In my last post I explained what Carnival is after having gone to the opening night of Carnival in Barcelona, but after watching the opening ceremony filled with explosives and performances and lively people I decided I had to head to Sitges for Fat Tuesday to really understand what all the hype was for.
For Carnival, people dress up in all sorts of costumes and go watch/participate in a parade. Naturally my friends and I went to the dollar store and spent five dollars on a “costume”. When we arrived we spent three hours watching the entirety of the parade in a group of local families.
We giggled with some old folks as they enjoyed the parade and the confetti being cannoned into our faces. At about eleven we decided to search for food and the beach before getting on the train back to Barcelona.
We came up short on our search for food, as most of the businesses on the quite side, local side of town were closed at that point. I was determined to find the beach before I could leave so we abandoned our search for food and headed down a quiet ally that had been mostly untouched by the confetti of the week.
Two blocks down we could see traces of the beach, we walked out of the ally and walked into the middle of the biggest street party I had ever seen.
The three hour long parade we had just finished watching was circling around the beach in what felt like a never ending line. The confetti only multiplied, people lined the streets in what felt like a jungle. The drunken stupor of the people passing by us was somewhat tribal.
Men were fighting in what looked like two bucks fighting over a doe. Ruthlessly hitting one another and then after accepting defeat trotting off to the next bar to pick another fight.
There was vomit and broken glass under mountains of confetti. Women were passed out on benches the beach was filled with friends and lovers alike. My only surprise was that there were no skinny dippers braving the water.
It was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. It was like watching a horror movie unfold in front of you, the most shocking and entertaining form of people watching I have ever encountered.