Carnaval, Mardi Gras, Halloween – whatever you call it, it is crazy and so much fun!
The Basics: Carnaval in Alicante is huge considering most of the time only college-aged people go out, and during Carnaval everyone from babies to grandmas are on the streets dancing! On Saturday night, Feb 14th, everybody dressed up in costumes, and the most common ones I saw were football players (the american kind) for guys, and buzz lightyear for girls. The kids were all either princesses or cowboys, and the adults often did flamenco dancers or other Spanish themes. The Rambla is one of the main streets that connects the Mercado Central (central market) to the beach, and it closed during Carnaval to host the thousands of attendees. Two stages were set up – one at each end of the Rambla – and one played EDM while the other had a live band going all night. It was crazy and impossible to walk on the street, so once you found a spot to stand somewhat comfortably, you didn’t move from there. El Barrio, the bar and club district, was packed and there were two other parks that had bands and DJs keeping people entertained until 6am. There was also a park that drew in all of the teenagers, so naturally we spent a few hours there, and it was PACKED with probably 2,000 or more teens – all drunk.
My Night: I decided to go out Friday night to see the opening ceremony of Carnaval, which was weird and had a lot of PDA, so on Saturday I was a little “tired” for the first half of the day. I was a cat because as a white girl I had to dress as an animal, so I just wore all black. I met my friends around 18:00ish (oh yeah, Europe uses military time) and we started with a glass of wine and cup of ice cream. We went to a park to “botellon,” basically a drinking picnic, but everybody was sick so I didn’t want to share their bottle of wine and I bought my own. A few hours later we got dinner at our favorite Italian place, including another bottle of wine, and afterwards we found our way to El Barrio. Somehow from there we ended up in that teenager park and we found a group to introduce ourselves to. Yay to making Spanish friends!! We stayed with them for the rest of the night and went between the parks and the Rambla until 4:30 or so when we went to El Puerto (the port, which is just the area that all the clubs and discotecas are in), and I think I made it home a little after 6:00am. It was a fun night for sure, even though I threw out my back, but I can’t wait for the next crazy Carnaval I get to go to!
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!