Monday, October 14, 2013

Día de la Fiesta Nacional

Waiting for the parade to start
On Saturday, the 12th of October, I got up early with my roommate, Lucia, and Stephanie and Karin. We met at the train station and headed towards the center to watch a parade for the Día de la Fiesta Nacional. The 12th of October is a holiday here in Spain and I wanted to know how it was celebrated, so I googled it and found out there was a parade. That's how we ended up there, but the 12th of October has had several names. For example, in Latin America, it is known as Día de la Raza. In the United States, it is known as Columbus Day. And in Spain, not only is it there day to celebrate the nation, but it is also the Día de las Fuerzas Armadas (Armed Forces Day). So the parade is full of all of the different military groups in Spain. We got there super early, because people kept telling me to get there early. The negative to getting there early was that I was given the wrong information as to where the Royal family would be sitting. So we got great spots for the parade, but later we found out that the Prince and Princess were about two large blocks away. It was okay though, because it was just the prince. The King and Queen weren't present this year. Also, I assume that there were a ton of people and newscasters in that area, so there was a possibility that we wouldn't have seen much.

Anyway, after the long wait, there was finally a signal that the parade was beginning. A flyover of planes with the colors of the Spanish flag.

The parade was pretty cool and I have some pictures and a few videos to share, but I'm sorry that I can't tell you what every group is. I wish I knew. It was cool to see all of the different uniforms and marches. The video I have is of the Legión Española (Spanish Legion), which is a unit of the Spanish army and I'm pretty sure they are the most known force in the parade because of their fast march and their mascot..a goat.
Royal Guards

By far my favorite uniforms!
They have skis!
Although, these people have capes...which is pretty cool, too.

After the parade ended, we started walking towards where the stage was. There were still quite a few people standing around so Lucia asked what was up and the security said that they still had to lower the flag, so we took a seat and waited. A group marched back in and lowered the flag.

Folding the flag
Here are some more pictures from just walking around. You have seen a few of these buildings already, but here are some more. :)
Plaza de Cibeles
Banco de España
Ayuntamiento de Madrid
Crowd of people leaving the parade
Fuente de Neptuno
Atocha Train Station
After all of these festivities, Stephanie, Karin, and I met up with Karin's friend of a friend, Issac, at a food market. We hung out for quite awhile and got different types of food and shared it all. We got pita and salsa, tortilla española, and this pita/feta thing. Everything was pretty good. After hanging out for a long time, we wanted ice cream, too, so Issac took us to an ice cream place and it was delicious! I had a raspberry/chocolate cone and it was sooo good! Then we all went our separate ways for the day. When I got home, I blogged a little bit, but you wouldn't know because they didn't get posted until today. I also spent time editing pictures and uploading them to Facebook. So sorry if your friends with me on Saturday. Hopefully, I can finish blogging about the weekend tonight. Then that means you would have a total of four blogs to read! :)

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