A journey through Barcelona, Tarragona and the Penedes
Published on Nov 24, 2012 9:52 AM
A tiny wisp of a girl, not more than eight years old, is climbing a tower with dogged determination.
Except that this is no ordinary tower. We are in Tarragona, about 100km south-west of the Catalan capital city of Barcelona, and this little girl is the finishing touch atop a wobbly eight-level human tower.
My heart convulses as she somehow finds foot and hand-holds in the crooks of shoulders, necks and arms, while her parents wait patiently below. Her helmet seems barely enough protection for what could be a 12m-drop onto the dusty floor of the bullring.
I am at the Tarraco Arena Plaza, where thousands of locals and tourists have gathered to witness a tradition more than 300 years old. Its exact origins are uncertain, but some believe they come from the 16th-century folk dances of the neighbouring city of Valls.
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