At the moment I’m living in Catalonia, about 90 minutes south of Barcelona on the train. My town is pretty… sleepy, it’s very nice and I’m sure it’s about to get busier now the weather’s improving but it’s not an international city with lots of history. Trips to Barcelona are needed. When I found this job I decided that I wanted to get to know Barcelona and I think, so far, I’ve learnt a lot about the Catalan capital. It’s a place I’d visited a few times when on family holidays but it was always far too hot in July/August, the weather wasn’t conducive to sightseeing. Amazingly the Barcelona metro remains too hot even in February.
The first trip to Barcelona, since I became a local, was in September. I had only just arrived and a friend came out to visit, we looked online to see if tickets were available for a Barcelona game. They were! For about 60 euros each. Ouch. Pretty extortionate but seeing Messi play live was/is on the bucket list so it could be justified. Off we went to the Nou Camp to watch arguably the biggest team in the world, it was all set. I logged onto the stadium’s wifi to check the team and…. tragedy strikes: Messi, Suarez and Iniesta are all on the substitute’s bench. Long story short, Barca lose to a team I’d never heard and Messi, Suarez and Iniesta all play for about 30 minutes, they do absolutely nothing. I still feel cheated and will be returning to properly watch Messi play.
During this first trip we also took in some culture, it wasn’t purely to watch the football! We visited Parc Guell to see some of Gaudi’s work, I wanted to see the funky lizard I’d seen on postcards and souvenirs but sadly it was hiding. Stay tuned for part 2!
At anytime of year you’ll spot Catalan flags flying from windows across the state/province/country(I’ll cover all bases). There are different variations but the one pictured below is based on the Cuban flag, everything is clear if you choose to fly this one: you want independence. The topic is huge here, some people are so sure they’re going to become independent. It’s something I still don’t fully understand, I’ll sit on the fence and be an ignorant foreigner. In September it’s Catalan Day so there were even more flags out than usual. Normally I’m not a fan of flag-flying, I wouldn’t want to see the English or British flag hanging out of windows back home. However, I like this picture taken on the most famous street in Barcelona, Las Ramblas.