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Oh Barcelona, The Land of Fun and Friends

SPAIN | Wednesday, 29 September 2010 | Views [388] | Comments [2]

Wow! What can I say about Barcelona...

Well, first, as soon as I crossed into Spain I suddenly was on Spanish time* (See below for translation). Second, I made such great friends while being there. Thirdly, I happened to stumble into Barcelona during La Merce, this fantastic celebration that starts on a Thursday and ends Sunday night. You may have heard that Barcelona is a party place, but I dont think you realize the extent it can go!!!

In Barcelona I wasnt the usual tourist I tend to be. Usually I walk and walk and walk and tour until I want to cut my legs off (maybe I am being a tad melodramatic...) But in Barcelona that wasn´t the case. Spanish time really had an effect on me. I walked around enough, I did two free tours of the Gothic Quarter, I went to the ever famous Park Güell, I went to a huge famous market, I even went to the beach (amazing), but I didn´t see a lot of sights Spain has to offer. Like the Sagrada Familia, this amazing, huge church by this famous artist named Gaudi that has been under construction for ever and will continue to be for many years to come. I don´t regret not seeing certain sights because I realize thats not what Barcelona was supposed to be for me. During the whole of my trip I have been quite the loner, but I met some really great people at my hostel and thats what made Barcelona fabulous for me!

New friends. Let me just give a shout out to Michael, Anton, and Jereth. Three groovy dudes who were so much fun to hang out with! Michael and I got to hang out the first day I was there. It was good to walk and look around with someone who was extremely like minded! Michael left right after I got there. The next day I went on a free tour in the city and then went back to the hostel to rest (Spanish time) midday. While on the computer I met Anton who invited me to view the opening of La Merce with him and some other people from the Hostel. Soon after I met Jereth who would be going with us. After that we were inseperable. We did a lot of the La Merce celebration together, ate a lot of gelato (that was conveniently around the corner from our hostel) together, danced together, and went to the beach together. Anyway, what I am trying to say is Thank you guys for being awesome!

I can´t believe how fortunate I was to coincidentally be in Barcelona for La Merce. It is Barcelona´s largest street festival and it is honor of Mare de Deu de la Merce, the Patron Saint of Barcelona. And let me be the one to tell you that everyone gets down! The festival kicked off Thursday night at St. Jaume Square. It was a parade costumes, but the costumes were of people, dragons, other animals that were about 12 ft. tall at least. There was also a parade of devils. Then each groupe of people, animals, or devils took turn dancing around on stage. After the opening of La Merce we went to the hostel to get ready for the night ahead of us. It took us all forever to get out of the hostel, but it worked out perfectly. For we stepped out of our hostel door into a huge parade of more costumed people and lots of drums. We joined the parade, dancing behing this one group of drummers. We were literally DANCING THROUGH THE STREETS! Oh my lord, it was SO much fun. We followed this group for over an hour. It was originally me and the guys and about 20 other folks. By the end of the drumming and dancing there were well over 100 people behind us groovin to the beats! Then we found a stage that had Spanish Ska music and we danced like crazy. Upon getting back to the hostel we all stayed up talking and before we knew it, it was 4 am. Spanish time will get to you I swear... The next day we went and watched human pyramids being built. The idea is to make a pyramid of people and then have a small child around the age of 4 or 5 climb to the top and blow a kiss to whatever government offial is standing on the balcony of the government building where the pyramids are being built. These people aren´t stabalized on all fours though. They are standing straight up on top of one another using there core muscles and their clothing to climb up one another. Very impressive! Jereth and I about got suffocated/humped to death in the swarms of people trying to get in and get out of the crowd. Not as fun as it sounds....  We went to the beach after lunch. First time I have been to the ocean in 3 years! Oh man, it was glorious! The cool blue waves and Saharin sand. The sand is actually imported from the Sahara. Every winter it washes back out and every spring, boat loads of sand is imported back in. Weird, but enjoyable. Public nudity is legal in the city as long as you have shoes on, weird again. But on the beach there is no need for shoes. I luckily only spotted one naked old man at the beach and only one on the streets! Later that night Anton, Jereth and I plus Nic, Les, Claudia, and Barbara (two english guys and two spanish girls) went out again. We had grown extremely accustomed to Spanish time, so when looking at my watch when stepping out of the hostel, I was a little suprised to see that it was 00:45! We went back to the stage we had been the night before and danced, danced, danced. In Barcelona a lot of Pakistanians (not sure if that was correct spelling or grammar, my apologies) sell a beer for one euro. They walk around saying ¨beer? one euro. beer? one euro¨ It really is fantastic because they come to you and its cheap. It started to sprinkle a bit, but we kept dancing as long as the music went. After the music stopped we went to find something else to do. Thats when it started to pour! Jereth, Nic, and I had a spontanious dance party in the rain while everyone else took shelter. It felt great! Saturday night a couple of us went to watch Correfoc. Correfoc is simply a fire parade. There were huge dragon and monster things that had fire works coming out of their mouths. Also people were dressed up like the devil running around with fireworks on the top of their pitch forks! They are supposed to be emulating demons coming out of hell. When arriving at the parade, Jereth and I became a bit weary because everyone else had on full body clothing, scarves, and some even safety goggles. That is because these people stay in the middle of the street and run around while the people and monsters with fire are running around. Well, we weren´t going to let a little fire stop us from fully experiencing this parade. We must have looked crazy running around under the fountain of fireworks being sprayed at us. Hopping up and down to avoid being burned. I left with a few burn holes through my sweater and scarf. It was exhilerating! On our walk back to the hostel we walked through St. Jaume Square and happened to catch the end of this sweet light show! It was projected onto the govn´t building. I can´t even begin to explain how it cool it looked, lets just say it was worth seeing!

I left for Sevilla at the wee hours of Sunday morning, but really really wished I had booked more time in Barcelona. I was suprised at how hard it was to say goodbye to my new friends had only knowing them for just over 48 hours. In all, Barcelona was not like any other place I had been to yet. I don´t think there is anywhere quite like it!


*Spanish time: Taking your time to do everything and anything you do. Probably are going to arrive late to any plans previously made and take siesta during the day

Tags: barcelona, beach, dancing, fire parade, la merce, new friends, spanish time




I feel as though I was there with you, your description took my breath away!!!!

  MOM Sep 30, 2010 4:22 AM


Hey Hope!!! NICE blog post...makes me wish I never left! Darn, I love that city...was great to meet you and explore Barcelona alittle more...hope to see you in Berlin or Barcelona again soon :) Love! xoxoxoxoxox

  Antonio Sep 30, 2010 9:18 PM

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