The highlight of our Iberian Adventure turned out to be a side trip to Montblanc. This medieval walled town just north of Tarragona, happened to be celebrating their “Fiesta de Corpus Christi” that weekend. The entire population seemed to have assembled in the town square. Spectators lined up along the sides of the narrow streets, as the procession went by. Young children dressed like little devils ran along the square, carrying lit torches. We watched as a giant king danced past with his queen, the donkey, a bird with the olive branch in its beak and children dressed in communion outfits walked by. Torches crackled; smoke, music and laughter filled the air; a few spectators observed from windows.
Suddenly, quiet. The high point of the celebration: A human tower started to form right before our eyes. One by one, the members took their place and started to build this human tower. Alex (around 8 years old) was the last one! Just as he got ready to climb onto the shoulders of the highest person, his sash came loose. He tried valiantly to get to the very top. The entire crowd started to chant “Alex, Alex…”.
Alas, he did not succeed, but got a chance to climb up a different human tower right in front of the city hall balcony, where the mayor and city council helped him up onto the balcony. Everyone cheered and applauded.
People lingered for a long while after the celebration, visiting with friends, family and neighbors. By nightfall, the town square was quiet again.