La Merce Weekend

Happy Autumn Fall!

Or happy Spring, you lucky ducks!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My brain’s been gnawing away at me for not being productive or posting something. Last week no matter how quickly or efficiently I’ve tried to get things done, everything looked and felt like it’s happening in slow mo with time in fast play. Like everything was a bit fuzzy. Maybe it was Equinox energy. I also noticed that I was watching a fair bit of YouTube, different channels that sucked me in and like people who drain you of energy, they were draining me of energy. The message they were sending was filling me full of their negative energy without me noticing. I’ve been making an effort when the videos pop up on my feed to ignore them no matter how much the title or front page grabs my attention. I did this over the weekend and my detox is working. I follow but not subscribe to a few Youtubers who always full of infectious inspirational energy who inspire and fill you with motivation to create. They didn’t post much last week. My excuse.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anyways, this past weekend Barcelona had it’s annual city celebration, La Merce. A 3 day celebration, with free events and concerts happening all September all over the city with the focus around the last full weekend of the month and the 24th, on the city’s saint day, Our Lady of Mercy day. They’ve been celebrating since 1687, made 24th an official holiday in 1871 and it’s huge deal! This year they even had an app! There’s normally a theme outside the traditional celebrations and they’ve recently pared up with other cities. This year it was Paris, the city of light. I usually only go to my favourite celebration Correfoc where you get to run with devils under spinning fireworks however P was here this weekend so we took advantage of the free events in Parc de la Ciutadella.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks to the app, I was able to find out when the food trucks were opening after cycling through the park Friday (zoo pics later this week!) spying them. P was game to take a trip around them Saturday (no brainer being a chef) afternoon. We stopped off at the beach on the way to feed the pigeons (okay, I wanted to feed them. They’ve been hungry this week when I have stopped by to look at the sea. The sun turned to clouds most afternoons last week making it too chilly for sun siestas) before heading the to park. It was already packed as events started in the morning. We took a trip around all the trucks before returning back to the one that had vegan burgers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Eating our burgers, we explored the park more before watching Eklips, The Human Beat box from Paris, kill Buster Rhymes, Snoop Dog and his own beats before calling it a night.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Sunday, was my last longish run before Spartan Beast in 2 weeks. I can’t believe it’s less than 2 weeks away! I stopped by the monkey bars, which I was fine on, but muscle ups I couldn’t do one! The more I couldn’t do one, the more I started thinking, 2 weeks away and you’ve got walls to scale! The bars were slippy no matter how much I wiped my hands on my top after dusting off with sand. I decided instead to do the mini net climb but at the bars at the top to jump down, were just as slippery. I ending up climbing up and over the net a few times for face and net climbing skills practice.img_2919

It was warm enough and we got out early enough for a sun siesta and a short bike ride, which was great until the storm clouds we thought we’d miss, opened up! Kinda drenched when we got back I was unsure if Correfoc would go ahead. I follow on twitter Barcelona’s official what’s on channel and kept checking to see if it was still on. There was no saving my washing on the balcony. The wind knocked over the stand and it was soaked. The lightning was amazing and cycling back I think I was a shade darker thanks the sand being whipped up. Thankfully the storm passed and after following few more official Barcelona twitter pages to find out if it was going ahead, they announced it was!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got there about an hour after it started, with plenty to time to try not to get singed. Long sleeves, jeans or leggings, hoodie or baseball cap’s recommend. I’ve learnt to tie my hair back. The origins are here, but most the city’s barrios have their own devils and band who run and dance down Via Laitanea setting off roman candles encouraging people to join them under the spinning fireworks. The energy is electric. It’s noisy, the air’s filled with smoke and exploding roman candles, streets lights are off for maximum effect, the building are hazed out in smoke, everybody’s smiling while taking shelter from the sparks, some run and catch a devil to run with. Some devils will sweep you up, others are happy to pose for photos while they shower you in sparks. Fiery firework breathing towering devils, dragons, cats or mosquitos mark the start of each barrio while carnival drums brings up the rear. Long after devils finish running, the bands keep playing in the square at the bottom of Via Lantana with surrounded by revellers. Seriously, you can’t not help but move when they starting playing! It took a few years to work up courage to run with them, but they know what they’re doing and few people get injured. I ran with 3 and I think P ran with 2 or 3 and a fiery dragon!img_2945img_3049img_2957img_2958img_3236

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Ice cream or vegan ice cream aka sorbet to cleanse smoke walking back to the bike.img_3257

Now the city returns back to normal as it always does after La Merce and summer. Summer’s said its see ya laters, there’s still a week or 2 of in-between sun siestas if you’re early enough before Autumn Fall layering begins. I got to say say see you later summer by the same way here said hello summer on St Juan, with fireworks!

Have you ran Correfoc?

 

 

5 comments

    1. πŸ™‚ I think you’d love the madness of it! Another one I’m sure you’ll love is the Kings Parade on the eve of Jan 5th. The 3 Kings parade through the city before magically during the night leaving presents for when the kids wake up πŸ™‚

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