It’s one thing to see one of the most iconic events of Santa Tecla parading down the streets of the old city and other to see it from the inside of a shop.
Botiga Enric is a much loved wine and grocery shop situated on Plaça del Forum. It’s dark interior is a bit of an Aladdin’s cave, filled to the brim with wine and spirits and other grocery items. Once a year Botiga Enric becomes a mandatory stop for the Cercavila de Santa Tecla, the parade which precedes the arrival of the silver encased arm of the saint and patron of Tarragona.
During the first full evening parade the shop opens up ready to receive the main protagonist of the parade with cups of fizzy drink and beer. Due to the length of the circuit, which stretches across half the city, this is a welcome stop and as a thank you each of the main animals efigies (the eagle, the the lion, the mule and the cucafera) are carried inside in to thank the normally dour Enric for his generosity before continuing their journey downhill.
Despite the thick of the crowd congregating on and around the stairs to the cathedral, Plaça del Forum is one the best place to see the best place to watch the procession passing by. Despite the inevitable incursion of bars and restaurants, the little square still retains a feeling that not all is lost, with it’s wednesday and saturday fruit and veg market and some traditional surviving indispensable stores like botiga Enric.
During Santa Tecla the square fills with excited kids and parents which scatter at the arrival of the firebeasts and congregate lovingly at the arrival of the old dwarves. It is a local spectacle far from the crowds of curious visitors which fill up the main segments of the old city. The procession relaxes and takes a little break before continuing its march downhill.