Noah in Barcelona: Cheers to you, Spain

    You know what’s rough? Waking up for a 40-minute commute to Spanish class after a night of drinking and dancing that ended at 5 a.m. The worst part was that the birds were already chirping away to announce the coming of the sun. I mean, really. Don’t birds have any sense of decency?

    Noah’s abroad in Barcelona, Spain until the beginning of July.

    Well, evidently they don’t and I fled back to my residence like a vampire fleeing the dawn. All in all though it was a great night and I wouldn’t mind staying up to watch the sunrise at another point, provided I can sleep until 1 p.m. rather than 7 a.m.

    I didn’t expect my life to be so excessively debaucherously fun in Barcelona. Everyone told me that Europeans sip wine slowly with a nice home-cooked meal, but apparently Spaniards belong in another category. Maybe it is specific to Catalonia and Barcelona, but Spaniards take the word “rage” that people at Northwestern use so fondly and turn it into what I think is more along the lines of “fury.” I know Northwestern students are always looking for better parties so I will highlight a few of Spain’s best festivals and vacation spots.

    Everyone knows that drunk people like to burn things, especially the Spanish. In Valencia, south of Catalonia, the wonderful pyromaniacal people of Spain engage in a festival called Las Fallas. There is a lot more to it than what I can explain here, but part of Las Fallas involves building huge combustible figures that are then lit on fire in the plazas of all the towns at night.

    If the club scene is for you, Spain can give it to you. Ibiza, an island of the East coast of Spain, is well known for its clubs. The clubs attract famous DJs and producers, which has created a huge house and electronic music scene on the island. The tiny island attracts around 1.5 million tourists every year. It is hugely popular in Europe and has become an increasingly popular destination for college students, as it is renowned for its tolerance of bad behavior. This means sex, drugs, and the whole nine yards.

    If a Red Bull Vodka doesn’t give you a rush, this next event will. Another famous Spanish event is the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, a city in northern Spain. The Running takes places at the Festival of San Fermín held in July. It usually involves contestants drinking copious amounts of alcohol first. The practice of bull running is believed to have originated in Spain in the fourteenth century when men tried to herd their bulls faster by exciting them to run. The whole run, or encierro, only lasts about four minutes. About 200 people are injured every year during the running, but only 15 have died since 1910. Don’t worry, mom, I’ll be fine.

    Then there’s the magical Carnival. This event takes place before the Christian season of Lent and when I was younger I thought only Catholics could participate. Luckily, I was wrong. Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands hosts one of the largest Carnivals in the world. It attracts more than one million tourists every year. The events usually include outdoor music, parades and lots of alcohol imbibed.

    There you have it. Spain is a drunkard’s — I mean college student’s — paradise. Maybe I shouldn’t have come after all…I might have a little too much fun.

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