A couple weeks back on a Saturday evening we went to see LCD Soundsystem rock out at a local venue. The show ranks as one of the best 10 shows I’ve ever been to but I’m a bit of a fan, their 2007 show in Vancouver also makes my top 10. Since the show started and ended uncharacteristically early for Barcelona standards (9:30-11:30pm) we went to a house party after and went to bed close to 4am.
At about 7:30am on Sunday morning the helicopters started circling seemingly directly above our apartment building. I groggily remembered what day it was and just before 9am threw on some clothes, grabbed the camera and ran out the door. As I’ve mentioned before, early Sunday morning in Barcelona is a bit of a ghost town. Instead when I reached the main road, camera in hand, this is what I saw.
This was no ordinary Sunday in Barcelona and I knew it. the day had been hyped for weeks, if not months.
The Pope had come to town to bless the infamous Sagrada Familia and raise its status from measly cathedral to basillica. Seeing as I’m not all that religious I wasn’t invited nor did I apply for the special tickets required to get within 100 metres of the church. Instead I joined the rest of the plebs and settled for seeing the Pope drive by in his customised Mercedes truck behind 3cm of bullet proof glass.
The streets were busy for a Sunday morning but not so busy I couldn’t get right up to the barricade to snap a photo of the “Papa-mobile”. That’s right, the Pope-mobile around these parts is referred to as the Papa-mobile. The Pope himself is “El Papa” which should not be confused with “la papa” which is how you say potatoe in Latin America. I mostly went to check out the spectacle as Spain is still heavily influenced by Catholic traditions but not nearly as much as other Spanish speaking countries. Here the Pope was met with gay rights protesters who staged a “kiss-in” and people throwing condoms out their windows as he drove past. I did miss most of the hoopla though as after I saw him drive by I headed straight home and back to bed. I had had enough of a religious experience the night before at LCD.
Check out the rest of the photos here.