Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cadiz Carnival 2012

Oh hey there blogging world! No, I have not forgotten about you (even though it might appear otherwise). I've just been bogged down with momentarily hating my job, (but let's be honest, if you read my other post you know its not really momentarily), and being super stressed because I always get unnecessarily stressed out before I travel somewhere.

But since tomorrow I am headed off on a 9 day adventure to Madrid and the CANARY ISLANDS (!!!!!), if I didn't catch up on everything now, I would probably give up blogging when I got back due to the sheer amount of cool things I'd have to update you all about.

So. I'll give it a start. Last weekend I went to Carnival in Cadiz.

Oh. my. god.
Where do I even start with this?
Cadiz Carnaval was one of the wildest, most unique, strangest...things... I've ever been to. My friends and I rolled into Cadiz Sunday afternoon around 2pm, not sure what to expect because Spain is well-known for completely shutting down on Sundays. Apparently Carnaval is an exception to that.

The streets were hoppin'! Little kids in costumes holding onto their well-dressed and completely normal looking parents hands, teenagers still drunk from the night before wandering the streets in the remnants of their costumes, kids (yes, kids!) holding a beer in one hand and a sandwich in the other, and most importantly, people pouring off the incoming buses (all dressed in ridiculous costumes) to get started on their day of enjoying the party. It was an utterly unique experience to be a part of.

I had been a little hesitant to go on Sunday, because the night before is supposedly the big costume night when thousands of visitors pour into the city and stay up until the crack of dawn. I wasn't sure if the city would be in recovery phase from the night before. Thankfully though, the party was in full swing. A friend (who had gone a couple years ago for the night) even said that going on a Sunday was the better option!

Carnival in Cadiz is considered to be in the top 3 Carnivals in the world. (#1 is in Río de Janiero and #2 is in Santa Cruz de Tenerife). The one in Cadiz is also famous for being funny, witty and satirical, and people dress up in costumes that are flat out ridiculous and fun, versus in Río and Santa Cruz where its necessary to be dressed up, tanned, and in shape. Here, you can read a brief overview of the history of Carnival in Tenerife and Cadiz, if you're interested.

Since I don't want to bore with the complete day's events, //and quite honestly some of them are a little fuzzy for me//, I'll highlight the best parts with pictures.

chirigota - a group that performs humorous or satirical songs during Carnival. Cross-dressing is a popular costume choice.
I was a vaquera, or cowgirl. Like my hat?
Okay, can we talk about this picture for a minute? This guy clearly knows what's up, considering he's 1) Spanish and 2) not just jumping on the Giants bandwagon for winning this years Superbowl. the only thing that would have made this more impressive would have been if it was Farve's jersey instead of Rodgers. 
No words...
Need a wig? Or 4?
Missing Larken, who was dressed as a viking.
Sun, wine, and the Mediterranean sea.
Another chirigota.
Just to give you a small idea of the crazy costume choices. At what point where they sitting around discussing costume choices and someone said "Hey, what about...snails? That'd be cool, right?"
Packed alleyways, and an awesome costume choice.
Knowing where the bathrooms are could be the difference between a happy Carnival and a miserable Carnival. 
Ending the night watching the sunset off the coast.

Finally, here's a shout out to all my friends who went to UW-L with me. Coming from a state where case races and chugging a 40 are perfectly normal Friday night activities (but I've never done either thank you very much), watching Spaniards stand around chit-chatting in groups while sipping beer out of skinny plastic cups naturally caused the Wisconsinite in me great pain. I decided to out-shine them all by drinking wine straight from the box. 
I did out shine them, and also all my previous hangovers to date. I've learned my lesson. 

Carnival 2012, thanks for a great time!


  1. dude i was there too!! would have been impossible to find you, but im glad you had fun!!!!! we watched the same sunset... how romanticccc :p

  2. That looks like crazy fun!!
    Have fun in Madrid - it's one of my favorite cities :)