As expected, we had yet another festival this past weekend. It’s almost becoming an expectation now that we see a festival pretty much every weekend – and we’re disappointed on the rare weekend we don’t see anything. Our reaction when we do? “Ahhh Spain…” or “It’s Gracia, of course there’s a festival!” Regardless it’s really nice to get out and see how the locals do up traditional events.
I’m not sure what the 16a means, but I’m going to guess that it means 16th Annual. And what was it an annual event for? I have no idea on that either. We think it was like a giant block party. The road we live off of is pretty long – a few miles at least. And there were chunks of it that were closed off to traffic on Saturday (it’s a one way street so they had a few sections open so traffic coming north and south could at least cross over to the other side!). We heard what sounded like fireworks at 9AM on Saturday morning near our apartment and thought, “well that’s early for Barcelona – most people aren’t even up much less setting off fireworks”. However, I think it was actually them setting up a stage at the end of our street for performances to be had later on in the day. Oh well… no fireworks at 9AM… a bit of a disappointment 😉
We took the kids out for a walk around and it wasn’t anything to write home about… oh wait, I am writing home about it. Ok, so it was interesting enough to write about. But really it seemed kind of low key but I think we only touched upon the areas that were having events. We didn’t realize that further down the road (until evening that is) was actually doing things too. We thought where the barriers ended, so did the festival. I guess we’ll just have explore more during the 17a festa right??
The main street next to ours – Travessera de Gracia was closed off for all the festivities on Saturday!
I have to admit that while I don’t sew (at all), I found this fascinating. These women were making lace – it looked unbelievably intricate and complicated and they were whipping thru it like pros.
Anyways, they had a number of jumparoos set up in the middle of the street which the kids went wild for. Liam had several meltdowns when he had to come out and wait in line again for his next turn. Not a pretty sight. They had pony rides and several of the stores had booths out and were selling their products on the streets.
During a break from the events we headed home where we skyped with Becky & Ray and the kids got to open their birthday gifts “in front of” them. It was nice to have them involved even though we are so far away. Liam was especially excited about his Darth Vadar plush toy. And Aidan LOVED his WarioLand Shake It game for the Wii. Thanks Becky & Ray!!
That evening we decided to head down to the Placa de Gracia where the clock tower is. This is the placa where we’ve been seeing the most regular festivities these days and where we’ve been regularly seeing our new friends Nikki & Dave and their daughters (who are Aidan’s friends from school). Well, lo and behold, on our way there we found out that parts of this end of the street were closed down too for the local merchants to sell their wares. If only we’d known earlier (hence my statement before). And when we arrived at the Placa there were booths everywhere and lots of entertainment. There was a band on one side and a DJ with a ballroom dance company there. There were dancers doing the tango, the waltz and many more that I don’t know but thoroughly enjoyed. It didn’t look staged – they were all dressed casually to fit in with the crowd and they got people from the crowd to join in as well. So we sat down and enjoyed our dinner of tapas and the kids ran around and played (only lost them twice – yikes!!! talk about panic attack.) and had just an overall great time!!
I also got some video of the drummers doing their thing. To view it, click the link. Nova Travessera Drums
At the end of the evening, around 8:30, the crowds started to break up a bit which I thought was surprising since it seems that here nothing really starts til at least that time. But I think it was because there was a whole other group coming to have their own festivities. These were the ones promoting pot smoking. And they were smoking it. I’ve heard it’s semi-legal here. Like it’s not really legal, but police officers aren’t going to arrest you if they see you smoking it either. Regardless, just walking by them could make you high… and so a good time for us to make our exit with the kids. All we would have needed were high kids to end the night!!!