Hola a todos!
I can’t believe that I’ve been in Barcelona for almost three weeks already! Time is absolutely flying by and I’m really enjoying myself and getting to know this city. There are so many things to do and there is always something going on. In fact, sometimes you may even bump into something when you least expect it.
My second day in Barcelona, I decided to go to the Orange store to get a SIM card for my phone. It was the early evening and I had just spent the day exploring a bit and meeting some new people at my orientation program. I also decided that this was a good time for me to get my metro pass because I knew after living in Madrid that I definitely would want one.
As the metro pulled up and started coming to a stop, I noticed that the metro was completely packed with people. All of us waiting for the metro couldn’t even fit on. However, I managed to squeeze in. I thought it was a bit strange that there were so many people, especially because I knew that Madrid is a larger city and I never experienced that metro being this crowded. But, since this was just my second day in Barcelona I didn’t really know what to expect, so I just stood in the crowded train like everyone else.
It turns out that my instincts were right, however, because something was definitely going on. I walked up the steps and up onto the street, which was also completely packed with people. Everyone was packed closely together lined up along the street. As I was weaving my way through people I couldn’t help but feel a little bit nervous being in a crowd of people this large, especially knowing of recent events that have happened here.
I finally made it to Orange, and I decided to ask the woman helping me what was going on. She told me that tonight was “La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos,” a parade to kick off the celebration of Three King’s Day. It’s a very large Spanish tradition meant for the children. They get thrown candies and welcome the Three Kings into the city. The next day, they receive presents from the kings and the whole family celebrates and eats a special bread called, “Roscón de Reyes.”
Just as I walked out of the store, the parade had begun. Obviously I wasn’t planning on attending a parade that evening, but I had to stay because it was absolutely amazing! I could not believe how elaborate and extravagant all of the floats, costumes, music, and dances were. You could feel the excitement of all the children and the nostalgia that all the others were feeling just being in the atmosphere of this event.
I watched the parade for quite some time, but I did have plans with some new friends I made for later, so I decided that I should probably head back to my apartment in order to get ready. Therefore I walked back to the metro, but that was unfortunately closed for the event, I suppose. I had to walk the whole way back to my apartment, but in reality it wasn’t too far. However, when I got there, I realized that I actually couldn’t get to it because the parade crossed through it. I had to stay and watch it.
I was a bit annoyed, but I mean how could I really be? I got to witness a truly special Spanish tradition that only happens once a year and experience the culture first hand. Luckily the parade didn’t last too much longer and I made it safely back into my home.
Sometimes unexpected events can be inconvenient, but they can also make some of the best memories!
P.S. If you’d like to see live footage and hear my comments on La Cabalcata de Reyes Magos, check out my vlog, “A Yinzer Abroad” on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCvlst8Ws3FJkQBEER0t0Tg.