This time, to bring in the new year, we did things slightly differently. Due to some, let’s call it logistical confusion, neither one of us ended up making a booking at the trendy vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona where we have indulged in a rich 7-8 course gourmet meal every 31st of December. To be honest maybe I subconsciously “forgot” because I had grown tired of the same ritual every year.
Some last time minute scrambling for a reservation at a couple of other well-reviewed restaurants did produce some results, but honestly I don’t see the value in paying even close to the same amount for a dinner that comprises more than 75% seafood. Readers will know from my previous posts, I am not particularly fond of seafood.
So, this year we decided to change things up. Just like when we were kids bringing in the new year in India, we ordered up our favorite pizzas and drinks and ate to our hearts’ delight. A not so special mention goes out here to the pizza chains here that apparently choose to close at 4PM and skip out on all the business that is associated with new year celebrations. On the other hand, kudos to them for not chasing the moolah and choosing to celebrate that day. Fortunately, The Honey Bee discovered this at 3PM and we were able to pick up the pizza in advance.
This followed by a visit to the Plaza de España, where we watch a packed spectacular outdoor performance followed by fireworks and a countdown to the new year. This was accompanied by the traditional doce uvas de la suerte (the 12 grapes of luck), which consists of eating a grape with each of the 12 bell strikes at midnight on December 31st – not as easy as it sounds. According to tradition, it results in a positive and prosperous new year.
What we didn’t like about the celebration this year, was that amidst all the lights and fireworks, something seemed lacking in the atmosphere compared to previous years. Maybe it had something to do with the much shorter and lackluster performances, or maybe it was the wild drunkenness, loud outbursts and rowdiness from a number of groups of youngsters. However, we chose to look at the positive side and make the most of our evening.
And so amongst this thriving crush of humanity, we bid adieu to 2015, giving thanks for all the wonderful things that came with it. At the same time, we welcomed 2016 with open arms to celebrate the hope that the new year deserves and represents.
Happy New Year!