Monday, September 23, 2013

celebrating La Mercè

Barcelona has stopped in its tracks to celebrate La Mercè. It's been a great experience to see everything, and there are A LOT of things to see. Impossible to catch them all, but we did try, starting with the Castellers. Incredible. The teams compete, piling up one top of the other to 8 stories or so. The person on the very top is always a child in a helmet - bravery like no other, they climb to the top and have to raise their arms to make the tower eligible to compete. Incredible, and well worth the chest-to-back crowds.
Moving out a bit, we got to the cathedral where we caught the traditional Catalan folk dance, La Sardana. Everyone gets in a circle, and as you can see, it's all in the footwork.
And tonight, I caught a surprise performance of the OCB, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya. Lots of Strauss being performed, getting the crowd all excited. What a beautiful venue - outdoors in the perfect night weather, against the spectacular backdrop of the Catedral de Barcelona. After all the partying, I needed some culture today, and while I wasn't able to see Pure Views (closed today and tomorrow), this was some well-needed alone time (shared with a crowd of thousands). A very good night. The actual day of La Mercè is tomorrow, ending with a light show and closing ceremonies. I might make it ... I might not. But what an experience.

DF

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