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After the wonderful adventure of Menorca the opportunity to fly to Barcelona during Carnival was offered to me, to discover the beaten path from the classic tourism.According to friends of mine it is a fascinating challenge and a lot of fun. Especially since the Carnaval is already happening in Barcelona, I discovered a different side of the Catalan spirit. Maybe a little darker due to the close attraction and the secret del Barrio which is definitely magical.
From the 7th till the 13th of February, Barcelona és carnaval. The Catalan capital returns to the scene of a series of shows and events (like last year) by choosing to recover the historical patterns of the party, especially with the participation of all parts of the city. Anyone who wants can also take a leap at Sitges. To venture into the Gothic Quarter, in the heart of the medieval city, you must nevertheless make a half bath for La Rambla (famous Human River in the world) but I do not mind at all when I was there. Indeed, they are rewarded immediately, from the courtyard of the eighteenth century palace Virreina which is a jewel of the Baroque art. If the facade, you will be facing the large photos of Alberto García-Alix, for an exhibition, in the courtyard there are huge puppets and giant masks, waiting to celebrate (parading February the 12th) the feast of Santa Eulalia, holy martyr and co-patron of the city. Then you should be getting into the old barrio, including Quarter and el el Raval, one is always struck by the contrast of explosions of colour and light with the narrow dark alleys and disturbing that weave belly of Barcelona.
After a few curious windows, finally we arrived at their destination. This was the place I wanted. “El Ingenio”, an old shop that makes a dim light on the narrow Carrer d’en Rauric. It is an amazing place because even the bathroom signs are written in Catalan and I kind of entered in the wrong door… It is a place where the giant Catalan carnival mask was first made. But there are also costumes, accessories plays, to jugglers, magicians and illusionists on the streets nearby, who will make your money worth it.
For those who have anxiety about the strange, gloomy feeling, a mixture of melancholy, madness and fiction, this place is not indicated. Once in Barcelona, you want to buy a mask and not even know exactly why. In a few words you are kidnapped by depersonalization.
You cannot resist the temptation because the prices are quite high, and despite the exquisite kindness of the staff, I am leaving this little world of disguise that hypnotizes. The carnival has a dark and fascinating side, now I’m sure. They tell me that there are many traditional parades (at least 34 distributed throughout the city). And that after the arrival of the King Carnival, which has already kicked off the celebrations, followed by the Taronjada, the pitched battle of orange-based for-all will be the cornerstone. I move toward the sea and Barceloneta, going down the streets, I run into “Papabubble”, a curious little shop where there is quite a crowd. It would seem an ancient shop, but the idea is modern.
The sky above my maze of narrow streets is more yellow. There is a passenger from Port Vell in a scene from the end of the world. But that’s another post. For now I’ll stop here and I will eat some tapas.
If you will go to Barcelona in February don’t forget to see: The mark of Gaudi in Barcelona and Barcelona, chasing the colorful footprints of Gaudi…
Photos: by Rondone®