Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stories from Spain

I'm going to try something rather rare for this blog - the standard 'text and photo' format. It's occurred to me that I spent three weeks in Spain and haven't really told too many people about how wonderful my trip was. I took a good 500 pictures while I was away, and I hate the idea of them just sitting on my hard drive not being shared. I also have a lot of stories. I carried this notebook with me everywhere I went for the duration of my trip and made time to write in it every day about my experiences.

So here's an excerpt from my messy little notebook - complete with photos!

Today's story: The Palm Sunday Parade

Today is the beginning of Semana Santa. Spain being religious as it is infamous for being, this meant a PALM SUNDAY PARADE.

Mom, who had been standing outside the house enjoying the afternoon sun noticed a group of 30 people walking down the street. This seemed unusual for the small quiet beach town we'd come to know so she and I ventured out to investigate. As soon as we got to the main road - Calle San Sebastien - we knew somehting was happening. EVERYONE who has ever lived in the town of Conil was coming out in droves. Infants in strollers, babes in arms, teenagers, parents, grandparents, all dressed in their Sunday best [how some of those women navigate the steep cobblestone streets in those 5 inch stilettos is mind boggling].

Children were being herded along, elderly were being pushed in wheelchairs, and everyone was chatting as Spaniards do: loudly.

Mom and I lined up with the rest of the town, amazed at the sheer number of people, their age range, dress styles and excited voices.

Soon young children (maybe ages 5-8) dressed in blue and white shepperd outfits (for lack of a term) carried palm fronds down the street. They lined the sides, their mothers and supervisors walking with them, dolling out tostados and snacks to reward good behaviour.

After a slight (unnecessary?) pause the older kids came next; dressed head-to-toe in red velvet, pulling their hoods down so they could see through the eye holes.

Then played in by a Marching Band was the crown of the Parade: a giant silver float carried on at least thirty of the town's fit men. Atop - Jesus waving on a donkey while Mary watched from behind, a tear down her cheek.

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