Monday, September 26, 2016

Fireworks, Human Pyramids and Dancing in the Street

Day 3 Sunday - A Day to Crash a Party in Barcelona

When my biological-clock awakened me early Sunday morning I decided to get up (rather than submit to a strong desire to roll over and try to catch a few more zzz's). I then used the time to wander around the area near the hotel.

For locals, Sunday's in Spain are reserved for family and many smaller stores remain closed until Monday. Even during La Merce, Barcelona kicks down a notch or two in the morning. And, instead of the usual throngs, there was just me, City trash crews and police officers on Las Ramblas.

Upon reaching the Plaza Reial I found a pervasive smell of sidewalk bleach, an iconic fountain (still switched off in night mode) and a whole bunch of sellers setting up for a Sunday Flea Market.

The Sunday Flea Market Begins

 The Paza Reial Fountain Hadn't Begun Operating

Now it was time to return to the hotel to enjoy a (pretty darned wonderful) Sunday Champagne brunch buffet. 

Rested and (very) well fed, it was time to begin a full day of exploring Barcelona during La Merce. And, now contrary to my early morning walk, Barcelona's  streets were beginning to get crowded.

First stop was the Cathedral where teams of all ages were performing traditional dance in large circles accompanied by a full band.

Dance Groups at the Cathedral

Then, we made our way (with seemingly everyone in the city) to Plaza Sant Jaume where there were teams creating human pyramids.  

 Crowds at Arriving to See The Human Stacks

 The Human Stacks

With crowds now reaching "overwhelming", we opted for some creative meandering to window shop, see the "giants" (the big iconic statues and beasts that are essential to La Merce parades) eventually arriving at the waterfront that afforded a chance to rest and watch the crowds from an outdoor cafe. 

 The Giants

More Giants

One of Many Human Sculptures

We returned to the hotel for a swim in the hotels almost ethereal basement spa pool. Recharged we sought out dinner (awesome hamburgers). We watched the crowds heading to the Fire Runs in their goggles and hats (I decided I was prepared enough to safely participate in that).

Finally, after sunset, La Merce 2016 ended with a spectacular pyrotechnical display at the Plaza De Espana which we were able to see from the hotel's roof top bar.

Fireworks Illuminating MontJuc's National Art Museum

It would be hard to have a more wonderful day in one of the world's best cities.

Roadboy's Travels © 2016

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