Barcelona’s Rose and Book Day

Today was The Festival of Sant Jordi, which is Barcelona’s Valentine’s day. On this day, as legend would have it, Saint Jordi killed a dragon that threatened Barcelona. The Dragon was going to eat the Princess and burn all the crops, but Jordi: the man: the legend, slayed that evil beast and probably took the Princess’ virginity as a prize. So, for reasons I couldn’t understand, the men of Barcelona give the women roses and the women give the men books (what this custom has to do with dragons is beyond me).

When we arrived in Barcelona everyone was really excited about the Festival. We were excited. However, it turned into a really over-crowded, super touristy, rose extravaganza. To say that walking through downtown Barcelona was easy would be wrong: walking through the streets was like trying to navigate in a Spanish Times Square Hell filled with roses, books in Spanish and tons and tons of tourists. Yikes. Not relaxing.

After a few hours of slogging through the human sea we slunk back to our room and stared at our hands for a while to recuperate.

Our evening turned into the opposite of what the day was like. Mom fell into a coma-like nap and Caitie and I slowly shopped small boutiques and pasticcerias while the sun set. The weather here is beautiful, warm, sunny, with a slight breeze that never does more than playfully ruffle your skirt. The magic of the city came back to me.

Vivianna met us for dinner and, like promised, took us to her favorite Tapas restaurant. It was delicious. We had perfectly cooked octopus, tiny steamed clams, steamed mussels, toasted bread with tomato and olive oil, and Vino Verde to wash it all down. It was delicious. Then Cait, Mom and I agreed to meet Vivi at the only swing dance spot in the city.

Watching Caitie dance was wonderful. With every guy she partnered with, Mom, Vivi and I named him and gave him a backstory: “That’s Leopold. He has a strange name and has struggled his whole life to overcome the burden of that, poor bastard. It makes him humble, though.” or: “That’s Pierre. He’s French and he loves Caitie with the passion of a thousand suns, but knows it can never be, so he must grab his skateboard and plastic bag full of new underwear and leave before everyone sees him cry.” One of the highlights of the night was watching Mom stand up and start to dance as well. We took a million blurry pictures.

And probably another million tomorrow.

April 23, 2015 at 8:20 pm by Natalie Allen