Friday, February 22, 2013

Barcelona - day 1 - flying oranges

Our first stop in Barcelona was the Carnaval parade. Brian is not a parade guy, or a state fair guy, or a street festival guy, but I love all of those things and he loves me. So to the parade we went. We found the main stage near the old town in Barcelona, surrounded by kids and adults in costume where a band was playing and also announcing what was going to happen. I have no idea what they said because it was in Catalan (which is not really like Spanish at all) but what I gathered was that there would be a parade of all the Carnaval princes and princesses, followed by the arrival of the king. The royalty started to roll in, riding on horse drawn carriages and a decked out in a signature color of the rainbow. They had personalities too. Some were serene and sweet, some were dancing and celebrating, others were nasty and making scary faces. The king himself looked more leering and creepy than regal, and arrived just as it was getting dark. Once his carriage was in, huge orange balloons and confetti fell over the crowd. This part is called (in Spanish) La Naranjada, in honor of the medieval tradition of throwing oranges at people during on the Sunday of Carnaval. I guess balloons don't hurt as much. This all leads up to Ash Wednesday, when, of course, they bury the sardine.

After the parade we wandered around the historic Born neighborhood, stopped at Santa Maria del Mar basilica, and wrapped up the evening with some tapas. We did not order any sardines.

Santa Maria del Mar

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About Me

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Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.