Sunday, September 30, 2012

La Merce

La Merce is the celebration of the patron saint of Barcelona. Festivities begin Thursday and end on Monday (Sept. 21-24). So I even got a day off of school. Let me tell you, this city sure knows how to celebrate. I had a bit of an unconventional Merce. I split my time between trying to see every semi famous festivity and playing frisbee. Here is a link to a description of La Merce.

Friday
One of my friends, Genesis, recommended that we go to Plaza Espanya to see a concert (there's lots of those during La Merce. The only band I recognized was The Kooks). The band was called Sie7e and it was the only band she recognized in the line up so she wanted to go. They are from Portugal and they were really good! I met up with Genesis, her boyfriend, and Kayla, after the concert we went to watch the "Magical" fountain. There is a water show centered around this fountain every weekend. It includes lights, music, and really cool water tricks. Genesis said they were going all out for La Merce because she had never seen the fountain get that tall before. My night ended with watching the fireworks on the beach from my balcony at my house.
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I just think this last one is funny.

Saturday
I met up with Elaine, Kayla, and Jenna, and we went to watch the parade of the giants. They are huge paper mache people. As you can see in the last picture, a person gets inside the giant and operates it. They're pretty heavy though, because every so often there would be a pause in the parade and people would quickly switch in and out of the giants. Each one has a significance to the city's history, I couldn't tell you what every single one means though. There was music, confetti, and candy everywhere. Sometimes the giants would stop and do a little dance to the music. But never for too long, the people overseeing the parade ran a tight ship. Once again I ended my night by watching fireworks from my balcony.
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Sunday
I went with the frisbee team I joined (Patatas Bravas) to Castelldefels. It's a small beach town about a half hour away from the city. The city center is packed with people during La Merce, so it was nice to get out of town for a little bit. I trained with the womens team first, then everyone else came and Bravas held a little "getting to know you" hat tournament because I'm not the only study abroad newcomer. We were split into four random teams. The winners got a case of cold beer. My team won! Woohoo! So after the tournament we all hung out, drank a little beer and got to know each other.

Monday
There was a strike. Again. I should do a post on those because they happen so often and they suck. It was just the metro this time, but it meant irritated, hot, La Merce goers. I stuck to the buses. I chose to opt out of the grand finale of La Merce to play some beach ultimate with the womens team. We are currently training for Spanish Nationals so it was strongly encouraged that we be there if we're planning on going. We met up with the other womens team in Barcelona (Piranyes) to run some drills and then we scrimmaged against each other. This was the first practice that was run completely in Spanish. I was confused at first, but I quickly got used to it and even got up the courage to talk with some of the girls in Spanish myself. Like I said, they're really patient, but sometimes I feel like a silly foreigner. 

So that was my Merce. It was super fun! Full of celebration and meeting new people. 

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