Parade of Giants, Barcelona
On our first day in Barcelona
, we learned that the city has surprises in store around every corner. We had just met up with American expat Jeff Koehler in the plaza in front of the Santa Maria del Pi church, about to head up a narrow street to THE spot for churros, when these giants arrived. Although La Mercé Festival--and its fireworks, street performances, and Gigantes parades--had already taken place at the end of September--this neighborhood in the Gothic Quarter was apparently having its own patron saint celebration. The procession included towering noble effigies, giant water-spouting animals, and local schools' teams of castellers stacked on one another's shoulders in teetering human towers.