela (2,013 m), near St. Joan de les Abadesses- to unfurl our “estelada” there, at the same time as thousands of other Catalans were doing so on other summits.
On the 8th of September we set out without knowing if the weather would allow us to reach the top, but it didn’t rain, and up we went slowly but surely. Halfway to the summit we came across a friend from Barcelona who had also joined “Starred flags on the summit”, so our small group went from two to seven people who wanted to see their “estelades” waving in the wind.
Although we could see the Taga from the Puig Estela, it was too cloudy for us to spot our friends and their flags there. But it was really exciting to think that all over Catalonia, and even beyond, many other Catalans had joined us and our flag. The power of a people!
Blandine was in one of the 400 expeditions that took part in the project “Starred flags on the summit”, which was organized by a group of friends such as Eloi and Xavier. “Help Catalonia” talked to them a few days after the simultaneous trekking trips.
Do you feel the project was a success?
Yes, a great success, because in spite of the bad weather everyone was very enthusiastic and showed a very positive attitude. We’re already considering doing it again next year!
So we can say you had a good idea. Where did it come from?
We do a lot of trekking and mountaineering, and people often plant the “estelada” or the Catalan flag or some other flag on the summit once they get there. And on one of our trips we thought: “Why don’t we tell everyone who climbs a peak on Catalonia’s national day to plant an ‘estelada’ there and take pictures with it?”
And the idea ended up crossing borders.
Yes, it was done on over 300 peaks in Catalonia, Eïvissa, Minorca, Majorca, French Catalonia, Denmark, Scotland, England and Switzerland combined.

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