"FUTBOL" WEEKEND IN BARCELONA
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
323Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Weekend in Barcelona
WEATHER; A few showers; low 20's
The city was very busy and most accommodation was booked; why? Well Barcelona was playing Real Madrid in Barcelona, and you have to have an idea of the strain between these two teams/cities/politics etc. Barcelona considers itself Catalan and not Spanish, they speak Catalan and not Spanish, they feel superior to the Spanish etc. etc. so the "futbol" match is very passionate and political. To add to the drama Real Madrid is ahead of Barcelona on the "Liga"competition by 5 points which means Barcelona needs to win to have a chance at winning the trophy. If they win they would be 1 point behind Real Madrid with about 5 matches left in the season.
The Barcelona colours and flags were everywhere and the excitement was palpable. Sheila had tried to get tickets online some months ago but no chance. Apparently you can go to the oval and buy from scalpers but you are warned that a lot of fakes are on sale and tickets run into the $hundreds of euros!!
Sheila settled for watching the match with the locals at the pizza bar across the road from the apartment- but heh, Barcelona lost 2 - 1 and the streets that night were very quiet.
Well I am getting ahead of the story- we explored some more of the city and reached the Picasso Museum in La Ribera, an area of tiny cobbled lanes and some interesting shopping, bars and restaurants. Hungry, we found ourselves squeezing into busy El Xampanyet and enjoying an impromptu experience with the food and the company,
We joined a group of young guys celebrating the soon to be wedding of one of the group, the husband to be had to wear a bumble bee outfit, and had a chance to taste the local white wine cava and hear some interesting stories about the rift between the Catalans and the Spanish. They were an intelligent and hilarious group from Andalucia and we enjoyed them.
The tapas was delicious and we can really recommend this bar; Kath had a chat with an English couple who had eaten here 20 years ago on her birthday and they were back today for the weekend on the anniversary- they said the bar was exactly the same!!
After all that food and fun we visited the Picasso Museum nearby; the buildings are medieval and a lovely setting for the Picasso works, concentrating on his early years and special periods. We were amazed at the versatility of the artist on display here; there is a large collection of his ceramics. Picasso moved to Barcelona with his family when he was a youth and the city is proud of him.
We gave up on the map and just wandered the city over the weekend; we enjoyed the fresh food market. the winding cobbled lanes with their shops offfering all kinds of fashion, shoes, souvenirs etc
The Barcelona Cathedral is a mighty structure and very ornate.Walls dating back to 15BC in Roman times can be seen nearby.
Barcelona is an artistic city with interesting architecture, many museums and a thriving "style" attitude, not to mention the nightlife, food and ambience! Shopping and beaches too- making it a huge tourist destination.
Maybe there is an economic crisis but as an onlooker, this is not evident- expensive luxury goods shopping, busy cafe and bars and so on!!!!
We are enjoying the city and will return for a week after 2 weeks in the Greek Islands.