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Thanksgiving in Barcelona

Trying to celebrate a holiday in a country that doesn’t celebrate that holiday is an interesting task, especially for a girl who really loves that holiday. Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite holidays since I can remember, probably because the whole family gets together and there seems to be an endless amount of food. When I signed up to go abroad I knew that I would miss Thanksgiving and I’m okay with that, even though I missed home a little extra on Thanksgiving this year. This is pretty much the exact opposite of solo time but I wanted to do a post to share about the wonderful Barcelona family I have formed here.

Since Thanksgiving is not celebrated here, a group of us decided to make our own Thanksgiving. It was weird for all of us that we had to go to school on that day because our entire lives we have always know Thanksgiving as a day of having no school. However, we all gathered together for a big Thanksgiving meal. I volunteered to make mashed potatoes, mostly because they are one of my favorite foods, but also because how can you have a Thanksgiving meal without mashed potatoes? Since there was such a large group of us I used 42, yes forty-two, potatoes. It was quite a process but after a few hours and a bad blister all the potatoes were peeled, cut, cooked, and mashed. Luckily they turned out to be a big hit and I was able to take some leftovers home! The rest of our meal consisted of stuffing, cornbread, cranberry sauce, gravy, salad, and chicken. Unfortunately trying to find and cook a huge turkey just didn’t make sense so I will have to wait until I am back home for Christmas dinner to get my turkey fix. When we were all gathered eating together I took a moment to step back and realize how thankful I am for this opportunity to be abroad. I have had some of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget my times with these people and these places.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Food and Drink, Solo Time

 

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La Mercé

This weekend all my roommates decided to take a trip to the Amalfi Coast. I debated about whether or not to go with them but I finally decided not to because I had been there recently and more importantly I wanted to be in Barcelona for La Mercé. And let me tell you, I made the right decision. At first I was a little weary about being in the apartment by myself but I was able to spend time with some of the other students in my building as well as other friends throughout the city. I really had no idea what to except out of this festival until Thursday morning when my Spanish teacher spent the whole class talking about all the festivities.

My favorite parts of La Mercé were the castellers, Correfoc, and Piromusical. These were three different types of festivities but each of them was amazing. When I went to see the castellers there were people everywhere and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see anything. At first I couldn’t see the castellers making the base but they kept adding levels and levels of people, making it impossible for anyone to not see them. The first time they were building the tower I was so anxious, the little girls that were climbing to the very top looked so young and I kept thinking they would fall. I was so blown away by the skill and strength the castellers had. I stayed for a while and moved closer, seeing several different groups build the human towers.

The Correfoc was definitely my favorite part of the festival. I had absolutely no idea what to except so when I got to the street packed with people covered head to toe in clothes with face masks and googles I was slightly concerned. When the show started I made the decision to stay in the street instead of moving off to the side. When the parade of people got to us it was complete insanity. The “devils” and “beasts” were showering fire everywhere. There were several times where sparks were landing all over me but I was too excited to care. I loved being in the midst of everything and seeing the people of Barcelona get so into this festival. I just kept thinking over and over how cool this was and that I didn’t want it to end.

After Correfoc I quickly made my way to Pl. Espanya for Piromusical. I was impressed by how many people came out to see the show and I thought it was the perfect way to end the festival. I have been enthralled by fireworks since I was a little girl so I just stood there mesmerized throughout the whole show. The entire La Mercé festival was a great experience, not only for the fun but also to learn about the culture of this city. I was in awe of how many people came out for the events and how passionate everyone was about this festival. America celebrates the 4th of July but usually with a party and some fireworks, nothing in comparison to this crazy festival. La Mercé brought the people of Barcelona together and that is something I will never forget.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Festivals, Solo Time

 

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