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EURORANDO 2011 Andalusia

8/10 2011 Opening Night

The opening night for the Eurorando 2011 – activities in Almeria took place on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at Plaza del Mar situated on the waterfront next to the convention hotel.

 A large crowd of European walkers attended the official opening of the activities planned for the week-long celebration of Eurorando 2011 in Almeria and Granada.

 Several speeches of local and regional politicians were followed by a welcome address of the president of the Andalusian Mountaineering Association, David Beltram. At the end, Lis Nielsen, president of ERA, officially declared the Eurorando 2011 Closing Week as opened.

 Following the opening ceremony, ERA handed out the first prize of its newly created Eco Award to the winner Schwäbischer Albverein for their environmental activities in the Schopflocher Moor.

 For the next three evenings, the Plaza del Mar continued to be the meeting place of walkers who were entertained here with life music and other attractions such as the perfect show of a magician.

Walks in Andalusia 8-14/10 2011

During their stay in Andalusia, groups took part in organized walks showing them the different facets of Andalusia: culture, history, scenery, way of life. They were accompanied by local guides speaking their language.

 On the way from Almeria to Granada, a joint walk through the Sierra Nevada, starting and ending in Finana, was attended by more than 600 participants. A picknick in a shady forest along a brook gave a good opportunity to tie new contacts.

15/10 2011 closing day

It was a great event lasting most of the afternoon, with the participation of more than 3.000 walkers originating from countries such as Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Montenegro, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Malta, Serbia, Slovenia and many other European countries. They were joined by delegations from the eight provinces of Andalusia and the rest of Spain.

 12 different itineraries had been chosen starting in villages close to Granada and ending at the Fuente de las Granadas, located in the center of the city and where the two rivers of Granada are meeting:

 El Genil, collecting the water from the snow of the Mulhacen and Veleta, the highest peaks of the Iberian Peninsula.

 El Darro, from which the water used for the gardens and fountains in the Alhambra is taken.

 Here, all participants who had walked on the twelve routes merged for a happy get-together which was enlived by the dance group Ayuntmiento Granada regional orchestra and Watercolors.

 After the water-collecting ceremony, the crowd was taken on a urban route through downtown Granada which ended at the same place.

 After several speeches, the president of the European Ramblers Association (ERA), Lis Nielsen, closed Eurorando 2011 saying that "our experience has been very positive. We have gathered here, walkers from many places of Europe, and have lived through unforgettable days practising walking, trying to learn more about this fantastic land." She also acknowledged "the collaboration of volunteers, who have done a great job" and also the institutions and associations that have participated in the organization of the whole event.

Water ceremony

On Saturday, October 15, 2011, water that walkers from many European countries have collected from rivers, fountains, lakes, summits, glaciers, caverns, streams or springs in their own countries, was mixed in 12 amphoras.

 The walkers deposited their water in amphoras that were located on a stage near to the Fuente de las Granadas.

 From there, a delegation brought the amphoras to the Fuente del Pilar de Carlos V in the Alhambra. There, the water was poured into that fountain as a symbol of friendship and understanding among the walkers of Europe.

 The act was transmitted via satellite to a screen located on the stage at the Fuente de las Granadas.

 The thousands of participants at the third Eurorando attending the event proclaimed that footpaths are a source of culture, health and life. And in the age of communication and new technologies, globalization and climate change, it must continue in this way forever.

Daily CBD