How Will Catalonia’s Vote For Independence Affect Travel?

Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune
Last week, the Spanish region of Catalonia declared independence from Spain. The vote was deemed illegal and invalid by the Spanish government. How will this affect your travel to Spain?

BARCELONA - Last week, Catalan people voted to separate from Spain and become an independent state. The Spanish government deemed this vote illegal and invalid. Spanish authorities sent armed troops into Catalonia to squash uprisings, which sparked intense violence in the streets of various Catalan cities.

“Some 90 percent of voters backed a split from Spain, but turnout was only around 42 percent, largely because anti-independence Catalans did not show up,” according to CNN.

The aftermath resulted in hundreds of injuries in clashes with police, who arrived in force to ensure that voting didn’t take place.

Catalonia is a province in northeastern Spain. It borders the Mediterranean Sea and includes the legendary city of Barcelona. Though people in Catalonia speak Spanish, they have a regional dialect (Catalan) that is technically a different language altogether.

Tension between Spain and Catalonia are not new. Catalan people have spoken out about independence for decades. When Francisco Franco ruled Spain from Madrid (in the center of the country), Catalan people protested his dictatorship and suppression of Catalan culture.

Even Barcelona’s soccer team has served as a rebel, sporting Catalan flag jerseys, especially when playing their arch-rivals, Real Madrid.

Now, the future of Catalonia’s relationship with Spain remains uncertain, and both Catalonia and Spain deserve travel attention.

When traveling to Spain and the Catalonia region in the next few months, be sure to use caution and general common sense. While the two governments continue to work on a solution, travel between Catalonia and Spain may be difficult and slightly dangerous. Keep a low profile, as tensions in the area area already high. And, be sure to keep up with the situation, as events and regulations may change on a daily basis.


Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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