Castellers. Definition: castle-makers. Alternate definition: human towers created by Catalans.
Between songs, the trumpeter took a break from his instrument to smoke. No one seemed to mind. In Barcelona in front of the Gothic Cathedral, crowds had gathered to dance the sardanas, the traditional Catalan dance of unity and solidarity.
Drums with hellish beats, masked devils laughing, spinning sparklers stabbed on pronged sticks, firecracker booms bouncing off buildings, dancing feet, pounding heart, sweaty t-shirt with holes burned into it, monsters spewing sparks, beloved chaos in the streets…
There is so much to say about Sagrada Família–every bit of the building is carefully calculated and steeped in symbols. Viewing its entirety is overwhelming, which is why I have made a point to visit it a little at a time.
While modernism is seen all over Europe, it has unique characteristics in Barcelona and Catalonia. As the industrial revolution made cities boom, newly rich Barcelonese funded this unique movement to set themselves apart from the old money of Barcelona.
Yellow and red flags flew everywhere among the wave of red and blue shirts. By the end of the song in a language that I hardly knew, I felt tears prick my eyes. It was December, three months after my arrival to Barcelona, and finally, I could call the city my own.
We had been told to simply cross the double-level bridge, take the road that swung to the right, and follow it for about a quarter of a mile to our reward of a free tasting. As college students on study abroad, affectionately known as “drunk abroad,” we were not going to let a bridge and a hill stand between us and free alcohol. It was a cultural experience, right?