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  • Day80

    Gràcia Festival

    August 17, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    We started the day sleeping in a bit since we were out late last night. When we finally got a move on and started heading to a brunch place it started pouring outside. All the rain caused a lot of people to hang out in the metro station to stay dry. It was so crowded that it was nearly impossible to check which direction the metro line was going before swiping in. After we swiped in we realized we swiped into the wrong direction so we had to leave and instead swipe into the right direction, causing us to be down the cost of 3 trips. When we got off at the right stop and made our way to the brunch place, there was surprisingly a line of people waiting for a table outside with umbrellas. This was shocking since it was raining so hard that practically nobody was waking around, yet these people were resilient enough to wait for their pancakes in the pouring rain. On the other hand, we weren’t in the mood for soggy waffles so we went to a nearby hot pot place instead. Hot pot was a great comfort food on a cold day and it was Naomi’s first hot pot experience which was fun! The menu was only in Chinese and Spanish so we were really lucky to have Grant with us since he speaks both languages. After the meal was done, the rain had luckily cleared out. We then walked over to the Gracia neighborhood since the Gracia festival was occurring. This festival takes place every year and is celebrated in the streets of the neighborhood. During the festival, 21 different streets are in competition to make the best decorations using only recycled materials. Each street has a theme and the decorations were incredible! Each street had posted how many people were involved in the decorating, and how many hours it took. One street had only 6 people involved and they spent 2000 hours decorating! It was such a fun and unique way to bring the community together. My favorite theme was one that went through the stages of sleep. It had decorations of counting sleep, a person falling asleep, then nightmares, and then dream catchers. I found the concept of to be unique and well done! However, the best executed decorations I believe were either the Roman mythology or Greek mythology streets. We think that those streets have some sort of rivalry since they had such similar themes. Both did a great job creating art that didn’t even look like it was made from recycled materials. Other stand out exhibits were the monster themed plaza, jungle book themed street, and outer space themed street. There was also a street decorated as the Lello bookstore in Porto which was cool to see since we just visited the real thing. I’m excited to see which street actually wins! After walking around and seeing each of the 21 streets we made our way across town to the magic fountains. The magic fountains are these fountains that light up to music in a show that occurs every night from Wednesday-Sunday. We first sat high up in the nearby steps, but it was hard to hear the music so we moved closer and sat on a grassy lawn to watch. We bought wine and chips to have a small picnic while watching which was relaxing. Even though it was pretty touristy the show was incredible. It began with old pop songs, then played movie showtimes, and ended with classical music. The classical music was definitely the best paired with the fountains. After the show was done we went to a nearby tapas restaurant to celebrate an early birthday dinner for Grant before leaving. We didn’t ask the wait staff to sing happy birthday or anything because we weren’t sure if that was done in Spain, but we still had a nice celebration. After dinner we went to the club next to our hostel to finish off the birthday celebration and party for the last hour that Grant was in Spain. In line waiting to get in the club we had a really interesting people watching experience watching this guy try to skip the line and yell at the bouncer demanding to get in since he was a famous opera singer. He even belted some opera lines for everyone. He was definitely very drunk and I would be shocked if he was actually famous. It was quite an interesting tactic to try and skip the line. It didn’t wind up working out for him. He should have just waited, the line was only about 10 minutes long. We weren’t able to stay at the club long because Grant had to leave for his early morning flight. Before leaving we gave him his glass fish gift from Murano, Italy. He loved the gift and we were sad to say bye. Traveling with Grant was a ton of fun, I’m so happy he was able to join! After Grant left, Naomi and I only had time for a 2 hour nap before leaving for our early morning train to San Sebastián. But you know the famous song, No Sleep Til San Sebastián! Or is it Brooklyn? Well if it is we didn’t get the memo!Read more