Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carnaval in Spain

As you may have hinted from the title, this weekend was carnaval in Europe. The best way I can describe the holiday is a combination of Mardi Gras and Halloween. Some of us were invited to a close by town called Vilanova to celebrate with one of the Guardian Angels, Sara. We all went to get a quick lunch Friday afternoon, and then we got on the train to Vilanova. The train ride took about forty-five minutes, but we didn't end up meeting with Sara until an hour after we got there. When we were all together, she took us to buy cheap costumes, and then we went to her apartment to change. Then, her boyfriend picked us up and we joined up with a parade that Sara had plans to march in. All of her friends were dressed like doctors, but the Americans were dressed in masks and fancy dresses. Apparently we didn't get the memo. We walked in the parade for about an hour, and then Sara took us to go get pizza. I may have just been starving, but it tasted like the best pizza that I have had in my life. After dinner, we went back to Sara's apartment, got all of our stuff, met her mom and dad, and then went to the bus stop so that we could head back to Barcelona. We were expecting a two hour bus ride, but it only ended up taking forty five minutes. We were really excited to get home so soon because we were all exhausted. 

Yesterday, Saturday, I woke up at about 11:00. Then, Lauren Swanson and I made plans to meet up and have lunch because we were going to Les Mis at 5:00. We met up with the rest of the group before the show and found our seats. We were in the middle of the balcony, but we could see perfectly. The show was over the top and even better than I expected. My favorite songs were Bring Him Home and On My Own. The first song was sung by the protagonist, Jean Valjean, and he pulled off some of the highest notes that I have ever heard a man sing. Great falsetto. I felt like I could sit there and literally just take in the music forever. I didn't understand all of the lyrics, but it was sung so beautifully that it didn't matter. The second song was about a girl who is in love with a boy who doesn't love her back, and the singer belted it out. I really felt like her voice portrayed the story and allowed the audience to connect with her and understand her emotions. I definitely want to go see the play when I get back to the states, but I'm afraid that the English won't be as beautiful as the Spanish. Either way, it was an outstanding play, and I can't wait to see it again. I decided that one of my goals for next year is to go to more shows at the IU auditorium. I love theatre so much that it's worth spending money on. I definitely cried at the end of this play, not just because of the sad ending, but also because I was just so happy to be experiencing theatre again. I had forgotten how much I love it, and am so glad that I got the chance to see such a famous play in such a beautiful language. 

After the play, we went to Sam's apartment, and he made us tortellini with Alfredo sauce. We also drank wine and listened to music. At one point, we were listening to a list of Jason Aldean songs. It seemed strange, not only because we had just seen Les Mis, but also because you never hear country music in Spain. To be honest though, I kind of missed country music and was excited to hear it. 

This was a really great weekend and I am excited to see what adventures this week has in store. 

Lauren and me before the Carnaval parade

Palm trees in Vilanova

Parade pictures

Some of the girls in their masks

My parade costume

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