Monday, 5 September 2011

Spain! (Marina's wedding)

Just got back from Del's friend Marina's wedding in Catalunya. I've never been to a Spanish wedding before, let alone a Catalan one. It was amazing fun. Marina got married in an oak grove outside a hermitage (an old, simple church, as far as I could tell) and everyone just stood around in the woods. To get there we had to take a train from Barcelona to her town (Moliet) and then borrow her car and drive for an hour into the mountains, through a bunch of crazy hairpin turns. We actually managed to be 15 min late for the wedding, but luckily it was a small one so the bride waited!

Afterwards we went to the reception, which started with a few hours of cava and "pica pica" (tapas) - we stood around outside while waiters brought more and more food, plus stations with risotto and a good bit of a pig. At about 3pm we went in for lunch, which was five courses and took us till about 7.30 or 8pm to get through. The whole time they would stop once in a while and do something - speeches (in Catalan, so we foreigners couldn't follow) or a song, or a gift for the couple. There was also a game where there was a giant locked chest full of money for the bride and groom, and every table was given a key. Each table gave the bride and groom a task to win their key, leading to something I've never seen before at a wedding - the bride and groom being handed a baby and a bag of nappies, and clearing off a table at their wedding in order to change a baby's diaper! At first I didnt' realize about the game and thought maybe this was an extension of the constant references to babies at the (very Catholic) wedding - I though, wow, they really take this fertility stuff seriously here!

Once we finally managed to gorge our way through the four or five hours of food, there was dancing and an open bar. There was no DJ - five people from the groom's family just kept randomly selecting songs, meaning that you would get two verses into a traditional salsa tune with everyone doing the moves, and suddenly the music would switch to Abba. Gave it a very unique vibe...

The reception was held at a huge stone house in the countryside, with the party being held at a sort of hall attached to the side. However, they had rented the whole house for the guests, so everyone who wanted could stay over. The only trouble was, there were no assigned rooms, so you just had to go find a bed and try to claim it. Unfortunately that meant that we ended up in a giant room with Del's friends Cristina, Paco and Pablo, but then four or five other people also ended up sleeping all over the floor. No big deal, until about 5am when an enormously drunk man who nobody seemed to know crashed heavily up the stairs, stomped around on the echoing stone floor for twenty minutes or so, stepped on a few people, dropped his shoes on the floor once or twice, then crashed down and started snoring the most epic snores I have ever heard in my life. It was insane. There was no way I could sleep after that, so I ended up on a tiny loveseat in the entrance hall three floors down - and you could still distantly hear the snores echoing past three flights of stone floors!

The next morning there was a pig's leg, trotters and all, for breakfast, plus bread and Nutella. Sadly, Cristina and Paco had a flight back to the south of Spain to catch, so we had to leave early. It was too bad, because apparently the house also had a small building with a swimming pool! It was an amazing place for a wedding.

We've been in Barcelona for the last five days, except for the weekend where we went to the wedding. We've been staying on a Nordic folk boat in the Port Olimpic harbour. We leave today, but I'm hoping to see a few of the Barcelona sights before we go....