Our final day in Barcelona began with pastries and a stroll through the park. Spring was in the air and we were so happy to enjoy the sun and take off our coats.
We also enjoyed climbing on a giant elephant statue. While I could give Julia a boost up, it was quite a challenge for me to follow her. The Irish family who took our picture was doubled up laughing by the time I got myself situated.
At the end of the park lay the Mediterranean! It was Julia’s first time to touch the sea, and we both enjoyed the stunning beaches.
We walked along the beach for a while, and at one point saw a group of topless old ladies tanning themselves. Another reminder that we are certainly not in the US anymore… We also found a great climbing structure, and of course had to go up.
After our Mediterannean adventure, we headed back into the Gothic neighborhood. On one corner was some great street art and a group of people painting cardboard boxes.
Also, kids playing with parachutes. Camp all over the world!
And stuffed mammoths in the Archeological museum…
Finally, Julia and I ended up back in front of the Cathedral. There was a huge crowd there all folk dancing, and we watched for a while. The dances were small and didn’t involve much movement, but the people clearly took pride in knowing the steps. We then followed a second crowd toward a second plaza, and got to see part of the Festival of Human Towers. There are four teams that all compete to form towers of people in competitions that take place throughout the Spring. The men crowd around the bottom to provide support, and up top climbs a four-year-old girl. Each team has a different colored shirt, and each team member winds a long black scarf around their waist to provide back support and give the climbers good foot-holds. The festival is evidentially a symbol of Catalan pride. We talked to two men on the street who helped us to figure out what we were watching, and they made it clear that they were strongly in favor of Catalonian independence. It was interesting to hear how they took so much pride in their city and spoke harshly against the rest of Spain. It’s fascinating to trace how the various political conflicts that are currently facing Spain manifest in each of the cities we’re visiting.
After watching the festival, it was time to head back to the airport and fly home. Of course we brought along croissants for an airport snack, a final taste of Barcelona!