60 Days in Europe: Day 25 / June 23

June 23, 2014 – Barcelona.

Occasionally it’s really okay to be clueless while traveling.

Due to a scheduling mistake, we thought we were going to enjoy the biggest day of the year in Spain, La Fiesta de San Juan Bautista (the Feast of St. John the Baptist), the next day in the southern coastal town of Alicante. But as it turned out, we were in the very best place for it the day before – a pleasant surprise. We expected great bonfires and a festive spirit all around. It was more than that.

From my journal:
I slept until 8:30, and we didn’t leave the hostel until after noon. We walked down to Maragall to catch the Metro. We ate first. Shared a salad and hamburgues completa at a Chinese restaurant.

Metro to Juame I stop. Through La Ribera to S. Catherine Market. Over to Barri Gotic and walked all around. Got pastries and coffees.

Through La Ribera to Arc de Triomf. Took a nap on the grass. Watched some men playing Bocce.

Walked the wrong way from there. Took the bus back to the Arc. Walked through the Parc de la Cuitadella, (and on to) Barceloneta (where we had chosen to enjoy the Fiesta).

Walked to a plaza (Placa de la Barceloneta) where there was supposed to be a bonfire later. We walked to the beach and found a bonfire on our way back (in Plaça del Poeta Boscà). Turned out to be the only one we saw.

Back at the square we saw a great fireworks show (not aerial) put on by revelers in motley and masquerade. It went for some time.

Afterward we walked back to the bonfire but it was unattended and dying down. On to the crowded beach again, where we watched people, fireworks, and musicians. A little after midnight we headed home and got to the the hostel a little after one.

Aerial fireworks, along with firecrackers, are going off all over the city with no sign of winding down. 1:45 – hostel is closing this outside patio/deck.


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