El Camp Nou

The best thing to break up routine is having visitors in town, people who are seeing the city for the 1st time bring out my interest in home town tourism.  This is what finally got me up to Camp Nou last week, the home base of FCBarcelona, arguably the best football club playing.  OK, OK, maybe living here has skewed my perception bit, but it’s hard not to pick up the fever in a town with this much passion for the sport.

Camp Nou is the biggest football stadium in Europe and, wow, it feels massive inside.  Possibly owing to the fact that the club is so well recognised globally (its slogan is: “more than a club”), there is a museum attached to it that fans can pay a hefty price to enter and check out the history of the team.  Besides being well renowned internationally, to the people of Catalunya, the team is a symbol of all things Catalan and not surprisingly, gains huge hometown support.  There were easily 100s of people sitting in the accessible parts of the stands excitedly staring at the empty pitch.

While expensive at 22€, the “Camp Nou Experience” was worth the money.  On top of a visit to the museum which showcased the club’s birth, growth, trials and successes, we got to enter the stadium at multiple levels (including the pitch) walk down the tunnel the players use to access the field and check out the press boxes.  For any true fans of the club it shouldn’t be missed.  It definitely inspired me to look up the dates for the coming season so I can experience the game first hand with all 99,354 fans that it holds.

There’s a few more photos here, including a couple from the roof of Arenas, the once bull fighting arena converted into a shopping mall.

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