Thursday, May 22, 2008

Viva La Barca!

Because I was en route from France to Spain yesterday, I also ended up not posting on Wednesday. That´s two days out of three after 200 days in a row. I hope I don´t get too used to not posting again. I had free wifi in my hotel room last night, but didn´t try to blog, even though I did write a comment to the last entry.

Now I´m back in a big city with internet cafes on every corner, so I´m ready to keep posting for the next few days. I´ve always wanted to go back to Barcelona, and thought this trip would be a good time to squeeze it in. I´m staying just up the boulevard from Camp Nou Stadium (where Barcelona FC plays) and went on a stadium tour this afternoon. It´s one of the largest (and nicest) stadia in the world, with more than 90,000 seats and all the modern conveniences.

There´s a museum and gift shop next to the stadium, so it´s a common stop on the tourist trail, and it was one of the things I wanted to see when I was here. Barca´s motto is ¨mes que un club¨ (more than a club) because they´re a symbol of Catalan nationalism and one of the most socially responsible (ie ¨PC¨) soccer clubs in the world. There´s a strong bond between club and country in Barcelona.

One thing everyone knows about Spain is that people eat dinner really late. It´s 8pm local time, and most restaurants aren´t even open for dinner yet, which is why I´m killing a half hour in an internet cafe. Standard dinner hours are 10pm - 2am, which doesn´t work that well when the Metro stops running at midnight. It runs until 2 on weekends (unlike Bart), so I can plan accordingly tomorrow by sleeping in, taking an afternoon siesta, and hitting the town at 10pm. I thought only young kids did this, but in Spain, even old folks (my age and older) stay out late!

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