Our friend Alex, who I hung out with in London, asked to join us in Barcelona as he had never been.
We texted and agreed to meet up when he was in town later that day.
Took the metro a long way to FC Barcelona stadium. It’s a huge complex.
There are several restaurants and memorabilia shops leading into the arena.
A short wait and we had tickets. Self guided tour, just stay in the marked areas.
We enjoyed some grilled sandwiches before we entered the stadium.
The stadium is covered in the saying, mes que en club, more than a club. This phrase is no marketing ploy, the organization essentially begins as a political group who enjoyed playing futbol.
Over the years they’ve pushed for an independent Catalonian state, helped schools teach Catalan as well as youth soccer clubs. These are more like foster homes as many players are from rural, poor areas and move into the dorms.
What can I say, they had an impressive interactive history museum and I hipped myself to all this knowledge!
Oddly, there was a German bar near the stadium so we had a pint.
The beers are served by a lederhosen clad waiter who notices our FCB bag and mentioned that the club president is a regular, was just there a few hours ago, actually.
The day wears on but haven’t heard from Alex, so another beer.
Alex has landed but not at his hostel so we head back to the apt to meet him once he is ready.
He is staying close so it’s easiest to meet at La Familia as it’s a metro stop as well as something you have to see while in the city.
Post up at our fav Irish pub for the game and find Alex.
Beers and conversation flow.
The game is a blowout, 4-0 at half.
At the half we go in search of food to an Italian spot nearby.
Many discussions about futbol, Brexit and our previous destinations ensure over pizza.
Back to pub for last call and discuss the next day’s activities.
I become separated from the group and engage in a long talk with a local.
I made it about 1 min talking in Spanish as he asks me about why I’m drinking the most hipster beer in Barcelona.
‘Because Moritz is cheap!’ I replied.
We laugh and switch to English, the others join.
Things are jovial for a while, then turn dark as he talks about Spain, his soon to be born son and of course, immigrants.
He has decided to take off to Asia I think, out of the country as he is concerned about lack of jobs and Muslims, how is letting in foreigners in a depressed economy a good future for his family? He believed his kid may have to learn Islamic customs and hey what about the hajib, maybe he will have a daughter someday? What about Christian traditions? Oh like nuns habits, where they cover their heads? But that’s different…
No movies tonight, been a long day.
Song: Freddie Mercury Barcelona