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Monday, March 21st "Semana Santa day two"

The first day and night have come and gone and I realize I don't yet have my Semana Santa legs yet. We spent the early afternoon catching La Paz in Parque Maria Luisa, watching it pass by the Plaza de España. We then made the mistake of trying to find a restaurant with a table for 9 people around 3pm. We should have known better, and even our attempts to escape the center and find someplace in the neighborhood of El Porvenir proved to be a mistake. Finally, after an hour or so of searching and asking we found Restaurante San Marco just next to Hotel Melia had space. We finished lunch at 5:30 and made our way back to the center for a view of La Borriquita in Plaza Salvador. While crowded and hot we managed an hour and saw just the one paso which is part of the procession. Heading back to the Alfalfa from Plaza Salvador we ran into a wall of people which almost proved impassible. After 15 minutes we had made our way, by force, to the Plaza del Pan and onto less crowded streets. The difficulty was a result of two large lines of people trying to cross the same street in opposite directions, and it seems nobody wanted to budge. Not a good situation.

We made our way home for an hour of rest and a little of the NCAA tournament, a quick sandwich (no more dealing with the bar and restaurant crowds), and then headed back out to catch La Cena, a procession with 3 pasos. A good place to catch this is the Plaza San Leandro (Pila del Pato as it's known to locals, for the duck in the fountain). Here you get a good view as the procession makes it's way around the plaza. Two of the pasos stop at the convent where the nuns sing for each one. Just a few blocks away we saw La Hiniesta on Doña Maria Coronel, a long street lined with orange trees. La Hiniesta has too many nazarenos, I've decided, as we waited over an hour to see both pasos.

A quick trip back home to catch the Duke-Mississippi St. game via internet and the night was done. The morning starts again and first comes work. Then another late night.