While in Barcelona I got to experience 2 unique things – Protests and a Football Match.
Before I arrived in Barcelona protests had started up. It seems there is a high unemployment rate in Spain with the rate for young people reaching 45%. I guess when 45% of your age group is out of work it’s a bit easier to protest! I never experienced an actual protest there, but it was hard to miss the tent city in Playa Catalona and the groups of youth there – it was a very busy place.
The other thing going on in Barcelona was a little football match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United in the Champions League. I’m not much into football/soccer, but WOW they were into it in Barcelona. Before I went on the trip I had heard about this game and it was described as the Super Bowl of soccer. I never saw Las Ramblas so quiet, aside from the cheering that would happen when Barcelona would score the city was a ghost town with everyone inside watching the game. The unfortuante thing about traveling alone in a strange city is that it wasn’t a good idea to go out and enjoy the revelry when they won, but I could hear it and the city certainly did enjoy itself! I actually watched the game with a group of people from my cruise, but went back to my hotel before the end of the game. Based on the police presence, it was a good idea. And I hear they were out until late at night celebrating.
These are the little things you can’t plan for on a trip. Ok, you can plan the football thing, but protests often happen unannounced. It’s all part of the adventure.