Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Fun in the sun in Barcelona...

Whilst getting up at 10am everyday and lounging on the beach in Gava is appealing, its nice to hit the city and  get some partying done.

My memory of Razzmatazz, a nightclub, was one of bright lights, loud music, getting lost and a 70 Euro McDonalds bill at 5 in the morning. So I was determined to go back for more debauchery!

Kerry was keen to go and see what all the hype was about and we caught the bus in to town late evening knowing that the Spaniards are usually waking up when us Brits are normally eating dinner. Everything seems to be 4 or 5 hours behind. The club only opens at 2am! 

We strolled around and indulged in some tasty Ice cream made in a 'laboratory' in the back with big glass windows so you could see it being made. I couldn't resist trying the Marijuana flavoured one which went well with pistachio and mint. It had a subtle but definitely weedy type taste. 

 We grabbed a few drinks before walking across town to the more industrial side and consequently Razzmatazz. Its basically 5 warehouses all joined together by overhead walkways and rooftop alleys. 

There were only 3 of the 5 warehouses open with DJs playing some interesting Euro-stomp type electro music in the main room. It was a quality night which If I'm honest I can't remember much of! It was only when we got out at 7am that we remembered the long walk back to the main square, Placa Catalunya, and had to sit on a 20 minute bus ride with that mornings commuters while we got groggier and groggier.

Finally getting back just before 9am we were grateful for our bed and collapsed in the van for the rest of the day.

One day whilst walking through the Parc de la Cuitadella we came across this type of festival with water activities for the kids, music on a stage and all sorts of Catalan traditions like 'giant' people made out of papier mache walking around and a group who were building a human tower.

Walking around the park we came across a group of 4 or 5 African guys playing on their native drums, just casually. Kerry and I sat down on the grass to listen at about 4pm. There was probably about another 20 people appreciating the music and chilling out around the drummers. 

Then an amazing thing happened. Over the next 5 hours the number of drummers nearly doubled and were joined by tambourines, didgeridoos, maracas and castonnettes. The music never stopped for more than a minute between 'songs' if you can call the improvised music that. 

The crowd swelled to well over 400. Of all ages, nationalities and ethnicities. It was amazing. The atmosphere was electric, there were people up and dancing, singing. The African dancers would get the attention of a drummer and then they would kind of 'battle' with each other, one dancing, the other drumming. But they seemed to know when the other was going to move/drum. I'd learnt about the dances they did on TV years ago. They were imitating the animals that they would encounter in Africa with big bold moves like a big cat, or an angry wildebeest.

Kerry and I sat there until 9 o'clock, totally awestruck by this impromtue performance. It was so organic and spontaneous. 

The drummers and dancer were so passionate about their culture. They displayed it with their music with so much vivacity I began to think what traditions we have in England? How would we show off our culture in a park in a foreign country? Strap on some bells and do a moris dance? Drink ourselves in to a drunken stupor on a Friday? Cripple ourselves with as much debt as we can?

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