Saturday, February 25, 2012

#55 - Attend a Sporting Event in Another Country

Here I am, pre-game, in my new FB Barcelona scarf at Camp Nou.
We are back from Spain. Two wonderful weeks exploring Madrid, Cordoba, Granada and Barcelona. I'll have more blog posts coming about our time there, but one of the things I am excited about is that I was able to check off another item from my life list; attend a sporting event in another country.

We figured out that FC Barcelona would be playing Valencia during our trip, so we scheduled our time in Barcelona to match the game day. We started looking for tickets before we left California, but would only find single seats, none next to each other. We left for Spain with the hope that more would be released while we were on our trip. If it happened we could pick up a pair of tickets seated next to each other, we would attend the game. If not, no big deal. We knew there would be plenty of other awesome things to see and do in Barcelona.

I am happy to report that a few days before the game we were finally able to get tickets. Hooray. We were sitting really high up above one of the goals in Camp Nou, which is the largest stadium in Europe. It seats nearly 100,000 people!
Inside Camp Nou. The Club's slogan is "more than a club."

Bob also got a scarf. Probably the only matching things we own.
The game was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed watching the players as much as the spectators. The game attendees took the play very seriously. I was amazed how quiet everyone was during the game play. I am used to baseball games where it seems the audience is more chatting with each other than watching the game. Any time there was a good play, the crowd would clap very politely. However, once there was a goal, the stadium went off! That happened quite a few times, as the final score was 5 to 1, with Barcelona winning.

Exuberant flag waving across the stadium.

Team group hug after a goal. Messi (#10) scored four of the five goals that night.

Final score, with Barcelona winning.
Overall, a fun evening and great way to get a taste of the local culture. I highly recommend checking out a sporting event when you travel. If you go to Camp Nou in the winter, be sure to dress warm and bring a little blanket. Sunflower seeds are the nibble snack of choice and can be bought from one of the many vendors on the walk to the stadium.  During the half time, everyone whips out their pre-made sandwiches and has an impromptu picnic. We grabbed a few potato sandwiches from a bar on the walk from the metro to the stadium and ate right along with everyone else at half time.

Finally, we listened to the team's fight song a few times on YouTube before we went so we could sing along. We only managed to get the "Barca, Barca, Baaaarrrrca" part down. Here is a little video clip from the stadium when the team came in. It gives a sense of the crowds and the enthusiasm ... and you can hear me chant "Barca" at the end.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I loved this post! We also got to see a Barca game when we were there, and I think it was a highlight of John's life. :-)