The highlight of our day Sunday was the Mercé Correfoc, or Fire Run that started at 8:30 with an explosion of fireworks right on the street between the buildings. We heard people talking about tying up your hair and covering your head and face with a scarf. We soon found out why.
The ‘devils’ start to run down the street, accompanied by groups of very loud drummers, and the fire breathing beasts! These devils carry sticks which have firworks on them that twirl around, spraying fireworks everywhere! They actually aim them at the crowd on purpose and run by us, at times just beyond arm’s distance!
Now we know why we need to cover up. I had my sarong with me so we used it to cover our heads when the devils run by. It is total madness!! There is no way anyone should be doing this and yet here we are, along with thousands of others, caught up in the excitement of it all.
It was hard to get pictures, I took a lot but most of them were too blurry and out of focus. When the devils run too close to us we just covered up, and hoped to not catch fire! We did see one person start smouldering until someone noticed and put out the fire that was starting on their head covering!We stayed until 10:30 and I reluctantly agreed to leave even though there was no sign of the fun ending. We needed to get home and finish packing as we leave our little Barcelona apartment tomorrow and head for the Monastery at Montserrat. I am playing catch up on these posts as we have not had internet since Sunday, and it was too late to post anything Sunday night when we finished packing.
This building was a bullring, but bullfighting was banned in Catalonia in 2011 so now it is used for concerts and other events. We walked by it on the way to a flea market this afternoon. We found the flea market and it is huge, two stories and probably hundreds of stalls. We decide we will need to come back when we return to Barcelona and have more time to spend looking around.We make our way to Parc de La Ciutadella, to check out the Mercé 2015 Festival activities. There are a lot more people here today than a couple of days ago. I loved the balloons and the people watching.
There were some antique rides that were very interesting. Notice the toilet seat…And the lady in white, she was pushing a lever that made the ride move.
There were some very good dancers on stage, I think from the ballet company, not sure as all the announcements were in Spanish…there were crowds of people everywhere.
Next stop was Placa Jaume where the Parade of the Fire Breathing Dragons and Beasts was supposed to start. We had to turn around and approach the square from a different street because the one we were on was completely jammed with people. I have never been in such a crowd before, and I didn’t like it at all. We could barely move, but managed to turn around and make our way to the other side of the square. We were very lucky as this was where the dragons and beasts came into the square. There were people eveywhere, even up all the side streets, but we were in a good spot up against the railing so we didn’t feel as squished as earlier. Here are a couple photos of the crowd.Soon the Dragons and Beasts emerged, with great fanfare and to the accompaniment of very loud very enthusiastic drumming. Each beast had it’s own group of supporters, who were making a great deal of noise.
The pictures are a bit blurry because it was so dark and these dragons and beasts moved quite quickly and it was hard to find a spot that didn’t have a camera held up in it! The energy generated in this square was amazing, and very exciting. I loved it. After all the dragons and beasts left, we headed back to Barceloneta Beach to watch the fireworks by Buenos Aires. The show was a bit shorter than last night’s but it was much more spectacular. There were even Happy Face fireworks, but I never managed to get a picture of them. There were also a lot more people out and about watching the fireworks and on all the streets. We head back to our apartment, get home about 11:00, we are both tired as we did a lot of walking today, but it was a good day.