Saturday, May 11, 2013

Castellers At The Sagrada Familia

Now that we're back in Spain, I've started going to castellers again. If you don't remember, castellers are teams that build human towers. I've often said that being a casteller is when you're both the monkey and the monkey bars. It's a lot of fun to be part of a group that's so tight knit even if I do have a pretty severe language barrier (I don't speak Catalan). But, regardless, I go to practice every Tuesday and Friday night and often on Sundays we have exhibitions somewhere in the city.

This past Sunday we had an exhibition in front of the Sagrada Familia church. It was part of the neighborhood around the church's neighborhood celebration. These neighborhood festivals (or, "diadas" in Catalan) are common in Spain and they often involve music, food, booths set up to sell stuff, and, in the case of Catalunya, castellers exhibits.

The Castellers del Poble Sec in front of the Sagrada Familia during the Diada de la Sagrada Familia:

I really can't think of anything that's more "Catalan" than the castellers and probably no other structure that represents Barcelona more than the Sagrada Familia. I got goose bumps watching the other groups of castellers building towers in such an amazing location.

Super-good artsy photo taken by Diana (all the photos except the last one were taken by her - Thanks Diana!) of the Castellers del Poble Sec in front of the Sagrada Familia's Nativity Facade:

In this photo, you can see a Chinese couple that must have gotten married earlier in the day out taking photos. They had some damn good luck (just like Diana and I did) to have wedding photos like these:

And, yes, a final photo of the girl from Chiquinquira and the casteller from Philadelphia in front of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia:

If you haven't been to Barcelona and you ever get a chance to come, try to find a castellers' exhibition to check out. It's pretty amazing to watch and a definite cultural must-see/do. Many of the groups have at least a couple of practices during the week that you can go to (all welcome visitors) and on many Sundays at noon, there are exhibitions in plazas all over the area. And the best thing, it's all free!

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