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Observations on a New Life in Spain

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Circus Raluy

7 December, 2017 (14:41) | Living in Europe

raluyWhen Mark and I first moved here 10 years ago we lived in the neighborhood of Raval, a short walk to La Rambla. We had 2 big dogs back then, and everything was an adventure.

We moved here in the sunny month of November 2006 and took lots of long dog walks. The dogs were really helpful to our integration in Barcelona, and I cannot emphasize how much they helped us make friends. But this is not a dog blog, its a circus blog.

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It was December 2006 when we walked down Las Ramblas to Port Vell with our dogs. There were billboards up everywhere with intriguing illustrations of a traveling Circus happening along the port, near the big Lichtenstein sculpture. (You can see the sculpture and the top of the circus tent in the first photo above).

Mark loves the circus, it brings back fun memories. So I surprised him with tickets to Circus Raluy for his 46th birthday on the 29th. We went on our date, excited at the idea of seeing elephants and tigers and such perform. Although circus is not *my* thing, it sounded like fun. “Take your photo with a wild lion” the advertisement said.
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The show began, with a ringmaster and 9 cats . The cats were trained to jump hoops and sit while being twirled around on a lazy-susan type rotating shelf, posing all the while. After their silly but underwhelming performance, a clown ran around doing silly tricks followed by another act featuring trained dogs. There were no exotic animals. We learned that this circus does not feature lions and tigers or elephants. We were surprised, amused and a little disappointed but this didn’t stop us from having a great time. At the end of the show the ringmaster brought out a big, tame lioness and went to the different box seats asking who would like a photo with the lion.

“I d0” Mark shouted, just like a kid. They brought the tame lion to our box seat and took one of those corny photos they sell you at the end of the show.
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1) Mark posing with the circus lion cub in 2006. 2) Our original dogs, Pukka and Haka, also in 2006.

…TEN YEARS LATER…

My birthday, February 18, 2017
 

Here is a quick iphone montage from the new, slick Circus Raluy show where we celebrated my birthday this year.


Pretty slick, heh?

mlraluy The Circus Raluy comes to Barcelona every winter, and there is the one trailer one can rent. Mark and I have booked 2 nights at the Circus Raluy Hotel with my current dog, Quixote. We are lodging in a funky circus trailer parked on the compound to celebrate my birthday. I ask for and get a completely offbeat experience. It is a blast to sing, “Goodlbye cruel world, we’re off the join the circus” for a few days, heh heh heh. It is like time traveling into a hyper-real fantasy world in which time sits still.

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We have entered a time warp.

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Our caravan is compact with sexy lighting, ala bordello. it feels to be at least 60 years old, maybe more.

raluy_mtl Here’s Mark looking in.

We goof around, I pose Quixote around the grounds, and later go see the show, which has really evolved over the years. There are still no wild animals, and in fact, not even a cat trick to be pulled out of the repertoire. We learn that the circus has been going on for several generations, and that the man who was once ringmaster 10 years ago is now reduced to a pathetic pagliaccio:
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Grandpa Raluy always gets accompanied to and from his trailer. His daughter is one of the more versatile members of the Raluy team; she’s a hardworking woman who sells popcorn in between acts, twirls batons, dances, pushes carts around and is generally all hands on and all over the place. Her kids are also in the show. What a hard working family!

†¥†
 

Our hotel stay is for 2 nights, one of which is my birthday (Feb, 18). Included in the fare is free circus entry, our own dedicated box seat, all stage access to behind the scenes activities. On my birthday itself we invite our good, good friend of over 20 years now Cristina to join us to celebrate. This will be tomorrow.

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Cristina brings my birthday cake, which is chocolate chip orea cheescake:

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We all go see the show on my birthday:
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It is so corny yet slick we just guffaw through the performance.

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I now hastily finish this post from last February because I am so incredibly behind in my chronical of our our “integrationist” years…

If I come across some links to this fabulous and fun, offbeat circus I will add it later. For now… on to my next unfinished blog from a trip last June to Greece…