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The Big Week

Just a quick photo-filled post to finish up last summer’s Spanish trip…

San Sebastian. Filled with Sun, Sand, Sea…

… and a decent number of people dressed up in various traditional of terrifying costumes!

 

We rocked up in San Sebastian during the big or great week (Semana Grande), an exuberant week filed with music and markets and events (bull fighting!) of all kinds.

Heading out to the Opening Ceremony on our second day in the city, we landed in a crowed infiltrated with a whole bunch of Giants (the tall puppets at the back of the photo), and Bobble Heads.

The Bobble Heads were pretty creepy, and not just because of the way they looked. They spent their time wandering through the crowd, searching for small children whom they would occasionally hit with large inflated bladders. The bladders were a mix between a balloon and a drum, so the area was filled with loud Bop/Popping sounds.

 

We were initially slightly concerned we would get ‘bladdered’, but the Bobbles seemed pretty intent on just getting the kids. Plus, after watching for a bit it became clear that they weren’t just taking on kids indiscriminately, but were only going after the ones who were in on the game.

I saw one kid on his father’s shoulders turn around and kick at a Bobble, and then get a good bladdering in retaliation… And everyone found it hilarious.

 

Still. You have to agree that that^ face is kind of terrifying, right?

In any case, the Bobbles kept the kids entertained until the actual ceremony started, which involved some talking, some music, a whole lot of flag waving, and a few tonnes of confetti.

    

After which, The Giants and Bobble Heads went back to wherever Giants and Bobble Heads live for the rest of the year, and Andy and I moseyed off to soak up some more sun.   

Our second Big Week event was The Sardines.

A.K.A one of the greatest fishy feasts I have ever had.

Take a normal square in the middle of any district in any city. Install rows of BBQs. Bring in hundreds of sardines.

You’ve got yourself a festival.

   

Andy and I were pretty eager, and our punctuality got to the front of the fishy feasting line. Options were to take 6 or 12, so we naturally went for the bigger portion. And boy oh boy was it worth it!

   

Mercedes’ mother told us that her friend had once declared that Sardines are the perfect fish, and that in fact the only problem they have is that they are too cheap to be taken seriously.

I remember seriously hating Sardines as a kid, mostly because I had only experienced them as nasty little things that tasted like tin. And probably also because I had a deathly fear of fish bones (my mother was not great at de-boning).

I suspect that having smaller and more delicate mouths makes it hard for kids to appreciate a kind of fish were you just have to go through the bones.

Luckily, at our age, this is not a barrier.

Andy and I snaffled our Sardines in a matter of seconds, pausing only briefly to pose with our prey.

Count me in for the Sardine Fan Club!

Event Number Three: Fireworks.

Throughout the week a firework display was put on each night by a different city as part of the grand final of an international fireworks competition. I’ll admit that the sun and sea got too much for us, and we were lounging in our room just about to sleep, and fully prepared to miss the display….

…but then it began…

.. and it was so insanely loud and close sounding, that we put on our jackets, shoved on our shoes, and ran out to watch.

     

And though it’s hard to show by photos, let me assure you that it was pretty darn spectacular!  

After the fireworks had finished, and as soon as the safety fences were taken down, scores of parents with their kids began walking- all in the same direction- down the main beachside road.

And then, at one point, the high-pitched screams of the kids began, and everyone turned and ran back in the direction they’d come.

Event Four: Running of the Fire Bulls.

If you’re wondering what a Fire Bull is, well, it’s exactly what you think.

A Bull.

With Fire.

And it Runs!    

Ok Folks. That’s all from our Great Spanish Adventure. ‘Til next time.

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