No joke! Easter in the Catholic world is not about bunnies, eggs and kids. Nothing like seeing a truly serious and dark religious parade to make you stand up straight and appreciate the American easter bunny. We live about a block away from the Ramblas de Catalunya, historically famous epicenter of the old city. It splits the Raval from the Gotico and is one of the most crowded streets in the city. Almost every day there is some parade, or manifestation(protest) going on somewhere along the 1.2 kilometer street. Also famous for the swath of tourists which I wade through almost daily, it's home for many restaurants, kiosks, living sculptures(street performers), pickpockets and prostitutes.
And a macabre easter parade.... even the cops look down.
Of course there is a drum corp, and bagpipes, to add to the austerity of the experience. And yes, they are barefoot in chains.
In the week that was known as Semana Santa, all schools were on holiday, and many shops were closed.
Of course we took advantage of the time spent together and visited Tarragona's famous aqueduct (really impressive) as well as a boat trip, and spend some time in the nearby mountains.
We rented a tiny zip car, which is a great little treasure in Europe- it costs €3/per hour and you can pick it up next to your house. We drove it out of the city going towards France, into the mountains. There we found beautiful birch forests and thousands of other people with the same hiking itinerary as us. There is a stark difference in nature here, as almost every place has been touched and cultivated by humans.
We hiked all day to find a few places where we managed to take a picture without people in the backround. Nevertheless it was very good for the family to get out and enjoy some fresh mountain air, and we had a great picnic as well.
I admit that I am happier with more nature around me, ocean or wood. Luckily for me Barcelona has beautiful parks, mountains and a vast ocean all within reach. In the end I am clearly a country gal, nothing in the city can change that.
The boat Kodiak and I went out on is a beautiful older sailboat, now done up as a pirate ship. It's a great way to get out of the city and on to the wide ocean, and does a loop between the the Port and one of the rivers that boarder Barcelona, the Besós river.
Kodiak on the Pirate Ship!
Skepp Ahoj!(in Swedish)
We are all excited to go see our favorite musicians, Filastine & Nova play here in Barcelona, to kick off their 2017 tour of Drapetomania. They have been working very hard to make this album and it's so cool when your 6 year old notices familiar peeps on the poster bill tacked on a busy Barcelona wall!