Barcelona & Milan....The old B & M.

Trip Start May 05, 2009
1
6
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Trip End Jun 17, 2009


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Where I stayed

Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Sunday, May 24, 2009

BARCELONA

Arrived in Barcelona after another on time, trouble free flight.  This time with 'Click Air'....and yes, we'd never heard of them either, but we can vouch for them and if you're ever needing a flight to Barca, these are guys all good.  Made it to our room and quickly realized that even for €65 per night (which has been a quite a bit more than we've previously paid), you get very basic accommodation.  Great location, but horrible bed, noisy old lift next to our 'window' and a cinema playing movies next door.   On the upside, we now know Angels and Demons in Spanish.  It's bad enough in English!  Luckily only two nights in this room, but the day/evening outside this room made up for it.  Barcelona is such an awesome, lively town.  Doesn't matter what time your up, there is always something happening.  Just head down Las Ramblas and you've got street performers, live chickens, blue roses, annoying American and German tourists (I'm sure they say the same about us!), plenty of sangria and a heap of Barcelona FC memorabilia.  If only they weren't playing Manchester United in the final this week.  Did pick up a Champions League Final scarf though as I've resigned to the fact that I'm not going to make it to the game in Rome.  Too many dodgy scalpers out there selling fake tickets and over $2000 for one ticket from an 'official' ticket outlet.  But, I can't complain with an EPL game @ Old Trafford and a Serie A game @ the San Siro (more on that later).  This is officially a honeymoon!  Back to Barca anyway.  Thanks to some advice from Mr. Timothy Matthews, we had a drink in this awesome little bar, all done up like a fairy land.  Yes, sounds a bit soft, but is actually really cool.  Uncle Tony, you'd love it here.....It is a large version of all those ones you've make yourself.  As soon as we both walked in, we both just said....."My god, Tony would love this!".  After the fairy garden bar, we smashed down a heap of tapas, beer and sangria at a local bar, but both managed to be up early for a 'Fat Tire Bike Tour' around Barcelona the next day.  These guys are very laid back and were perfect for seeing the city.  Stopped off at all the major tourist sites and finished up with a meal and of course a heap more sangria.  Some of those annoying American tourist we were referring to earlier were even more annoying after a couple of drinks on the way home.  After the tour, we had a quick nap and had.....yes.....some more tapas, beer and sangria.  Oh yeah and a bottle of Tempranillo.  All in all a great couple of days in Barcelona and both keen to head back there.  Following day we wandered around a bit more of the city and checked in for a flight to Milan.

MILAN

Yes...another good flight.  Something has to go wrong soon.  Now....we thought that the Barcelona residence was dodgy.  This one was probably actually worse!  We were greeted with a few cockroaches as we entered the room as well as with a heap of rubbish and other crap that cleaner had failed to clean up.  This all tied in with the stale cigarette smell and the fact you had to pay an extra €5 to get a remote control to turn on the A/C that was already installed in the room, we were off to a cracking start to Milan!  But, the one and only reason for coming here was to see the mighty San Siro host AC Milan and Roma.  And the following day, we did just that.  Spent the morning checking out the city and all it has to offer, which we both thought was very little.  The duomo is spectacular, but other than that, it just doesn't have the charm that other Italian cities do....unless you're into Louis Vutton or Gucci handbags that is.  Which obviously Tiff is, but just not the real ones for several hundred Euros (thank god for Thailand and all it's dodgy rip off's!).  Missed out on seeing Leonardo Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' painting, as all the viewing sessions were sold out, but as I mentioned to Tiff at the time, "I'll take Beckham, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Maldini any day over J.C. and all his mates having some reef & beef and a bag of goon".  No offence intended.  Anyway, caught the metro and made it the ground and picked up the tickets without any issues.  Got a free 'Paulo Maldini' scarf to celebrate his last game at the San Siro and before too long, the game was all happening.  Tiff had her tunnel vision and the old 'D.B.P.S.' (David Beckham Positioning System) fully functioning and was like the proverbial little kid in a lolly shop - Not sure what 'position' she had it locked on though.  As for the actual game, it was amazing to see the difference between this and the EPL.  Defiantly a lot more build ups from both teams and both also seemed to be a lot more defensive.  EPL (to me anyway) is a hell of a lot quicker, aggressive and no where near as much diving!  They really do live up to their reputation in that regard.  Also seemed to be a lot of people smoking joints in the crowd too!  On to the game anyway:  First goal was Roma, who got a 1-0 lead in the first half and it wasn't until the 75th minute that Milan equalised.  As predicted, crowd went mental and flares lit up!  This was as soon as the 'horse head' (Ronaldinho) came on and set the match alight.  But, I didn't think another 3 goals were going to be scored in the space of 10 minutes (especially in an Italian game).  Roma cracked in another quite quickly to make it 2-1.  Milan equalized again a minute or two later to make it 2-2.  Crowd goes even more mental with even more flares lit.  Then, my old mate, the thumb sucking Italian, Francesco Totti had to ruin the party for me again (think back to Australia v Italy and you know why I/every other Socceroo fan hates him so much!).  The asshole drilled home a free kick from a fair way out (which was really impressive), but gave Roma a 3-2 victory.  Anyway, a brilliant finish to a very lively game, especially the last 15 minutes.  Made it home safe without too many stab wounds and checked out of our own dive (no pun intended) the following morning and caught an early train to the much more plesant Bologna. 
 
More on Bologna in the next blog update.....but just a quick bit.  We just had the most amazing homemade Ricotta Tortellini by our lovely B&B host Marina.  You cannot believe just how good this was!  If I can understand her Englishalian (cross between English and Italian if you didn't pick it), I think we are getting a lesson with her on this pasta making later in the week.  Can't wait!  Have found a good pub to watch the UEFA Champions League Final tomorrow night, so all I can is:

Glory, Glory Man United!  Fingers crossed we make it back-to-back.......
 
Grazie, Prego and Ciao!

Scottio and Tiffainia.

PS: Before we go, we are making a list of everything we've found in common nearly every city so far:
 
1. Pigeons
2. Graffiti
3. The smell of stale urine
4. Gypsies
5. Way too many Lingerie shops
6. Dodging dogshit on the footpath
7. Americans asking stupid questions on city tours.

Stay Tuned for more!
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