We drove around vertiginous hairpin bends with sheer drops into deep valleys and found ourselves in a mountain fastness in the north of the Penedes region in
Building a tower several storeys high from human beings is a pastime unique to
In the 1920s someone went to
It starts on a command from the master builder and the team lines up in their white trousers and coloured sashes. Little kids mill around, taking in the audience and the bright lights.
At the base of the structure are the strongest men of the team; on top of this base the layers build up, both men and women, then the young people, and finally, heart stoppingly, the very youngest of all race up the scaffolding of bodies and raise an arm in a triumphal salute. The child at the top of this pyramid is the same one as above – she could not have been more than five or six years old. My jaw dropped.
By this time the mass of bodies may be six or seven layers high, and teetering frighteningly. Sometimes it breaks away, leaving just a tower of people standing on each others shoulders, maybe six of them one on top of the other.
And then it’s over, the fireworks start, shoot heavenwards and tumble back, and everyone goes home.