Monday, July 20, 2009

Sardana, the cathedral, and a guitar concert

First thing when we woke up on Sunday, we went to see the weekly Sardana gathering in the plaza outside the cathedral. Sardana is a traditional Catalan form of dance, where anyone who wants to shows up, puts their stuff in the middle of a circle, and dances to the music played by an 11-member band. Here's a picture to help explain:

And here's a picture of the band:

Then a random parade went by, including several people wearing costumes of really tall people. Here's one:

I have no idea what the parade was for. It also had this guy:

Then we went in to the cathedral:

It was Sunday afternoon, so there were services going on, but that doesn't stop tourists. There was a rule that you had to be modestly dressed (i.e. no tank tops), and a lot of tourists hadn't planned on that. Luckily for them, there was a street vendor right outside willing to sell them a tacky sparkly scarf! And luckily for me, I had chosen that day to wear a dress with short sleeves, so I was good to go.

The inside of the cathedral was pretty standard for a cathedral:

After the cathedral, we went swimming again. This time, we went to one of the Olympic pools on Montjuïc, called Piscines Bernat Picornell. There was an outdoor pool and and indoor pool, and of course we swam in the indoor pool ("of course" is if you know my dad at all). We hiked up the hill because we hadn't figured out which bus to take ahead of time. It was a long walk, but it was pretty and we got a nice view. We walked past the Poble Espanyol, which is an artificial village constructed as a bunch of houses in different styles of architecture from around Spain. The houses are not used as houses, but are used as gift shops, and yet you have to pay to get in! Needless to say, we skipped it.

The woman who works at the desk of the pool was running off to do something when we arrived, and the door to the pool was open. Long story short, we ended up with two swims for the price of one. Here's the indoor pool:

Then we had a very quick dinner at a mostly vegetarian buffet restaurant called Fresc Co off Las Ramblas before we hurried over to the Church of Santa Maria del Pi for a classical guitar concert by Manuel González. He is a very impressive guitar player. I couldn't believe how many different sounds he could make with his guitar! Here's a picture:

We were sitting in the upstairs area because we weren't as early as we would have liked, but we were far from the last to arrive. People kept getting there even as the concert was going. I guess that's Spanish time. After the concert, we got our picture taken with Manuel González! Then we headed back to go to sleep because it was a work day today! I'll try to catch up with these posts tomorrow. We've just been so busy that it's hard to keep up!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Caroline, you are super busy! It seems like Spain is filled with architecture, churches (sometimes those two are the same), and swimming pools. Did you buy any fake designer things? I am back in Boston and I start my job next week! I picked up my car yesterday (it's a suzuki sx4 if I haven't told you about it). When will you be back in Boston? I miss you!