For more than the past week, we’ve seen the city getting ready for Carnivale, the pre-lent party held in cities around the world.  On Saturday the party really started.  In fact, as I’m writing this, a parade is marching by about a block away.  How they have the energy after yesterday’s all-nighter, I don’t know.

Here’s the cathedral square Saturday morning.

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The cluster of people were watching this dancer.

 

Our square, nearby, was full of vendors and assorted crazies.

 

The warship at the dock was gone, replaced by a tall one.

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We managed to wade through the crowds and reach the market, where I ordered my usual American style IPA from my favorite bartender, who looked a little different for Carnivale.

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Mary received beer-soaked spiritual guidance from Gandalf.

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Eventually, Mary and I decided to just go with the flow.

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All the peaceful squares were transformed by crowds, beer, and live music.

 

All day long, the crowds got larger and larger.  Here’s the cathedral a little later in the day.

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It must have been about this time when the Norsemen raided.  About 50 crazed Vikings with horn helmets and plastic axes made an insane charge through the crowd, shouting and splashing beer everywhere.  It was perilous and hilarious, and somehow it ended with laughter, not trampled bodies.

An hour later, the raid could not be repeated.  The square was impassable.

The walks along the ocean were crowded with partiers.

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We managed to reach our favorite place to watch the tide rise and fall, and it was still one of the most peaceful places in the city.  Actually, one of the only peaceful places.

 

Unlike most everyone in the city, we did sleep a little.  We’re not sure what today holds, but I’m pretty sure I heard cannon fire a few minutes ago…