OK, so like every year, I try to take in as much of La Merçe as possible, and with so much choice, it's difficult to squeeze in everything while working, being full time parent, etc. It worked out as being a long weekend however, as Friday was a public holiday and meant that we could go out as a family and see some things that maybe weren't possible when the kids were so small.
Obviously it's difficult to resist the draw of the traditional elements of the festival and perhaps the most spectacular - so whilst I did go and check out the "Rices of the World" at the Rambla del Raval, it was almost finished at 13:30 (and advertised from 11am till 15h!!) so made our way to the Plaça Sant Jaume. So whilst last year I was there for the giants, this year was the human castles or castellers.
Despite making things look incredibly easy, there is a particular technique involved and it was interesting to see the big black "scarves" which were wrapped tightly around people's waist/lower back for support, and how the guys and girls bite their collars on their shirts when they join the tower, so the people who are standing on their shoulders don't slip on the fabric.
The youngsters have to wear protective helmets due to some unfortunate incidents in years gone by, but for me it doesn't spoil anything. Once the smallest child gets to the top, they have to raise their hand before beginning their descent. This is often literally a split second, so quite difficult to capture on camera, but I did ok!!
Did you see the castellers this year? Any impressions or take aways? Let me know in the comments! Are you thinking of visiting the city this Autumn ? Barcelona apartments are a great way to save money in groups, for example. And for a quick look at the city sights, see this Barcelona Guide.