Last afternoon in Barcelona we went out to the pier again. Places to eat and also free bathrooms. Great weather. Getting back was another matter. As we started for the shore the harbor erupted in a great commotion. A tall ship was coming in to the accompaniment of sirens and the parading of patrol boats.
And the crowd was without belief. Besides the usual crowd waiting for a masted boat to clear the draw bridge, there was a throng and much excitement. It was explained to us. It was the time for children to receive their gifts.
Epiphany (5th/6th January)
Largely ignored in most countries, the arrival of the three kings (wisemen, magi, geezers…) to the Messiah’s manger is keenly awaited in Spain as this is when Spaniards and Catalans exchange gifts, Christmas style. The eve of the Epiphany (the 5th January) is marked by the arrival of the wise men by boat at Port Vell (usually around 4:30pm). After that, these extravagantly dressed gentlemen set off on the “Calvacada del Reis” – a grand parade of floats replete with acrobats, clowns and elves, from which the kings dish out sweets to local kids. The route normally starts at the lower entrance of Parc de la Ciutadella, running up Carrer de Marques de l’Argentera and Via Laietana.
The drawbridge was reconnected, and we pushed our way through and made it back to the hotel. The tall ship, the crowds, the excitement, that might explain the appearance of major heat on Barcelona streets.
In front of the train station, too.
I did not recognize the weapons on display. I appeal to my gun totting friends to call out the caliber and the make.