It was a great day in Barcelona. Open house at the Born neighborhood cultural center shared its extensive archaeological exhibit on life in Barcelona in the 1700s. Outside the Center, castellers built human towers. This is a Catalonian tradition that requires solidarity–groups create a huge base of people pushing toward the center and upward.
Group members climb over one another to create a tower six people high. Two children or small adults climb to the top of the tower, change sides and descend. The goal is to get the tower all the way up AND all the way down without collapse.
Applause greets both the highest point of the construction when the two smallest members pass one another and erupts again if the group succeeds in disassembling the tower without any collapse. Teams wear colored shirts, and other teams and members of the public help support the base level.
Perhaps most remarkable to us was the fact that the spectators aren’t cordoned off from the castellers. We stood at the base of the tower builders to watch.
We followed this with a cup of chocolate at the Xocolateria. It was so thick I couldn’t finish my small cup–me! We also got the last two croissants available today, important because these were voted the best croissants in Spain in 2014. They were excellent and my eating most of the cream-filled one probably had something to do with not being able to drink all my chocolate…..
Catalan government buildings were open for visitors and many people took advantage to file through or take their photo with door guards in ceremonial dress.
Street crowds were thick.
Many people wore white shirts because they planned to participate in the demonstration in support of Catalan independence. At 5:15 pm a major street Av. Meridional, was lined with thousands of people organized by region or neighborhood. Sections of the crowd held colored cards that they raised when a lead car drove down a center lane. Each color represented a political goal such as diversity or solidarity. It was an impressive sight, estimated to have included as many as 2 million people.