|Now you too know how to say Merry Christmas in Catalan. The is Part of the main plaza in Sant Andreu, across from the church.|
The areas that I love in Barcelona would be incomplete if I do not mention Sant Andreu. This is a town that used to be independent from Barcelona until Barcelona grew to incorporate it. This neighborhood is where my husband grew up, and where his mother still lives. The majority of my time in Barcelona has been spent here. Being able to stay in this working class neighborhood has been quite an experience.
Here I am a 1/2 hour metro ride from the center of town. Here tourists generally do not go. Here my fair coloring and red hair stand out like a beacon and I get the most stares here then anywhere else I have been to in Spain. Here is where I can (and have) almost experience what living in Barcelona is really like. I have never stayed at a hotel in Barcelona, so I do not know what it is like to stay in the noisy center of town. If I go play the tourist I always come back to this (fairly) quiet neighborhood at night.
If it where not for the fact that once I was lucky enough to spend a whole month here in this neighborhood. I would have had big doubts about moving to Spain when the opportunity came up.
It is a regular working class neighborhood in BCN, but there are also little gems of history here too.
Above you see part of a very old textile factory across the street from a fairly new apartment building. In the picture below you can see an old carrier pigeon's entrance into a building right next to the church.
The prettiest gem of all, I think, is the church of Sant Andreu. While it is still "fairly new" by European standards, being built in 1850 (at least that is the date above the door), I think it is beautiful. These old buildings add, for me, to the romantic air of this neighborhood
Also least you forget we are still in the Christmas season, which actually starts on Christmas day and ends on Three Kings day which is the 12th night (January 6th). I am wishing you a Bon Nadal with a present of this last image of some Caca tios. (Yes it means what you think it does when you translate it) The following is an excerpt I took from Spainexpat.com about the Caca tios:
Editor’s Note: In Catalunya they have what’s called the “Caca Tio”. Caca Tio is a a log propped up on one end with a face and a Santa hat. A blanket is draped over the Caca Tio’s body and the kids hit the Caca Tio with a stick till the Caca Tio kinda poops out a gift (hence “caca”). The secret is that a family member effects the pooping action from the other side of the log while the kids work themselves up into a frenzy with the stick bashing and singing.
¡Bon Nadal a tots!