Catalonia – A New Perspective

During reading week the first year Geographers took to Catalonia, to cary out human fieldwork in Barcelona and physical fieldwork in Sitges. Johannes Wittig also took the opportunity to take a series of epic photos from his Phantom 3 advanced drone.

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This aerial shot of the beaches at Sitges with its prominent groyne sea defence won Johannes the photo competition on the trip. Johannes perfectly captured the waves and thus, the direction of longshore drift…

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At the beaches we found that the hard engineering of this tourist coastline and its distinguished promenade, seen in the photos below, is disrupting the equilibrium of the beach systems.

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The tourist industry has pushed forward onto the beaches in the form of villas (above left) and hotels.  Hotel Playa Golf (above right) was built almost on the beach, breaking the Spanish law which states builds after 1988 should be 100 metres from the coast.

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The beautiful beaches that attract tourists to the area are diminishing in size due to the disruption of the sand cycle. Beaches nearer the town centre of Sitges are maintained by sand dredging so that they can be fuller and wider for the tourists. Despite these efforts to manage the beaches, impending winter storms look to reverse much of this progress.

Picture4.pngWhen investigating the quality of a river, the quality of the water deteriorated away from the source. Human factors such as this stretch of well-used motorway in close proximity to the downstream site were to a great extent to blame.

Picture5.pngPort Olimpic and the neighbouring stadium proved a hotspot for urban regeneration and new innovative technologies such as unmanned petrol stations and charging stations for electric cars.

The trip as a whole was insightful and exciting, full of team building and tourist trips. In retrospect it was worth missing out on a week of sleep for.

           Head to Johannes’ Instagram to see more breathtaking photos- honestly it only gets better : @johanneswittig

 – Elizabeth Read 1st Year

All photographs by Johannes Wittig 1st year

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