26 September 2010

"Correfoc" or "That Woman Who Sued McDonald's for Hot Coffee is the Reason The U.S. is No Fun"

This past weekend was La Mercé, my new favorite holiday. If you're on your way over to Wikiepedia to figure out what this is, don't believe the (lack of) hype. It's the festa major for Barcelona which means that the city throws a giant party for three days. I did a lot of things, but since I know the majority of people who read this blog are on it for less than 30 seconds, I won't make you wait around for the good part. On Saturday night, we went to the Correfoc/Fire Run, a giant parade of devils and dragons where people in the parade throw fireworks at the crowd.

I'd like to say that I wasn't prepared, but really I was just too cool to be schooled. On Monday, I read that it was supposed to recreate hell and thought "How lovely Spain, a hell parade." On Thursday, Noa told us that we should wear long sleeves to cover our arms so that we wouldn't get burned; I said, "Thanks, mom" and she rolled her eyes. The entire hour before we left the house, I was convinced that I could hear the smoke monster from LOST coming from somewhere down the street. When we got there, there was an entire family bundled up in scarves and chemistry goggles and I still had no idea that I was at the scariest parade on earth.

For the first half hour, everyone shrieked and hugged strangers until they got too scared or too bored and went home or decided that they weren't going to die from sparklers and ran into the parade.

(No photos allowed inside)
Museu Picasso
Free entry day at all the museums!

Parc de la Ciutadella
Please note the pied piper. This was a clown show where 20 people sat on bikes connected to the stage and watched the circus as they pedaled it around the park.

Daby Touré
One night we watched a Senegalese pop band and everyone sang along to words we didn't know. This must be why people like concerts.

Castillos humanos
This is amazing but also terrifying and then heartwarming because a tower fell and the crowd rushed up to catch the falling people.

Older people/Ancianos/Jubilados do this dance at the cathedral every Sunday, but this weekend there was a competition. On normal days, you throw your bag in the middle of the circle and join in knowing that the magic protective shield of cute old people dancing is the only thing in the city that is impenetrable pick-pocket-wise.

photos stolen from Magdalene Nutter because I was too busy trying to preserve my eyesight/because I was living in the moment and in my joie de vivre forgot to take a picture/because I left my camera on my desk.

(We danced out way down to the beach so I still didn't have my camera)
Fireworks on the beach
The kids from California didn't think this was all that great but I was oohing and awing my heart out. Plus where else can you get a beer, cerveza, agua, cola, fanta or a masaje whilst watching fireworks?

Churros con chocolate/xurros amb xocolate
This is what 5 orders of churros looks like. Oops but also yum.

We took the fun-icular train up the mountain to see a castle and a million little kids and their stylish parents.

Montjuïc Circ
...And found a circus. This is the only person I've seen in Barcelona on a fixed gear bike which gives me hope for the world and its people.

Montjuïc Circ
There was a trapeze! We had no idea what was going on since the only words any of us know in Catalán are "Adeu" and "Tanqeu la porta, si us plau" but as soon as it started, I had to eat my whiny, I've-been-in-line-for-2-hours words about it being for little kids. Eat your heart out Cirque du Soliel.